UCF, AdventHealth, and Orlando Health join forces to counter Florida’s nursing shortage

by | Jun 26, 2023



  • The University of Central Florida (UCF) has secured $10 million in funding from AdventHealth and Orlando Health to construct a new UCF College of Nursing building at Lake Nona.
  • AdventHealth and Orlando Health will establish scholars programs in their names to offer tuition assistance to senior bachelor of science nursing students and provide summer internship opportunities.
  • The new nursing facility will allow UCF to expand its nursing enrollment by at least 50 percent and help alleviate Florida’s nursing shortage, which is projected to reach a deficit of 60,000 nurses by 2035.

In an effort to alleviate Florida’s ongoing nursing shortage, the University of Central Florida (UCF) has secured $10 million in funding from AdventHealth and Orlando Health to construct a new UCF College of Nursing building at Lake Nona

With a $5 million dollar investment from both healthcare systems, the pair of partnerships intend to support the construction of a new UCF College of Nursing building at Lake Nona. The facility aims to graduate hundreds of additional nurses annually to meet the proliferating healthcare needs of the region and state. AdventHealth and Orlando Health have each contributed $5 million to the project.

In addition to their financial contributions, AdventHealth and Orlando Health will establish scholars programs in their names to offer tuition assistance to senior bachelor of science nursing students, as well as the establishment of summer internship opportunities.

“Ensuring we have well-educated, highly trained and skilled nurses to meet Florida’s growing health care needs is a pressing challenge for the entire health care sector,” says Randy Haffner, CEO of AdventHealth Florida. “Partnering with leading educational institutions such as UCF is absolutely vital to ensuring these efforts are successful.”

With approximately 260 newly licensed registered nurses graduating annually, UCF currently produces the highest number of RNs among all institutions in the State University System. According to university metrics, approximately 85 percent of UCF’s 16,000 nursing alumni live and work in Florida.

With the new nursing facility in place, UCF estimates it will be able to expand its nursing enrollment by at least 50 percent and play a palpable role in remedying the state’s nursing shortage. The university is actively seeking philanthropic investments to reach its $70 million fundraising goal, with support already received from various organizations, including Dr. Phillips Charities, Helene Fuld Health Trust, Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation, Parrish Medical Center, and VNA Foundation.

“Our longstanding partnerships with AdventHealth and Orlando Health have a wide-reaching impact on the community, from supporting a quality education of our students who join the workforce and provide compassionate, skilled care to funding faculty research and innovation to improve outcomes,” says Mary Lou Sole, dean of the UCF College of Nursing.

According to the university, UCF’s College of Nursing accepted 100 students beyond its usual enrollment level in an attempt to keep pace with the state’s demand for new nurses.

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. Moreover, according to a recent report by the Florida Hospital Association, Florida faces a dire nurse staffing shortage that will result in a nursing workforce deficit of 60,000 nurses by 2035.

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