News Section

Sunday Herald Tribune Featured Article: Urgently seeking nurses, Sarasota, Manatee schools expand options


Originally Featured in Herald Tribune June 3, 2018:

“Economists predict a daunting demand for 1 million new nurses over the next 10 years

Whatever tugs a person’s heart and soul into the nursing profession, it’s clearly a highly individualized call.

Lisa Cherry was working in a factory when her mother died of cancer. She was not impressed by the care her mother received. “So I got into nursing to care for others,” she says.

Kim Hagan ran a housecleaning business, and some of her elderly clients had home health nurses who “treated them very poorly,” she remembers. “So I literally went to school to learn how to take care of them.” Now, among her fondest memories is the oncology patient who would bring her a bedpan full of roses every year, long after she nursed him through his recovery.

From the age of 7, Martina Giquinto absolutely knew what she wanted to be when she grew up — despite her mother’s urging that she become a teacher. In her native Ireland, nursing schools were hard to get into, so she applied to a U.S. recruitment program in New Jersey. There were 1,500 applicants, and she was one of the 15 accepted.

When she joined the profession 27 years ago, Giquinto says, it was a different world: “The older nurses wanted you to work to be there; you had to prove yourself. And when I started, when the doctor walked in, you got up and gave him your chair.”

Now, registered nurses not only earn respect as knowledgeable members of the health care team, they are so highly valued that they can pretty much work when and where they choose. And with baby boomer nurses retiring in waves — to become part of the largest patient population of older Americans ever — economists predict a daunting demand for 1 million new nurses over the next 10 years.

“Some forecast that this could be the worst nursing shortage that we’ve ever had,” says Jan Mauck, former chief nursing officer for Sarasota Memorial Health Care System and co-founder of the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition. The nonprofit partnership of regional educators and employers has been working for five years to boost the supply of registered nurses in this part of Florida.” … Continue Reading:


SNAC Scholarship Recipient Damien McIntire: First Responder Sets His Sights on Nursing



“Damon McIntire, a student in his third semester at the USF College of Nursing, had been working as a firefighter/emergency medical technician (EMT) when an accident changed the course of his life. This nearly fatal event in December 2013 landed him in the hospital for 30 days on a ventilator and led to more than a dozen reconstructive surgeries over the following years. Suddenly, the first responder was on the receiving end of emergency and critical care medicine — and began to see things from a whole new perspective.

“The people who made the biggest impact on me during my extensive recovery were nurses,” he explained. “I saw firsthand what happens to trauma victims after the first responders do their jobs.”

McIntire’s experience as a patient was an epiphany, leading him to realize that he wanted to become a nurse. After he completed his Associate of Arts degree at State College of Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, he applied to the USF College of Nursing and was accepted.

“The beginning was overwhelming at first,” he said of the nursing program, “but it was hands-on right away, and I adjusted quickly. We were all well prepared going into our clinicals.”

A native of Venice, Fla., McIntire is pleased that he was placed at Sarasota Memorial Hospital for his clinicals. Not only is it close to home, but “Sarasota Memorial is a great campus, with all the newest equipment, high standards, and passionate staff who want the best for their patients,” he said.

Over the years, McIntire has received scholarship support from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition. He was one of the first students they supported, and on Wednesday, May 9, McIntire was recognized by these organizations for his success and progress as a nursing student. “I wouldn’t even be in college if not for organizations such as these. The medical bills that I had been trying to reduce restricted my ability to pay for tuition,” he said. …” Continue Reading:


WFLA Channel 8 Coverage on Tampa Bay Skilled Nursing Shortage


“By 2025, experts anticipate the Tampa Bay area will face a severe shortage of skilled nurses with Bachelor’s degrees and if it’s not addressed soon, it could cripple the state’s health care system.

The shortage can be attributed to baby boomers, retiring nurses and the growing population.

Experts worry the Tampa Bay area could see more crowded emergency rooms, more medical errors, and increased mortality rates.  Nurses would be expected to work long hours under stressful conditions, which could result in fatigue, injury and job satisfaction, according to Schumacher Clinical Partners Providers, a company that helps hospitals and providers with patient care.

The Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition is working to address the problem by providing scholarships to recruit more skilled nurses. The organization has also teamed up with local colleges to kick start 4-year nursing programs to attract and retain skilled nurses. The schools include USF Sarasota-Manatee, Keiser University, State College of Florida and Florida Southwestern State College. …” Continue Reading:


National Nursing Shortage Effects Felt in SWFL – WGCU Radio Broadcast

National Nursing Shortage Effects Felt in SWFL  – WGCU Radio Broadcast

Originally posted on (

“It’s National Nurses Week. A Gallup poll recently ranked nursing the most trusted profession for the 16th consecutive year. Yet, there aren’t enough nurses to go around.

The Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition held an event Wednesday in Sarasota, at which they discussed measures to combat a serious shortage of nurses that’s impacting hospitals and nursing schools in Southwest Florida and across the nation.

The coalition’s founder, Jan Mauck, recently retired from Sarasota Memorial Hospital after 41 years. Mauck joins Gulf Coast Live to share about some of the group’s efforts to combat the issue. …”

Listen now:




USF-SM admitting students to 4-year nursing program

USF-SM admitting students to 4-year nursing program

College introduces new major intending to improve region’s quality of care

Aspiring nurses who want to earn a bachelor’s degree — now considered the minimum standard for careers in high-technology medical environments — now have a second local option.

State College of Florida has offered a pathway to the degree to nearly 1,000 nursing students in this area, and will add to its program soon with an accelerated curriculum called “BSN in Four.” And on Thursday, administrators at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee officially realized the long-held dream of offering its local track to a bachelor of science in nursing. This fall, the school will enroll its first freshman class in a two-year pre-nursing curriculum, with the final two years of study expected to be in place by the fall of 2020.

And already, regional chancellor Karen Holbrook said Thursday, three pre-nursing students have been recruited and admitted.

The goal is to have 50 nursing students in each class, and applicants who live in this region and plan to work here will be given priority. This will elevate the quality of health care locally, Holbrook explained: While the Institute of Medicine has concluded that at least 80 percent of nurses should have a college degree by 2020, only 33.5 percent of nurses in this region meet that standard today. Research has shown that a more educated nursing workforce correlates to decreased mortality and complication rates, and fewer hospital-acquired infections and re-admissions.

Read the full Herald-Tribune story »


Sarasota Magazine Feature Article: Sarasota Memorial’s Nurse Residency Program Aims to Halt a Nursing Crisis



Sarasota Memorial’s Nurse Residency Program Aims to Halt a Nursing Crisis

Florida may face an overall shortage of R.N.s as soon as 2025.

By Hannah Wallace  4/17/2018 at 12:37pm  Published in the May 2018 issue of Sarasota Magazine

“…  The critical demand for hospital nurses is the result of an aging population combined with staggering workforce attrition. About 34 percent of newly licensed nurses who work in hospitals leave their jobs within two years. And a wave of retirements is coming. Of Florida’s current R.N.s, 44 percent are over the age of 50. The Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition (SNAC)—a pilot project in Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte counties—reports that Florida may face an overall shortage of R.N.s as soon as 2025.

At the same time, Sarasota Memorial and hospitals across the country are pushing to make a B.S.N., a bachelor of science degree in nursing, the standard level of education since the degree is correlated with lower death rates, reduced disease and infection rates, and fewer complications. (Most nurses in the country have a two- to three-year associate of science nursing degree.) Currently, only a third of Southwest Florida nurses have a B.S.N. A national campaign led by the National Academy of Medicine is pushing for 80 percent of nurses to have their B.S.N. by 2020.

“There are millions of associate nurses producing excellent outcomes, but a B.S.N. education is more aimed toward critical thinking and leadership,” says Kate Garber, SNAC’s nurse navigator, who helps students and existing nurses get their B.S.N. …”

Continue Reading:


HRSA Behavioral Health Virtual Job Fair

HRSA Behavioral Health Virtual Job Fair

HRSA Behavioral Health Virtual Job Fair

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

6:45-10:15 p.m. ET



This Job Fair is for YOU!

This Virtual Job Fair is specifically for behavioral health professionals, which includes Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Nursing Professionals, and Physician Assistants (specializing in psychiatry, mental health, or behavioral health). HRSA Virtual Job Fairs are online recruitment events that connect career-seeking clinicians with health care organizations.


After registering, prepare for the Virtual Job Fair by going to the Health Workforce Connector to build your searchable professional profile. Your profile is where you can highlight and share your professional experience, education, and employment preferences with organizations searching for qualified candidates like you! With nearly 5,000 job opportunities throughout nearly 22,000 organizations, the Connector helps future and current health professionals find careers in underserved communities.

  • For current NHSC or NURSE Corps program recipients click here to use your current portal credentials to log in.
  • For all others click here to set up a new account.

Participation is FREE!

At no cost, join the Virtual Job Fair to connect and network with more than 100 National Health Service Corps and NURSE Corps organizations who are providing behavioral, mental and substance abuse care in communities across the nation. You’ll be presented with hundreds of behavioral health opportunities, details about each organization’s benefit packages, their integrated approaches to care, and information about the patient populations they serve.


Nursing Education Fair Jan. 30

Nursing Education Fair Jan. 30

Sandra Letourneau,  Manatee Memorial Hospital Clinical Educator, and Kate Garber, Nurse Education Navigator, at a Nursing Education Fair Jan. 30. Manatee Memorial staff were able to visit with  School of Nursing representatives from:

Chamberlain College of Nursing  

Florida Southwestern State College

Florida State University

Galen College 

Kaplan University

Keiser University   

NOVA Southeastern University   

State College of Florida 

University of South Florida   

University of West Florida 

Walden University 

Webster University 

Western Governors Univ.  


NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program

NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program

Apply for the 2018 NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program – accepting applications through March 8, 2018

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP) offers registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses substantial financial assistance in exchange for full-time service either at a Critical Shortage Facility or an eligible school of nursing.

NURSE Corps LRP awards are subject to the availability of funds.  This notice is a contingency action taken to ensure that, should funds become available for this purpose, applications can be processed and funds awarded in a timely manner. Applicants should note that this Guidance may be cancelled prior to award recommendations in the absence of funding.

Read the 2018 Application and Program Guidance