All posts by snac4fl

FREE Continuing Education for Nurses – Frontline Nursing During COVID-19: A New Paradigm

Frontline Nursing During COVID-19: A New Paradigm presented by University of South Florida College of Nursing is a free continuing education series for nurses.

The series is designed to provide frontline nurses with the tools needed to empower them to advocate for their safety and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to philanthropists David Kotok and Christine Schlesinger, the four-part educational webinar series is offered free and nurses can receive 4 CEUs.

Watch trailer >>

Learn more or enroll now >>


NEW: SNAC $2500 BSN Scholarship – Applications due March 1, 2021

We are pleased to share the application for the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition’s 2021 BSN Scholarship opportunity.  This is a $2,500 scholarship opportunity for individuals in an accredited BSN nursing program. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2021.

Information about the scholarship can be found on the Community Foundation of Sarasota County website.  Be sure to scroll down to locate the link to the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition BSN Scholarship.

The application can be found here online.  You will need to register for an account in order to access the application.

Please consider sharing this opportunity and application link with anyone who may benefit from this opportunity.


SNAC Success Story: “I do believe that if you care passionately you can do it!” – Sue Zawacki RN BSN

November 20, 2017 was the first interaction between Sue Zawacki RN BSN and the SNAC Nurse Education Navigator. Sue, a professional registered nurse for decades, was interested in going back to graduate school to obtain her masters degree. We discussed her goals and a variety of programs which might be a good fit. She investigated her options and decided the time was right for her to forge ahead to achieve the dream she had for years. Fast forward to August 8, 2020 : Sue graduates with her master of science in nursing leadership from the University of West Florida.  GPA 4.0 !

The combination of desire and the right moment in life can lead to marvelous outcomes.

When I made the decision to go back to school my youngest son asked “ Are you going through a midlife crisis?”  All three of my boys became really big supporters. Everyone was on board for her. As a clinical vice president for Tidewell Hospice,  Sue soon found that both coworkers and her boss were incredibly supportive.  “I found that in every single class, I could use what I was learning at work.”

“I was far from the normal traditional student, but I had thought about it for years and I finally decided to just do it. It was an amazing learning experience. You don’t realize what you don’t know till you do it. Everything I do now is different after being in a research-based program. I think differently, I write differently, and I talk differently. The impact is profound.”

“The curriculum is thorough and well organized and I appreciated the structure and deadlines of the various courses.  The University of West Florida is set up for you to be successful. I feel like I’m never going to be as busy as I was during graduate school, but I learned an incredible amount and highly recommend this program to BSN RNs who are looking to go back to school. It takes a ton of work and a huge commitment but there is no doubt that everyone is working full-time and most of my cohort students are actually frontline bedside nurses.”

“I was fortunate to receive scholarships from the Charlotte Community Foundation which helped tremendously with tuition. The scholarship required that I participate in care with the Virginia B Andes Volunteer free clinic. What a humbling experience to serve the underserved. I had lived in Charlotte County for 25 years as a resident and professional nurse and yet did not understand the needs of these people. I decided to stay on as a volunteer there after completing the required hours for my scholarship.”

Sue’s future plans include publishing the work she is currently doing with a task force to implement shared governance in a Hospice setting. “Shared governance is common in Magnet hospitals but almost unheard of in Hospice, so this is an exciting opportunity to share that process with the nursing community. I am also precepting a coworker who is now in the practicum for her leadership capstone project. I just love that front line nurses are interested in advancing their degree and Tidewell Hospice is incredibly supportive.”

So what are the 2 takeaways from the Sue Zawacki success story that can be meaningful to you?

Sue:  “I do believe that if you care passionately you can do it!”

NEN: The combination of desire and the right moment in life can lead to marvelous outcomes.

Contact SNAC’s Nurse Education Navigator today and get your dreams going!


WEBINAR – 2021 Nurse Corps: Special Funding for Nurses Specializing in Women’s Health

Did you know?

This year the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program has allocated up to $5 million for applicants working as women’s health nurse practitioners (NPs), certified nurse midwives, or certified RNs in obstetrics and gynecology.

The application cycle closes on February 25.

Join the webinar to learn about loan repayment assistance for nurses specializing in women’s health.

Register Today:


SNAC Success Story: Don’t let anything stop you! – Dorothy Neufeld, Associate Professor of Nursing

“I still almost can’t believe I’m done!”

“Don’t let anything stop you! Find the support you need and don’t delay the decision because you think you’re too busy. If it’s important to you, then just do it and don’t listen to the naysayers.”

Rome: a really cool experience

In this SNAC Success Story, Dorothy Neufeld, Associate Professor of Nursing, is looking back on her experience of completing a doctorate of nursing practice from Duquesne University while simultaneously teaching full-time in the associate degree program at State College of Florida.

“It was helpful for me to be a student at the same time I was a teacher! Everything I encountered to complete my doctorate was happening to my students during the Covid crisis. It was affecting me similarly to them and those parallels have helped me to understand the difficulties for all types of students during this strange year. It was an emotionally tough year. During the daytime while I was teaching I have to be strong and supportive to my students who are very concerned about not being able to graduate on time or even at all!  And then in the night time, when I was online completing my doctoral courses, I found I needed the same support from my nursing faculty.”

“Pick a good university that has a philosophy similar to yours. One of the reasons I chose Duquesne is that it allowed me to study abroad and I wanted that experience. I was able to go to Rome and other places in Italy and Sicily to compare and contrast our healthcare systems.We experienced outreach to the refugees and the homeless and elderly as well as acute care hospitals within Palermo and Rome. It’s amazing to go into a building built in the 1500s that is currently serving as an acute care hospital.”

“The most important way I am using my doctoral education as I teach now is to incorporate evidence-based practice and research into all of the content. I teach medical surgical and pediatric contact for the second year students in the associate degree nursing program at state college of Florida.”

“Nursing Faculty has had to become very creative and innovative during this COVID time of necessary alternatives for education.”

SNAC is pleased to have awarded Dorothy a Doctoral scholarship to complete her Doctoral degree. Seven local Nursing faculty have now received assistance for graduate school from SNAC funders.


Nurse Corps LRP Application is Now Open

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has opened the 2021 Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP) application cycle.


Nurse Corps LRP offers funding to registered nurses (RNs), advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), and nursing faculty for payment of their qualifying educational loans. In exchange, recipients honor a two-year service commitment at a health care facility with a critical shortage of nurses or an eligible school of nursing in the case of nurse faculty. Additional loan repayment is available for a third year of service.

This year, Nurse Corps LRP has set aside special funding for nurses and nurse faculty who specialize in women’s and behavioral health:

  • Up to $5 million has been allocated for applicants working as women’s health nurse practitioners (NPs), certified nurse midwives, or certified RNs in obstetrics and gynecology.
  • Up to 50 percent of the remaining available funds has been allocated for NPs and up to 10 percent for nurse faculty. Of the 50 percent allocated for NPs, up to 20 percent is available for psychiatric NPs.

Before applying, review the Application and Program Guidance (APG) for information on eligibility and requirements.

The application cycle closes on February 25.


SNAC Success Story: Don’t Hesitate! – Angela Vitale PhD

Don’t hesitate!

Those are the first two words of advice coming from Angela Vitale PhD. Angela just graduated in August 2020 with her PhD in Nursing education from Walden University. Her four-year journey started in 2016 and she embarked on it while having two young children not yet in high school and working full-time as faculty at Florida Southwestern State College associate degree program in nursing.

This is one determined and hard-working woman!

Angela had already earned a Master of Science in Nursing education from Walden and that experience helped with her choice of university but she did look at others before making the decision. “There are only a few PhD programs in nursing education, four or five in the United States, and this one happened to fit my schedule better because of the weekend long residencies versus full week residencies.” Congruency with a work schedule and home life is one of the most important aspects in choosing a curriculum and a university..

“So many people are overwhelmed because they don’t want to think about the time needed to complete a doctoral degree and dissertation. But if you break it down into parts and work each part separately it will finally come together and you will have accomplished your goal! It was encouraging to see how many people around me were cheerleading and helping. Faculty members would volunteer to pick up work for me and of course the support of my family was essential.”

Equally essential is the financial ability to go back to school. “I am so grateful for all SNAC did, the finances were amazing. The SNAC team made me feel so supported and elevated. That energy pushes you to get it done and keep going.”

So, what did you learn about yourself during this journey Angela? “Oh my gosh I learned way more than I ever would have imagined but first and foremost I learned how capable I am of doing whatever I set my mind to. Now I encourage everyone to go back to school. We need so many prepared nursing faculty to teach the next generation of nurses. We have so much wisdom to pass on and we must build talent and engender expertise in our professional nurses.”

Angela contributed to Nursing education research by investigating The Impact of Faculty Bullying on Associate Degree Nursing Students. A topic of concern in nursing schools and health care facilities across the country, she surveyed recently graduated nurses to determine perceptions and feelings.

You can review her findings at this link.

“The Impact of Faculty Bullying on Associate Degree Nursing Students” by Angela M. Vitale – ScholarWorks Bullying is prevalent in the profession of nursing, impacting the quality of health care and health care costs. The foundation of bullying, in the profession of nursing, may be attributed to bullying behaviors in nursing academia among nursing faculty and nursing students. Using Bandura’s social learning theory, the purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between bullying …

Angela Vitale PhD recommends “Don’t hesitate”. Contact your SNAC nurse education navigator today and get started on considerations for your advanced nursing degree. Don’t hesitate!


Sarasota Scene Feature: SMH-Venice Chief Nursing Officer Named a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing

Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition is proud to celebrate the outstanding success of our member Dr. Jean Lucas recently selected as a 2020 Fellow into the The American Academy of Nursing.  Dr. Lucas has provided leadership and expertise to SNAC since its inception 7 years ago. Congratulations to Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Venice Chief Nursing Officer Jean Marie Lucas, PhD, MBA, APRN, NEA-BC.

Venice Chief Nursing Officer Jean Marie Lucas, PhD, MBA, APRN, NEA-BC

Originally Published in Sarasota Scene:

“The American Academy of Nursing recently selected Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Venice Chief Nursing Officer Jean Marie Lucas, PhD, MBA, APRN, NEA-BC, to join its prestigious 2020 Class of Fellows, a group of 230 distinguished nursing leaders from around the nation who have made significant contributions to health care.

The Academy’s Fellows, chosen through a competitive, rigorous application process, are regarded as nursing’s most accomplished leaders in education, management, practice and research. Fellows represent association executives; university presidents, chancellors and deans; elected officials; state and federal political appointees; hospital chief executives and vice presidents for nursing; nurse consultants; and researchers and entrepreneurs.

“Their work, across many fields of expertise, exemplifies the power of nursing knowledge in creating meaningful change,” said Academy President Eileen Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN.

Lucas was named chief nursing officer of Sarasota Memorial’s new hospital in Venice in 2019.  Now under construction, the facility is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2021. 

Previously, Lucas served as associate chief nursing officer of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System’s 839-bed flagship hospital in Sarasota. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of many programs to enhance patient care and quality, including a Trauma Center and the launch of disease-specific programs, integrative therapies, telehealth, behavioral health intervention team and other services. Lucas also has played a key role in nursing recruitment, training, research and professional development initiatives at SMH and regionally …” Continue Reading on