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DeSantis announces $125 million will go toward nursing education

DeSantis nursing allocation 05162022.jpg
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

This additional funding toward the nursing industry comes after the pandemic revealed a nationwide shortage of nurses, including in Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is touting additional funding to get more nurses trained in the state.

DeSantis announced the approval of allocating $125 million toward nursing education programs for the 2022-23 budget at a press conference Monday at Seminole State College's Sanford/Lake Mary campus in Sanford.

DeSantis said $100 million will go toward the creation of Prepping Institutions, Programs, Employers, and Learners through Incentives for Nursing Education (PIPELINE), a program to reward colleges and universities for their nursing programs, based on student success.

Funding will include student loan reimbursement and scholarships for nurses, expanding infrastructure at colleges and universities that provide nursing education, and salary and recruitment incentives for nurses within the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.

“There has long been a need for nurses in Florida, especially as our state is growing, and we want to continue to support these front-line heroes,” DeSantis said.

Another $25 million will help establish Linking Industry to Nursing Education (LINE), a fund for colleges to recruit faculty and preceptors, with funds matched by health care partners in their communities.

Shawn Molsberger, president of Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital, said the facility has patient sitters and nursing assistants who want to become nurses but are “facing barriers to take that step.”

“We are happy to work with Seminole State College to provide the flexibility for this personal development,” Molsberger said “We have had a great partnership with SSC to combat the nursing shortage and support the overall health care of this rapidly growing region.”

This additional funding toward the nursing industry comes after the pandemic revealed a nationwide shortage of nurses. Florida is projected to be short 59,100 nurses by 2035.

Health News Florida producer Rick Mayer contributed to this report.

Talia Blake