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Colleges Respond to Central Florida Nurse Shortage With New Degree Programs

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Florida needs more specialized nurses because more than half leave the state. Photo: Flickr.

Florida needs more specialized nurses because more than half leave the state. Photo: Flickr.

Four central Florida educational institutions received approval this week from the State Board of Education to offer Bachelor of Science degrees in nursing. Valencia College, Seminole State College of Florida, Lake-Sumter State College, and Eastern Florida State College will begin offering the programs next fall in order to meet a shortage of nurses across the region.

Valencia College is projected to enroll 250 students in its new program, which will be an expansion of its already established associate’s degree program for nurses-in-training. Seminole State College of Florida is expected has noted nearly 1,000 students who are awaiting admission to a similar program.

The four schools are the latest to receive approval to offer advanced nursing programs past the associate degree level. Madeline Pumariega, chancellor of the Florida College System, said the degree programs cost less than $10,000, which will help nurses get affordable advanced education while working.

Registered nurses are currently the top position in demand in central Florida, according to CareerSource Central Florida, which referenced data from Help Wanted OnLine, a job listing tool across the state.

As of June, the tool noted 1,709 registered nurse openings.

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About Renata Sago

Renata Sago