New Partnership Creates Nursing Pipeline
Eight top nursing students from Seminole Stage College of Florida are starting the year getting hands-on experience caring for seriously ill patients at Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital.
They are the first group of general nursing students to come through the hospital as part of Orlando Health South Seminole’s Dedicated Education Unit (DEU), a new partnership with Seminole State to address a nursing shortage that has been a challenge for hospitals across the country.
“We are seeing unprecedented demand for healthcare that has created a real need for nurses with the high-level skills to care for some of our sickest patients,” says Brigit Zamora, chief nursing officer at Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital. “With the pandemic, that challenge is even greater, but we’re thrilled to have a partner like Seminole State College to work with us on creative solutions to bring their top students to the workforce as seamlessly and as well-prepared as possible.”
Each semester, the DEU will welcome eight Seminole State College nursing students to complete an intensive practicum in the hospital. They will be assigned to work alongside experienced nursing preceptors, or mentors, in key areas of the hospital where the need for skilled nursing is greatest. The nursing students will begin working in Orlando Health South Seminole’s progressive care unit, a step below the intensive care unit, and will have opportunities to shadow in other departments of the hospital in order to diversify their experience. In turn, the partnership will also create opportunities for preceptors to bring their experience and knowledge into the classroom by becoming adjunct nursing professors at Seminole State.
“Our dedicated and talented faculty are educating some of the best and brightest nursing students anywhere in Central Florida,” said Nancy Gasper, Dean of Nursing. “This unique partnership with Orlando Health, which complements our classroom and simulation training, is creating opportunities for our students to learn some of the real-world skills they need to quickly transition into their careers caring for the patients in our community who need it most.”
The first group of DEU nursing students began their rotation at Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital January 11, coinciding with the beginning of the spring semester at Seminole State College. Annually, the hospital expects to have 24 nursing students participate in the program, providing advanced training in skills such as, advanced cardiac life support, phlebotomy, and electrocardiogram interpretation.