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.