Published on June 23rd, 2023 | by University Communications


Saint Leo’s nursing program to receive $740,000 from state

Funding to support the growth of Saint Leo University’s Bachelor of Science in nursing program was approved to be included in the upcoming 2023-2024 budget for the state of Florida. The appropriation will provide the university with $740,000 next year to develop the program and help address the state’s critical nursing shortage.

In 2020, the university announced the addition of the College of Health Professions with the Bachelor of Science in nursing being its premiere program. This fall, the university will welcome its first cohort of students in the program.

The state funding will be used to support the renovation and construction needed to build a nursing laboratory on the second floor of Benedictine Hall, purchase equipment to help students receive a hands-on learning experience, and hire experienced faculty and coordinators to operate the program.

“We are grateful that the Florida Legislature recognized the need for more nurses and the important role of nursing education in the state. We would like to express our thanks to Governor DeSantis, who approved the budget and funding for Saint Leo University’s Bachelor of Science in nursing program,” said Dr. Kathleen Van Eerden, dean of the College of Health Professions, and a registered nurse herself.

By the end of its first five years of operation, the university’s nursing program is expected to add an additional 200 nurses to the workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting the country will need more than 200,000 registered nurses each year from now through 2031.

“Over the last few years, we have seen a nursing shortage,” said Florida Representative Randy Maggard, who helped advocate for the appropriation. “This, along with East Pasco quickly becoming a health care hub in the Tampa Bay Area, warrants an increase in funding for educating more nurses from our community, to serve our community.”

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