$1 Million in Federal Funds to Help Train More Nurses
A new appropriation from the 116th Congress will help BayCare and its partners train more nurses to serve West Central Florida.
Staffing shortages are a problem facing the health care industry, including hospitals and health systems. A 2021 Florida Hospital Association report predicts Florida will face a shortage of more than 59,000 nurses by 2035. That’s why, for years, BayCare has partnered with local educational institutions to support workforce development for health care.
Now, thanks to the Community Project Funding (CPF) process initiated by former Congressman Charlie Crist, BayCare and its partners will have the resources to train even more.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee last year, Crist secured $963,260 through the CPF process for the workforce training for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. Only state and local governments and eligible non-profit entities are permitted to receive funding. Crist represented Florida’s 13th congressional district, which includes St. Petersburg, Largo and Clearwater, from 2017–2022.
The funding received will aid expansion of BayCare’s Healthcare Workforce Development project in three main areas: the Patient Care Technician (PCT) Partnership Program, the Pre-licensure Registered Nurse (RN) Partnership Program and the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Partnership Program. The funds will be instrumental to bringing more nurses into the field to care for our community. BayCare anticipates training 30 additional practical nurses, 120 additional PCTs and 12 additional RN first year students.
“As we continue to serve individuals and communities in the Tampa Bay area, creating a pipeline for a skilled healthcare workforce is critical,” said Jackie Munro, vice president of nursing systems & resources for BayCare. “We are honored to have been chosen by Representative Crist as a recipient of these much-needed funds to attract and retain aspiring nurses who will live and work right here in Pinellas County.”
BayCare’s programs are customized to help train and support nurses and other health care workers in delivering safe and high-quality care. Through educational partnerships, BayCare hopes to increase the availability of clinical sites for nurse training, increase the supply of qualified faculty and campus resources for nursing programs, and facilitate opportunities for nurses to enhance their education, including LPNs working towards a career as an RN. In expanding these programs, BayCare will strengthen the existing academic-practice partnerships between Pinellas Technical College (PTC), Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) and St. Petersburg College (SPC), and meet the growing needs of Pinellas residents seeking health care services.