Dr Phillips Charities and UCF officials announced a $10 million gift to support the construction of the College of Nursing. This gift will enable UCF to graduate more nurses, address the country’s critical nursing shortage, and promote more incredible innovation and collaboration in Lake Nona’s Medical City.
The UCF College of Medicine and the UCF Lake Nona Medical Center are currently located in the exact 50-acre location that the College of Nursing will eventually call home.
According to Kenneth D. Robinson, president and CEO of Dr Phillips, Inc. and The Dr P. Phillips Foundation, “Our objective is to contribute with purpose, and the purpose could not be more evident here – nurses save lives and our community has a significant need for more qualified nurses.” To strengthen the educational ecosystem and create a pipeline that will supply nursing talent to our region for many generations, Dr Phillips Charities is thrilled to invest in UCF.
According to Alex Martins, chair of the UCF Board of Trustees, “Both Dr Phillips Charities and UCF are rooted in the mission to transform lives, and this generous gift will have a transformational impact on our future nurses and educators, as well as on all in our community who their talents and compassion will touch.”
The kind gift will hasten the effort to raise $30 million to construct a modern structure that will house the College of Nursing’s educational and research endeavours. The about $60 million structure was previously given $29 million by the Florida Legislature during the 2022 legislative session. It’s projected that the new structure will debut during the school year 2025-2026.
“We have a bold vision for the future: to continue offering our community the best possible healthcare.
According to UCF President Alexander N. Cartwright, “Without the lead gift contribution from Dr Phillips Charities, this innovation and effect would not have been feasible. “Our solid relationship and abiding devotion to our community will have a real impact on our community,”
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With a dire scarcity of healthcare workers in the region and the state, the new structure is a much-needed investment. To solve the predicted state shortfall of 37,400 registered nurses (RNs) by 2035, according to the Florida Hospital Association, an extra 2,300 RNs must enter the workforce annually.
Currently, UCF is the State University System institution that produces the most newly certified RNs yearly, with around 260 Knight nurses joining the workforce yearly. To improve its capacity to teach more nurses, UCF has already committed $6.9 million, and more space is required to accommodate the new faculty and students attending.
The institution anticipates increasing enrollment for new nurses and aspiring nurse educators, expanding the number of current UCF professors, and eventually graduating an extra 150 new nurses each year to work in the healthcare sector, mainly in Florida, after the new building is finished. More than 85% of Knight nurses, who have 13,000 alumni to date, reside and work in Florida.
The college will increase its enrollment capacity in its doctorate and master’s degree programmes by adding more faculty, staff, and space. As more advanced practice providers, nurse leaders and executives, and nurse educators are trained through these programmes, the pipeline of nursing faculty necessary to address the nursing shortage is fueled.
According to Mary Lou Sole, dean of the College of Nursing, “No other university is better poised to be a part of the solution to the nursing shortage, as well as the many other healthcare difficulties we face today and will confront in the future.” We are incredibly fortunate to have Dr Phillips Charities as a fantastic community leader today who is assisting in accelerating our efforts.
The College of Nursing’s accredited Simulation, Technology, Innovation & Modeling Center, an international leader in providing high-quality simulation experiences to prepare students for clinical practice, will have expanded space in the new building that will house classrooms as well as cutting-edge learning labs for health assessment, fundamental skills, and virtual reality.
Along with several student study spaces, the plan calls for new research spaces that will include wet and dry labs. The College of Nursing will relocate from its current location at Research Park and have nearly twice as much space when the new building is finished.
Students and faculty will have additional options for cooperation and improved learning and research opportunities thanks to the location on the UCF Academic Health Sciences Campus.
“I am thrilled to be a UCF Knight nurse, working alongside thousands of UCF nursing grads to offer our community compassionate, high-quality care. Here in Central Florida, we affect people’s lives—on our friends, family, and neighbours of you and me. Sayid Yasin, ’22, accelerated second-degree BSN alumnus, says, “I have never felt so fulfilled. There is nothing more uplifting or satisfying than when I provide comfort to a patient and put a smile on their face. Without a doubt, our community needs more Knight nurses to provide care, and the generosity of Dr Phillip’s Charities will make that possible.
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