Tuition and fees will be paid for some of the University of South Florida College of Nursing (USFCON) accelerated students under a new partnership with Moffitt Cancer Center and the university.
The scholarship includes tuition and fees for the entire program under the condition that students who apply must make a commitment to spend two years of employment at Moffitt after graduation. The partnership’s aim is to bridge the academic-practice gap by blending on-the-job training for student nurses with a structured transition program to the role of the professional nurse.
“We are so happy to be in this partnership with USF. These accelerated students will be a way for us to continue to build our pipeline of nurses for the future. It has been a great relationship working with the Dean and her faculty,” said Jane Fusilero, Moffitt’s chief nursing officer.
USFCON is among the top public institutions, ranked 34th overall nationwide, and is one of the highest recipients in Florida of National Institute of Health funding. Last year USFCON received expected funds of $69.9 million through 2025 to continue the follow-up of study participants in The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in The Young (TEDDY) consortium. TEDDY is the largest multicenter prospective study of young children with genetic susceptibility to type 1 diabetes.
“We are very grateful and excited about this new opportunity through Moffitt Cancer Center for our second-degree nursing students,” said Usha Menon, dean of the USF Health College of Nursing and senior associate vice president for USF Health. “These students cannot always access traditional scholarships available to those attending college for the first time. The Moffitt scholarship will allow our students to focus on their studies in this very targeted pathway to professional practice as a nurse.”
Moffitt’s partnership is the latest in research and health care providers and universities in order to mitigate the ongoing nursing shortage in Florida. In a move similar to Moffitt’s HCA Healthcare donated $1.5 million in April to Florida International University’s (FIU) Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing Health Sciences in a partnership to expand its faculty and offer scholarships to increase enrollment.
The Florida Hospital Association (FHA) recently conducted a survey of its member institutions, finding an alarming Registered Nurse turnover rate of 25 percent, also noting turnover in over a third of its total critical care unit workforce. FHA projects a deficit of 59,100 nurses in Florida by 2035. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for nurses in Florida expects to grow by 21 percent, while 40 percent of nurses will approach retirement age in the next decade. The report also noted that stressful working conditions caused by the pandemic were leading swaths of healthcare workers to resign from positions, citing burnout and fatigue.