Nursing students at AdventHealth University (AHU) in Orlando, Florida, United States, will have access to new and additional simulation equipment that will prepare them to care for patients. This is thanks to a US$574,445 grant from Florida’s new Linking Industry to Nursing Education (LINE) Fund. AHU is one of 26 schools in the state of Florida to receive funding through this grant.
“AdventHealth University is honored and grateful to receive these funds to ensure our nursing students are highly skilled, confident, and work ready when they graduate,” AHU president and CEO Edwin I. Hernandez said. “This grant comes at a pivotal point in our 31-year legacy, as we embark on a robust strategic plan to significantly amplify nursing education at our university.”
In 2022, LINE was established by the Florida legislature to incentivize collaboration between nursing education programs and health-care partners, aiming to combat the growing nursing shortage in the state.
As part of the program, a partnering agency will match the grant amount. In AHU’s case, the AdventHealth health-care system is committed to matching the funds for a total amount of US$1.14 million. The school will use grant funds to purchase leading-edge teaching technology that includes birthing, nurse, SimBaby, and SimMan 3G mannequins; an additional digital anatomy table; and a medication administration simulator, among other much-needed learning modules.
“Increasing nursing student access to simulation education will help future nurses develop greater competence, confidence, and critical thinking skills,” Julie Vincent, chief nursing executive at AdventHealth Central Florida Division, said. “Simulation allows students to practice in a safe environment, learn from their mistakes, and receive immediate feedback from professors and supervisors.”
In addition to purchasing much-needed simulation equipment with grant money, the efforts to develop highly skilled nursing graduates include expanding access to nursing education through a new associate degree in nursing; flexible learning options; and financial support for at-risk students. It also includes inspiring and radically increasing nursing student enrollment, innovating to recruit highly skilled nursing faculty, and enlarging classroom space. AHU leaders also explained that an additional initiative seeks to accelerate the student-to-workforce timeline through a three-year bachelor’s degree.
A report commissioned by the Florida Hospital Association and the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida estimates the state could experience a shortfall of up to 59,100 nurses over the next 14 years. This grant helps AHU provide innovative solutions to address this shortage, continuing its vital role in the nursing workforce pipeline.