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UCF receives $10 million check for future nursing school amid shortage

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The Dr. Philips Charities presented a $10 million check Thursday at the Wave Hotel to the UCF College of Nursing.

The University of Central Florida College of Nursing received a multi-million-dollar donation to train new healthcare workers as the nursing shortage continues.

On Thursday, Ken Robinson, president of the Dr. Philips Charities, presented a $10-million check to members of UCF’s College of Nursing at the Wave Hotel in Lake Nona, the money is said to support the construction of a new College of Nursing building in the Lake Nona area and should help UCF increase its nursing student body.

For the last five years, UCF declined admission to more than 860 qualified nursing applicants due to a lack of space. However, the check should help the College of Nursing reach about two-thirds of its $60-million dollar investment goal to have the new building by the 2025 fall semester, said Mary Lou Sole, dean of the College of Nursing. 

The new building should double student capacity, she said.

“There exists a nursing shortage in the state,” she said. “Approximately 35,000 nurses are going to be needed by 2035. So that’s in the next 12 years.”

In the last 40 years, UCF has produced 13,000 nursing graduates, most of which continued to work in Florida.

She’s hopeful that the new building will do more than just address the shortage but also push the creativity of the industry.

“We would like to have some innovation and some creative and research space, just like that vision of Lake Nona as a health community and using the state of the art (technology) and learning how to embrace that technology,” she said. “We do a good job where we’re at. We actually do a great job where we’re at. This will allow us to do a monumental job.”

Sole says part of UCF’s goal will be to address nursing turnover and help reduce burnout by examining different models of care. 

Correction: A previous version of this story read Ben Robinson, it should have read “Ken.”

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Joe Mario Pedersen

About Joe Mario Pedersen

Health Reporter

Originally from South Florida, Joe Mario came to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida where he graduated with degrees in Radio & Television Production, Film, and Psychology. He worked several beats and covered multimedia at The Villages Daily Sun but returned to the City Beautiful as a reporter ... Read Full Bio »