Jacksonville University is launching new program to get nurses into hospitals quicker

Jacksonville, Fla. — Jacksonville University is launching a new program this fall to meet the nation’s nursing shortage by getting nurses into hospitals quicker.

The pandemic has only brought more attention to the nursing shortage as the need for nurses goes up.

Right now, Jacksonville University tells Action News Jax the goal is to get qualified nurses into hospitals in just 12 months.

Thao Tran, a pediatric nurse at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, has worked through the pandemic.

“It’s very scary not just for nurses, it’s a time of a lot of chaos and fear,” Tran said.

Rezwana Chowdhury is another nurse with Baptist helping people in the COVID unit. Because of the virus she’s been taking on even more patients.

“Saving peoples’ lives. It’s my utmost priority and I had done that so I feel very proud doing that,” Chowdhury said.

Both women went through Jacksonville University’s Keigwin School of Nursing back in 2015.

Dr. Leigh Hart, the head of Jacksonville University’s nursing facility told us that 30,000 nurses are expected to retire in our area within the next 5 to 10 years.

The university was approached by Baptist about how to address that problem and that helped set this 12-month accelerated program into motion.

“We tend to be older in age range so just in the national progression of that we need to make sure we have a strong pipeline of people to replace us as we reach retirement age,” Dr. Hart said.

JU uses virtual technology and simulated labs that pair students with realistic patient situations.

It’s this sort of learning that helped make Chowdhury and Tran become the nurses that they are today.

“Having that background, have a solid understanding really helps us to manage patients better,” Chowdhury said.

“Every day I come to come to work and I go home and I just think I make a difference. I mean regardless of small or big I feel like I make a difference,” Tran said.

The 12 month accelerated nursing program begins in the fall. The cost varies per student but JU said it works with each student to help with loans and grants.

For more information on the program you can click HERE.