SANFORD — On May 16, Governor Ron DeSantis announced his approval of over $125 million for nursing education for the 2022 – 2023 Fiscal Year, bringing the total amount of investment in workforce education funding to more than $5 billion since 2019. Additional funding for nurses in this year’s budget 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 Department of Veterans Affairs.
“We are investing in quality nursing education to increase the number of programs and jobs that prepare students for careers in nursing,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Florida’s nurses stand ready to serve their communities every day, and we will always recognize the importance of this vocation. 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.”
“Those states that decided to part ways with nurses who opted out of a vaccine, like the one I came from, were incredibly disrespectful towards nurses,” said State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. “I have always appreciated nurses and their partnership, especially as a medical student who didn’t know what they were doing. Nurses are super people who create positive outcomes for their patients. This additional funding will yield nothing but good things for our invaluable nurses.”
“Governor DeSantis has made an unparalleled commitment to elevating and training our workforce,” said Senior Chancellor Henry Mack. “The $5 billion he has dedicated to career and technical education since 2019 is paying huge dividends for our state, especially in fields like nursing. At the Department of Education, we look forward to continuing to ensure the mobility of our residents while meeting industry needs.”
“It was when my grandpa was in the ICU on life support, an extremely challenging time for my family, that I chose to enter the nursing profession,” said Raeanne Champion, Recent Graduate, Seminole State College. “I was in contact with the most caring and empathetic individuals when deciding his care, and I decided I wanted to make a positive impact on people’s lives. I have done just that by delivering babies, performing rapid response, and providing post-mortem care. With the nursing shortage we have now, it is the perfect time to invest in our state’s nursing programs. This funding is a pivotal step to attract the skillful individuals we need to keep pushing the nursing profession forward.”
“At Orlando Health we are finding patient sitters and nursing assistants who want to move forward to become a nurse but are facing barriers to take that step,” said Shawn Molsberger, president, Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital. “We are happy to work with Seminole State College to provide the flexibility for this personal development. We have had a great partnership with SSC to combat the nursing shortage and support the overall health care of this rapidly growing region.”
Two major programs will lead the funding Governor DeSantis is committing to nurses and nursing student this year, these include:
• $100 million to establish the Prepping Institutions, Programs, Employers, and Learners through Incentives for Nursing Education (PIPELINE) program to financially reward colleges and universities for their nursing education programs, based on student success.
• $25 million to establish the Linking Industry to Nursing Education (LINE) fund for schools to recruit faculty and clinical preceptors for their nursing programs, to work toward combating the shortage of nursing instructors, with funds matched dollar-to-dollar by health care partners in their community.
Florida’s major investments for nursing education programs will support those who serve the complex health care needs of our communities. Nurses comprise the nation’s largest health care profession, and in Florida we will always have their backs. To view the National Nurses Month in Florida Proclamation, visit https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Ntl.-Nurses-Month-in-FL-Signed.pdf.
Governor DeSantis continues to award funding to Florida’s great workforce education programs. With this announcement, the administration has contributed more than $5 billion to workforce education, making it easier for Floridians to start their careers and for supporting institutions that train these talented individuals.