JU and Baptist Health launch 12 month nursing program

Jacksonville University and Baptist Health are teaming up to launch an accelerated nursing second-degree program that only takes 12 months. This is due to a high demand for nurses because of the pandemic.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nurses are in even higher demand because of the pandemic. Jacksonville University and Baptist Health teamed up to launch an accelerated nursing second-degree program that only takes 12 months to complete and earn a work-promise agreement from Baptist Health upon graduation and licensure.

JU said this 12-month program is a way that rapidly addresses the “ever-increasing need” for qualified nurses in Northeast Florida. That’s in addition to the two nursing programs it already offers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened the demand for talented, qualified nurses to care for Florida’s growing and aging population, especially with tens of thousands of experienced nurses approaching retirement in the next 10 years in our state,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost. “We want to close that gap, and it’s fitting that we will tackle this challenge with our long-time partners at Baptist Health, who first joined us in 1981 to develop and launch Jacksonville University’s school of nursing.”

The application is open for those who are interested. People with a bachelor’s degree in any field are eligible for the accelerated degree program.

JU baptist health nursing program (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

“This program represents one of the most unique and innovative academic program partnerships in our region, made possible by Baptist Health’s commitment to quality health care education and training,” said Dr. Christine Sapienza, provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs at Jacksonville University.

News4Jax got a look inside Jacksonville University’s Keigwin School of Nursing’s Star Lab where traditional nursing students helped deliver a baby from a mannequin. It looks and feels like a hospital and it’s where 35 students part of JU’s accelerated 12-month nursing program will learn.

“They’re going to come in the first three weeks and then I’ll start learning all the basics so they could be ready to go into the clinical setting. They’ll be able to insert Foley’s, IVs, work with the IV pumps,” said Amee Jones, JU’s Star Lab director.

Lindsay Wolf is the Director of Graduate Nursing Programs. Wolf said this program is answering a call. A big part of it – pairing students with accomplished, veteran Baptist Health nurses who guide, mentor, and prepare them for a successful nursing career.

“This partnership is not only going to answer the call quickly to that need for nurses but what is going to do prepare nurses to enter into their role more effectively what we’ve done is strategically taken our curriculum and we’re mapping that out with the Baptist clinical faculty,” said Wolf.

Wolf said while it may be a rigorous curriculum, the unique partnership with Baptist Health is like no other. It allows them to grow tomorrow’s nurses and help students make a successful transition into the workforce.

“These nurses will be socialized into the Baptist culture the Baptist way by these expert faculty,” said Wolf.

At the end of the 12-month program, there will be an opportunity to earn a work-promise agreement with Baptist. The program is expected to begin Fall 2021.


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