Grant helps TCC expand nursing program

TCC nursing students.
Photo courtesy

Tallahassee Community College has received a $1 million grant to help combat the
region’s nursing shortage.

On Jan. 5, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made an announcement that he would be
allocating $79 million for nursing education programs in Florida. According to the Florida
Department of Education, the mega grant is a part of Gov. DeSantis’ vow to make
Florida the top state in workforce education by 2030.

“These awards will meet a critical need of our state by ensuring we continue to have
high-quality nursing graduates and by creating new opportunities for Floridians
interested in healthcare,” DeSantis said at a news conference.

In 1970, TCC’s nursing program was one of the first one- and two-year occupational
programs that were added to the curriculum. Today, the program continues to grow, with
more and more students waiting to get in, which means the school needs more faculty
and resources.

Calandra Stringer, the vice president for academic affairs at TCC, told WTXL the money
the college is accepting will give it the opportunity to double its nursing faculty.

“We know we want to meet the demand but … in order to be able to accommodate
different space needs more simulation space is needed,” Stringer said. “We knew we
would need additional funds, so we are grateful the governor came through and met
that need for all the institutions.”

Alexis Ivey, a nursing student at TCC, has been in the program for about two years. She
has high hopes for what TCC is doing.

“My experience in the nursing program has been wonderful so far; of course, the work
could get a little heavy sometimes but I am able to manage,” Ivey said. “I would love to
see the nursing program interact with the school more like with different activities where
we can educate TCC students on personal health. I would like to see the money go to
the students and more resources.”

The 23-year-old hopes to become a doctor and open her own practice to treat and
educate women.

According to the Florida Department of Education, Education Commissioner Manny
Diaz says the state is in full support in producing more healthcare professionals and
assisting them with their education.

“Florida is proud to support the education of future nurses, who help save lives and
provide quality care every single day,” Diaz said in a release. “We are ensuring that
Florida’s future nursing workforce is filled with highly trained and dedicated