Health & Biotech

St. Petersburg College and HCA Florida Healthcare are partnering to train Florida's future caregivers.

Spurred by a $80,000 grant from HCA Florida Healthcare, St. Petersburg College secured a matching $80,000 grant from the Florida Department of Education's Linking Industry to Nursing Education (LINE) program. The LINE grant incentivizes collaboration between nursing education programs and health care partners in reducing Florida's nursing shortage.

This collaborative initiative builds on St. Petersburg College's more than 60 years of successfully preparing nurses to meet the demands of the changing health care industry.

"St. Petersburg College is a high-quality educator that not only provides well-trained nurses to our local community but also has an impressive pass rate for nursing graduates taking their state license exam," said Leanne Salazar, DNP, MBA, ARNP, CENP, CPPS, CPHQ, FNP-BC, the Chief Nurse Executive at HCA Healthcare West Florida Division.

With the grant funds, 25 nursing students at St. Petersburg College received $2,000 in scholarships, which alleviates financial burdens and fosters student success.

"This scholarship helps students to not have to work or to work less. It can also help buy their books or to do whatever it is they need it to do so they can focus on their studies," said Dr. Leah Olson, Academic Program Director at St. Petersburg College. "Getting a nursing degree is very challenging, and the College wants all students to be prepared to take care of people and the community."

In addition, St. Petersburg College utilized grant funds to upgrade the simulation equipment that's used to train nursing students and purchased new equipment and supplies to enhance nursing students' learning experience.

Together, St. Petersburg College and HCA Florida Healthcare are helping to alleviate the current nursing shortages while preparing future nurses to meet the demands of a changing health care industry.

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