Contact: Ellen Gedalius
New nursing program could help nursing shortage
Sarina Fazan - ABC Action News
Oct 27, 2008 -
With many businesses cutting back or even laying off, the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital has announced a new program that officials hope will provide good paying jobs, alleviate the nursing shortage and take care of wounded veterans.
The Department of Veteran affairs has provided $3.5 million dollars to USF's College of Nursing to create a Nursing Academy. Eligible students would receive $10 thousand dollars, toward their education. The hospital will also be able to hire faculty to teach the new students.
Sandra Jansen with James A. Haley said, "It is a very good step. It is exactly what we need. Only working together will we be able to survive this shortage."
Officials say the situation is dire. According to the Florida Center of Nursing, the state is short nearly 13 thousand nurses. Officials expect the shortage to reach 52 thousand by the year 2020.
Patricia Burns, USF's Dean of nursing says there is not only a shortage of nurses, but of nursing instructors. Currently, the school has 11 open positions. "I think the VA Academy is a major step forward," said Jansen.
U.S. Representative Kathy Castor adds this program could not only alleviate the shortage it could drive up the economy. "There are not alot of places where you can look at jobs for 50 thousand a year," she said.
USF expects 100 new nurses in the next four years as a result of this program.
Copyright 2008 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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