UF strengthens recruitment, retention efforts to address nursing shortages in Jacksonville

The new UF Health Jacksonville urgent care facility (Courtesy of UF Health Jacksonville)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida College of Nursing announced it is strengthening its recruitment and retention efforts to combat Florida’s nursing shortage.

One of those efforts includes its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, which allows students with a bachelor’s degree or higher in another field to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing at its Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses.

“We at the College of Nursing are proud to play a significant role in not only preparing nurses to enter the workforce, but also preparing nurses who will meet the challenges of health care head-on,” said UF College of Nursing interim Dean Debra Lyon, Ph.D.

University officials said the Jacksonville campus recently welcomed its largest cohort of students in the accelerated program, with an increase of 38% from 2022.

According to UF, throughout the past seven years, 115 nursing students were hired at UF Health Jacksonville and nearly 70% are still employed, which the college said is “a significant number compared with the national turnover rate of 24% for nurses after just one year of employment.”

UF said nurses are in high demand especially after so many left the field during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, Florida’s older population is growing, which also means an increasing need for nurses.

To learn more about the accelerated nursing degree visit nursing.ufl.edu/programs/bachelor-of-science-bsn/accelerated-bsn/

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Marcela joined News4JAX in 2023. She grew up in Mexico and eventually moved to California to pursue her dream of becoming a journalist. Now, she is a proud San Diego State University alumna who has many years of experience in TV and digital journalism.