University of Central Florida receives $10 million donation for new nursing building

by | Nov 18, 2022

 

  • The University of Central Florida received a $10 million donation this week from Dr. Phillips Charities to aid in the construction of its new nursing facility 
  • The donation contributes towards a $30 million fundraising effort to finance the construction of a nursing research and education facility at UCF
  • The Florida Legislature previously appropriated $29 million toward the estimated $60 million needed to finish construction, with an opening date set for the 2025-2026 academic year
  • The new center will house classroom and research areas as well as the university’s Simulation, Technology, Innovation & Modeling Center, which allows for medical simulation experiences for workforce training

The University of Central Florida received a $10 million donation this week from Dr. Phillips Charities to aid in the construction of the university’s new College of Nursing building in Lake Nona.

The donation contributes towards a $30 million fundraising effort to finance the construction of a nursing research and education facility at UCF. The Florida Legislature previously appropriated $29 million toward the estimated $60 million needed to finish construction, with an opening date set for the 2025-2026 academic year, according to the university.

“Our mission is to give with purpose, and the purpose could not be more clear here — nurses save lives and our community has a great need for more talented nurses,” says Kenneth D. Robinson, president and CEO for Dr. Phillips, Inc. and The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation. “Dr. Phillips Charities is excited to make this investment in UCF to build a stronger educational ecosystem, a pipeline that will provide nursing talent to our region for generations to come.”

Following the completion of the new facility, UCF aims to expand enrollment for new nurses and future nurse educators, increase the number of existing UCF professors, and eventually graduate an additional 150 new nurses into the healthcare workforce annually.

Initial designs for the new facility include classrooms and learning labs and space for UCF’s Simulation, Technology, Innovation & Modeling Center, which allows for medical simulation experiences for workforce training.

With more professors, staff, and refined infrastructure, the UCF will also be able to increase enrollment capacity in its doctorate and master’s programs.

Despite sustained efforts to mitigate the severity of Florida’s current acute nurse shortage, hospitals continue to encounter recruitment and retention issues. In an attempt to reduce long-term consequences, medical association officials and some Florida universities have initiated a number of medical education efforts to provide additional professionals to the state’s medical sector.

The Florida Hospital Association this year conducted a survey of its member institutions, finding an alarming Registered Nurse turnover rate of 25 percent. 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 is expected to grow by 21 percent, while 40 percent of nurses will approach retirement age in the next decade.

Should the shortage continue to burgeon amid a booming state population, healthcare facilities in major urban centers around the state could be rendered inconsistent or inaccessible.

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