Valencia College will begin offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in August of 2018, pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The State Board of Education gave its approval earlier this week, paving the way for Valencia to add the BSN degree to its existing bachelor’s degrees.
The bachelor’s degree in nursing was developed in coordination with Orlando Health, Florida Hospital, UCF and three other local state colleges, in response to a critical shortage of nurses in the region. Along with similar degrees being offered at Seminole State, Lake-Sumter State and Eastern Florida State colleges, the schools expect to train more than 6,500 nurses at the BSN level by 2023.
“In partnership with the largest hospitals in our region, Valencia and the other colleges and university in the community, working together, were able to identify a shortage of nearly 1,000 nurses per year. This represents both a huge cost to our healthcare system – perhaps more than $40 million per year in overtime costs alone – and a huge opportunity to prepare many more of our students for rewarding careers,” said Sandy Shugart, president of Valencia College. “Together we have pledged to more than double our collective production of nursing graduates at both the associate’s and bachelor’s levels.”
Through the new program, nurses with Associate in Science degrees currently in the local workforce can remain on the job while pursuing advanced skills in the healthcare field.
“Valencia College is already expanding its Associate in Science in Nursing from 350 to more than 700 graduates over the next few years,” said Shugart. “The addition of a bachelor’s degree in nursing will extend the practice of thousands more nurses in the region.”