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Grant helps TCC expand nursing program

By Mikiyah Everett and published by

Tallahassee Community College has received a $1 million grant to help combat the region’s nursing shortage.

On Jan. 5, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made an announcement that he would be allocating $79 million for nursing education programs in Florida. According to the Florida Department of Education, the mega grant is a part of Gov. DeSantis’ vow to make Florida the top state in workforce education by 2030.

“These awards will meet a critical need of our state by ensuring we continue to have high-quality nursing graduates and by creating new opportunities for Floridians interested in healthcare,” DeSantis said at a news conference.

In 1970, TCC’s nursing program was one of the first one- and two-year occupational programs that were added to the curriculum. Today, the program continues to grow, with more and more students waiting to get in, which means the school needs more faculty and resources.

Calandra Stringer, the vice president for academic affairs at TCC, told WTXL the money the college is accepting will give it the opportunity to double its nursing faculty.

“We know we want to meet the demand but … in order to be able to accommodate different space needs more simulation space is needed,” Stringer said. “We knew we would need additional funds, so we are grateful the governor came through and met that need for all the institutions.”

Alexis Ivey, a nursing student at TCC, has been in the program for about two years. She has high hopes for what TCC is doing.

“My experience in the nursing program has been wonderful so far; of course, the work could get a little heavy sometimes but I am able to manage,” Ivey said. “I would love to see the nursing program interact with the school more like with different activities where we can educate TCC students on personal health. I would like to see the money go to the students and more resources.”

The 23-year-old hopes to become a doctor and open her own practice to treat and educate women.

According to the Florida Department of Education, Education Commissioner Manny Diaz says the state is in full support in producing more healthcare professionals and assisting them with their education.

“Florida is proud to support the education of future nurses, who help save lives and provide quality care every single day,” Diaz said in a release. “We are ensuring that Florida’s future nursing workforce is filled with highly trained and dedicated professionals.”

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