Academics

Quantum Foundation grant to expand PBSC Nursing program

Hundreds of would-be nurses are turned away each year from nursing schools around the state. The problem isn’t a lack of qualified applicants, but a lack of faculty and resources to support the additional students. This is a serious situation considering that Florida’s registered nurse (RN) shortage will exceed 50,000 by 2025, according to the Florida Center for Nursing.

Now, through a $322,044 Quantum Foundation grant, Palm Beach State College will be able to accept 60 more qualified applicants into its respected and long-established nursing program.

PBSC’s Associate degree in Nursing (ADN) program currently accepts more than 200 students per year and typically turns hundreds of other qualified applicants away. Beginning this May, PBSC will accept 30 new students; 30 more will be accepted in May 2015. These new students will be enrolled in an accelerated format where students will complete in one year rather than the traditional program which takes two years to complete.

“There aren’t enough opportunities to become a registered nurse because there are so few slots and a lot of competition,” says Lina Mosquera, a PBSC Honors College student. “Being a nurse has always been my dream, so this news gives me hope.”

The grant supports the hiring of new faculty as well as curriculum enhancements and expanded hands-on training opportunities to better prepare students for an increasing complex health care system. Nursing students will participate in team-based simulation exercises in collaboration with the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and complete clinical training in local facilities that provide free or low cost health care to the community. The grant also promotes the transition of ADN graduates to PBSC’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, a degree that is fast becoming the baseline standard for nursing managers.

“Similar to data from other registered nursing programs in Florida, Palm Beach State College has declined more than 900 qualified applicants to its program due to the lack of nursing faculty,” says Dr. Jacqueline Rogers, Lake Worth campus dean of health sciences and public safety. “With funding from Quantum Foundation, the College’s Nursing Program Expansion and Enhancement project will enable us to accept 60 more nursing students who will be prepared to work in the evolving health care environment.”

Palm Beach State’s ADN program is the largest pre-licensure program in Palm Beach County and reported an overall 2012 NCLEX (RN licensing exam) pass rate of 94 percent for first-time test takers, almost 5 points above the national average.

For more information about the Nursing program, as well as other PBSC Health Sciences programs, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/programs/HealthScience.

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