News Section

Paulette’s Nursing Journey: Back to School

fullsizerender-2Most nurses would think Paulette Sita RN is sitting pretty!  Paulette, a Case Manager Supervisor, and husband Collins, a pharmacist, both are employed at Fawcett Memorial Hospital where they even get to have lunch together. Paulette’s nursing background includes expertise in GYN ONC at Sarasota Memorial and in hospice care at Tidwell hospice prior to the last several years as a Case Manager.  But this accomplished professional woman is not about to rest on her laurels.  It’s back to school for her!

This mother of four says “my main thing is for the children to see that if I can do it, they can do it.  It is so imperative to get a college education and anytime in life you can further yourself in whatever direction you want to take in your field. Shelby, 25, Eion, 20, Eric, 19 and Gavin, 16 were really young when I finished my first degree.  I see this as providing a positive role model for them and they will realize how much work is going into it. If mom can do it, they can too!”

“I am excited and a little bit nervous.  It’s been 13 years since I finished my RN and I was thinking about going back to school.  Bonnie Ziai, RN MSN, Director of Education, arranged a university day at Fawcett in June and I met the SNAC Nurse Education Navigator that day.  She steered me to a RN to MSN program with the case management specialty from American Sentinel University.  It was like fate was speaking to me!”


Congratulations Suncoast Technical College School of Nursing LPN Grads

Suncoast Technical College is celebrating the August 4th, 2016 graduation class of  29 new practical nurses.  These smiling faces will be completing their Florida State Board examinations and become Licensed Practical Nurses in the next few weeks.  The class was quickly engaged in local healthcare facilities.  40% of these graduates were hired prior to graduation!  SNAC can also report that over 60% of these graduates have already applied to begin the next level of nursing through an associate or bachelor’s degree program to become a registered nurse.  Our congratulations to each of these new practical nurses and to the nursing faculty at Suncoast Technical College.  Well done!

STC LPN Grads 2

STC LPN Grads 1



The Patterson Foundation Shares: Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition Success by the Numbers



The Patterson Foundation (TPF) focuses on realizing aspirations by strengthening people, organizations and communities. Improving health is an aspiration shared by many in our region, which is why the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition (SNAC), a coalition of leaders working to improve health care systems and health outcomes, has gained momentum over the past couple of years.

As it evolves, SNAC, which focuses its efforts in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties, is successfully moving key indicators. But its success? That’s founded upon so much more.

Desired Successes
SNAC’s aspirations are lofty. It seeks to create change in academic and healthcare systems so more nurses have higher levels of education. Studies show that when more bedside nurses have a baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN), mortality and morbidity decline. SNAC’s primary goal, is to increase the number and percentage of BSN’s to reduce morbidity and mortality.

Outcomes Needed
Thirty-two percent of nurses in this region have BSNs. The national goal is 80 percent. To move that needle closer to 80 percent, greater awareness and engagement are needed so academic and healthcare systems work together, not as silos. Barriers to nurses advancing their education must be dissolved and relationships must be strengthened so organizations are working together for the benefit of the community.

… Continue Reading on The Patterson Foundation’s Innovation Blog


Nathalie’s Nursing Dream: A Midlife Career Change

Nathalie Barr

Imagine this. You are 38, single, with 2 children, your 15-year- old son and 20-year- old daughter living at home. After many years of being a court reporter, you decided to finally go after the dream you have “always wanted”. You get admitted and progress through Hillsboro Community College AS nursing program to the last semester. For 2 years you have been juggling work, children, home and commuting to school and clinical days.

You finally get a great job in health care as a multi -skilled technician in intensive care working part time. The environment is super stimulating. The nurses are teaching a lot. You are truly enjoying being in intensive care. It’s so fascinating you find yourself working too much. As a result, you fail the last semester of nursing school.

Wow! A major emotional and financial setback. What to do now? Pick yourself up and keep going just like Nathalie Barr.

This strong young woman is spending the summer reviewing her textbooks and notes in preparation for repeat of semester 4 for this fall. Her determination is to become a registered nurse by January 2017. Eventually she would like to become a nurse anesthetist. Nathalie feels she can complete that goal in about six years. “I have learned that time will pass regardless of what you do, so you need to make the most of it. Now I see that that you just need to be consistent in pursuing your main goals.”

Nathalie credits the Community Foundation of Sarasota, Pell grants, and the encouragement of the Nurse Education Navigator as essential to her journey. Perhaps you are thinking of a career change in midlife like the one Nathalie will soon accomplish. It’s a big decision which takes major commitment and determination.

Nathalie Barr and is an exemplar of someone who chose to do just that. Watch her succeed as SNAC follows her through the next few months. January 2017, here we come!


Nursing is what Holly DiDomenico wanted and nursing is what she’s getting

Nursing is what Holly DiDomenico wanted and nursing is what she’s getting

Tough circumstances give us two choices. We can get bitter and quit. Or we can stand up and fight. When we choose to stand and fight it does not guarantee that there won’t be moments of weakness, moments that we stumble and fall or make a wrong turn. But in these fragile moments, we can choose to stand up and keep going, wiser, more focused and better equipped for the path ahead.


SNAC Welcomes new Nurse Navigator

Kate Garber EmailSNAC introduces a new nurse Education Navigator, Kate Garber. Dr. Bonnie Hesselberg is now serving at Keiser University / Sarasota as Program Director of the BSN Nursing programs. Kate’s background as nursing faculty in AS and BSN programs and as staff development director at Blake Medical Center give her a unique understanding of the educational needs of professional nurses today.

The NEN role is to assist anyone initiating or advancing a nursing career. Kate Garber’s services are provided FREE by the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition SNAC, a local coalition comprised of nursing academia, healthcare employers, and community volunteers. Kate will be your mentor, coach and concierge as you continue to develop your nursing career; right up to a doctorate!

You can contact Kate or schedule an appointment online by clicking here.


University Day for ECH Nurses

Leigh Lykins RN MSN Director Education at Englewood Community Hospital hosts a SNAC sponsored University Day for ECH nurses today. Make your appointment today to further your nursing career