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Florida Southern College seeking more property to accommodate increase in nursing program enrollment

Florida Southern sign
Posted at 7:49 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 19:49:16-04

LAKELAND, Fla. — A Polk County college is in need of more space for it’s rapidly growing nursing program.

“One of the most compassionate and hardworking professions. We didn’t choose to be nurses, we’ve been called. Now we have proof with our degree that we are nurses,” said Kelly Farrell, Florida Southern College graduating nursing class of 2021.

Friday Florida Southern College held a virtual pinning ceremony for its graduating nursing class of 2021. The college is seeing a high increase in students wanting to enroll in its nursing program and its partly due to the pandemic.

“As we’ve gone through this year people are really seeing how important the medical workers are to all of us,” said Terry Dennis, Vice President of Finance and Administration.

Dennis said the school is running out of space inside its nursing building. “Right now, we have undergraduate and graduate programs in one building, that’s right on the edge of campus. And we have completely outgrown that building,” he said.

Florida Southern is seeking approval from the City of Lakeland to purchase the former St. Joseph's Academy property, to expand its nursing programs to accommodate its 250 undergraduate and 150 graduate students.

“The graduate program, we’ll move them to the St. Joseph’s area and keep the undergraduate. Therefore, both of the programs will have room to grow,” Dennis said.

Dennis tells me if the purchase is approved, they’ll be saving a Lakeland landmark while also providing workers for one of the most essential professions.

“Enable students to go out and make a meaningful impact on the surrounding community and how better can you do that with nurses,” said Dennis.