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UCF plans a new facility to help cure the statewide nursing shortage

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The university's board of trustees voted to authorize the use of $29 million from the Legislature for a new facility that will help graduate an additional 150 nurses per year.

The University of Central Florida is hoping that a new facility at its Lake Nona campus will help solve a statewide nursing shortage.

On Tuesday, the Orlando university’s board of trustees voted to authorize the use of $29 million from the Legislature for the project.

The Florida Hospital Association estimates that by 2035 the state will face a shortage of more than 59,000 nurses.

Mary Lou Sole, the dean of UCF’s College of Nursing, said the planned 90,000-square-foot building on will help to address this problem.

“So, we have been turning away qualified applicants. And our goal is to increase the number of candidates that we can take every year, so that we can graduate more. We would like to keep fueling the pipeline,” Sole said.

With the new building, the university will be able to graduate an additional 150 nurses a year., Sole said.

“We still turn away many, many qualified applicants. People are still attracted to the nursing profession despite the fact of the challenges that they’ve observed during the COVID pandemic.” soled said.

About 85 percent of UCF's nursing grads stay in state to live and work.

The university said it will begin construction during the 2023-24 school year.