NewsPinellas County


St. Pete nursing school and hospital team up to tackle nursing shortage

Florida's nursing shortage expected to get worse
Posted at 11:46 AM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 03:12:07-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida has a nursing shortage. The problem is about to get worse.

Florida is among the top states in the country experiencing a nursing shortage. Combined with Texas and California, the three states account for around 40% of open nursing positions in the United States, according to Rasmussen College. More than 40% of Florida nurses are approaching retirement age in the next 10 years, according to the Florida Center for Nursing.

That is one reason Galen College of Nursing is teaming up with Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg to launch a partnership and a new campus for the nursing school right at the hospital.

The first class of students will attend the Galen campus at Northside Hospital starting July 8.

"The integration of a campus at a hospital provides our students with more exposure to clinical practice, enhancing their learning and expertise," explained Mark Vogt, Galen's Chief Executive Officer. "The new Northside Hospital location will allow students an up-close look at real-world nursing, which is invaluable to their education."

Nursing students will work directly with healthcare providers on campus.

Galen College hosted an open house to show the community their new campus at Northside Hospital on Tuesday night.

ABC Action News found out several of our local hospitals are already needing to hire a large number of nurses.

  • Baycare Health has the most openings at just over 400 open spots for registered nurses.
  • AdventHealth Tampa has close to 90 nursing job openings.
  • Tampa General Hospital has around 100 job openings for RNs and LPNs.
  • Brandon Regional Hospital has around 30 open positions.

Nursing educators are hopeful unique new programs, including the partnership between Galen and Northside Hospital, will help to bring in more prospective students to fill the nursing shortages in Florida and in Tampa Bay.

“The demand for nursing has never been this high. We are hopeful this partnership will alleviate some of the shortages. It's a great opportunity for students to get to see what its really like to work in a hospital," Galen College CEO Mark Vogt explained.

Valerie Powell-Stafford, the CEO of Northside Hospital believes the partnership will benefit the hospital as well.

“It will help us create a pipeline for talented and compassionate nurses that will help care for our patients," Powell-Stafford added.

To apply for the nursing program at Galen College, click here.