Tampa General Hospital commits $4.4 Million to strengthen USF nursing education

by | Sep 28, 2023

  • Tampa General Hospital (TGH) is investing $4.4 million in the University of South Florida across six years to combat the nursing shortage crisis by establishing a new nursing simulation lab.
  • The “Tampa General Hospital USF Health College of Nursing Simulation Lab” will enhance nursing education at USF and offer advanced facilities, including clinical examination rooms, simulation labs, high-fidelity simulation rooms, and debriefing classrooms.
  • The lab’s main purpose is to provide students with simulated medical scenarios to refine their skills and address the nursing workforce deficit in Florida.

Tampa General Hospital (TGH), in conjunction with the University of South Florida (USF), announced on Thursday an investment of $4.4 million across six years into the university to establish a new nursing simulation lab with a goal of remedying the state’s nursing workforce shortage.

The new facility, named the “Tampa General Hospital USF Health College of Nursing Simulation Lab,” is designed to improve nursing education at USF, which is currently viewed as one of the best in Florida. The facility will feature 12 clinical examination rooms, four simulation learning labs, a multipurpose learning lab, high-fidelity simulation rooms, debriefing classrooms, and control rooms, according to TGH.

Per university descriptions, The lab’s primary purpose will be to facilitate simulated medical scenarios, including monitoring vital signs, ensuring patient safety, and handling transition of care, allowing students to refine skills that will be used in their careers.

“Across the state and around the nation, we’re facing a crisis when it comes to our nursing workforce. There will not be enough trained nurses to fill our need to care for patients. That’s why we’re expanding access to education and training for Tampa Bay nursing students – to grow our pipeline of essential health care professionals in this region,” said John Couris, TGH president and CEO.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the U.S. is projected to experience a shortage of registered nurses in the coming years, resulting in a deficit of 130,000 nurses by 2025. Stateside, Florida is projected to see a nursing workforce deficit of 60,000 nurses by 2035, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

“As the demand for nurses increases in Florida and across the country, it’s important we endeavor to fill the talent pipeline with capable, dedicated, and passionate nurses,” said USF Foundation CEO Jay Stroman.”

USF has been at the forefront of efforts to address the nursing shortage through academic initiatives. However, earlier this summer, Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed the expansion of its Sarasota-Manatee campus, which included $20 million in funding for a new academic nursing facility.

The establishment of a Nursing/STEM building on the satellite campus would have doubled the size of its nursing program, introduced new majors in healthcare fields, and provided clinical laboratories and research facilities on campus, according to the university.

University leaders were confident enough in the project being greenlit that they announced the hiring of HuntonBrady and Ayers Saint Gross in April as principal architectural firms to construct the facility, going so far as to publicly release renderings.

“We are thrilled to reach this important milestone in the planning and design of our new academic and research building, which is a centerpiece of our campus’s expansion,” campus Regional Chancellor Karen Holbrook said of the facility in April.


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