A sense of pride filled the room at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing as Sgt. Gregory Bresnehan accepted a scholarship from the Army Nurse Corps Association July 8.
Bresnehan, 34, is one of 15 people selected from a large number of applicants to receive this year’s scholarship, which honors three Army Nurse Corps officers – Colonel Juanita Warman, Captain Russell Seager (a Wisconsin-based nurse) and Captain John Gaffaney – who lost their lives in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting.
“Greg is an example of the students we are preparing to be caring and scholarly nurse leaders,” said Rosemary Smith, Dean of the College of Nursing.
Bresnehan is currently one of 30 enrolled in UW Oshkosh’s Accelerated Online Bachelor’s to BSN program. The program allows individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree and have met rigorous admission criteria to earn a bachelor of science in nursing in 12 months. Bresnehan has an undergraduate degree from UW Oshkosh in criminal justice.
“Students come into the program with varied backgrounds…they are different types of nurses when they come out,” Smith said.
Prior to beginning the accelerated program in May, Bresnehan was working as a firefighter who trains others in Sturtevant, Wis. He has worked in the medical field in some capacity for nine years, he said.
“For me, (the scholarship) is tremendously significant because I’m not an army nurse,” Bresnehan said. “I can’t say how important this is to my education, my nursing career and my confidence in nursing school.”
Because of the program’s intensity, Bresnehan and other students make a commitment not to hold an outside job while enrolled. Bresnehan said the financial support is very important in supporting his wife and son while in the program.
The scholarship award was presented to Bresnehan by Colonel Claudia Bartz, president of the Army Nurse Corps Association, who said she was thrilled to honor a soldier.
Bresnehan has been in the Army Reserves since 2004. He did his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and his advanced training at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas. From 2004 until 2005, Bresnehan served with the Appleton-based 395th . In 2005, he transferred to the 336th Engineer Detachment in Sturtevant.
Bresnehan has lived in Oshkosh with his family since 1995 and plans to work as a registered nurse at Affinity Health System upon graduation from the nursing program next May.