HCA Florida Healthcare and Florida International University Announce Partnership and Plan to Combat National Nursing Shortage With More Educators

Health system to donate $1.5 million to the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences to expand teaching program and scholarships to preserve a critical nursing pipeline

Florida is projected to have a shortage of nearly 60,000 nurses by the year 2035. Population growth, retirement and the pandemic all play a role in the growing demand for more nurses. In addition, the country is also facing a shortage of qualified nurse educators to train the next generation of nurses. HCA Florida Healthcare and the Florida International University (FIU) Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences are teaming up to grow the essential pipeline of nurse educators needed to preserve the future of the nursing workforce. 

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, in 2019, U.S. nursing schools turned away more than 80,000 qualified baccalaureates and graduate nursing applicants because of an insufficient number of faculty to teach them.

HCA Healthcare is donating $1.5 million to help increase recruitment for the FIU’s Nurse Educator programs and expand the number of registered nurses qualified to teach in nursing programs.

“HCA Healthcare and FIU have enjoyed a longstanding partnership,” said Charles Gressle, HCA Healthcare East Florida Division president. “I’m glad that this donation will allow them to grow their curriculum and offer scholarships to those answering the call to help prepare more of Florida’s nurses; they are the backbone of our hospitals, and our communities and patients benefit from their strength and resilience.”

HCA Healthcare and FIU Nursing are taking a proactive approach to this problem plaguing hospitals and health care systems all across the country.

“The sobering fact is that without enough nurse educators today, there will be fewer nurses for tomorrow. HCA Healthcare shares our purpose and has stepped up to the plate to grow a robust nursing faculty pipeline through FIU,” said Ora L. Strickland, dean of the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences. “From our collaboration to launch the nation’s first Foreign-Educated Physician to Nurse re-careering program twenty years ago, to this latest venture to boost enrollment in our nurse educator programs, FIU Nursing is grateful to HCA Healthcare for their continued support as we develop innovative solutions that address critical health care industry challenges.”

FIU’s Nurse Educator programs are poised to expand recruitment this fall when the accelerated RN-BSNMSN Nurse Educator track is introduced alongside the existing master’s degree and post-graduate certificate programs.

The gift from HCA Healthcare will help fund scholarships to attract eligible students in all programs and support the addition of full-time and adjunct faculty positions with FIU Nursing. FIU will recruit from South Florida’s culturally diverse pool of nurses currently working to prepare them as master’s-level nurse educators. Ultimately, they will be qualified to serve as faculty and preceptors for nursing programs at community colleges, baccalaureate and higher-degree institutions, and clinical sites throughout Florida.

The partnership is part of HCA Healthcare’s commitment of $10 million over three years to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) to advance healthcare diversity. FIU is a federally-designated Hispanic and Minority Serving Institution with a student body that is 61 percent Hispanic.

###

About HCA Florida Healthcare

HCA Florida Healthcare, a part of HCA Healthcare, is a family of more than 450 affiliated sites of care, including hospitals, physician practices and freestanding emergency rooms, offering the state’s leading network of personalized care. United as a statewide network in 2021, HCA Florida Healthcare includes approximately 11,000 experienced doctors and 77,000 colleagues working together to deliver advanced, collaborative care to more than 6.4 million patients each year. HCA Florida Healthcare is committed to improving more lives in more ways and giving back to the communities it serves. The network provided nearly $836.6 million in uncompensated care and invested significantly in innovative technologies and facilities across Florida, including the new $360 million state-of-the-art, multi-specialty HCA Florida University Hospital in Davie, Fla. A strong advocate for the next generation of healthcare professionals, HCA Florida Healthcare is also a major supporter of university-based healthcare programs and residencies and fellowships throughout the Sunshine State. For more information, please visit HCAFloridaHealthcare.com.

About the FIU Nicole Wertheim College Nursing & Health Sciences

Established in 1982, the School of Nursing at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, Florida was elevated to the College of Nursing and Health Sciences when it joined with the School of Health Sciences in October 2006. It was renamed as the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences in September 2013. The College offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees, as well as specialty certificates in programs across the departments of Nursing, Athletic Training, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Health Services Administration, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. For more information, visit cnhs.fiu.edu.

About FIU

Florida International University is a top public university that drives real talent and innovation in Miami and globally. Very high research (R1) activity and high social mobility come together at FIU to uplift and accelerate learner success in a global city by focusing in the areas of environment, health, innovation, and justice. Today, FIU has two campuses and multiple centers. FIU serves a diverse student body of more than 58,000 and 270,000 Panther alumni. U.S. News and World Report places dozens of FIU programs among the best in the nation, including international business at No. 2. Washington Monthly Magazine ranks FIU among the top 20 public universities contributing to the public good.