New partnership allows EWU students to receive UF nursing degrees

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Students at Edward Waters University will soon have the opportunity to gain a nursing degree through the University of Florida’s College of Nursing, the top nursing program in the state.

A signing celebration took place Wednesday afternoon, and this comes as the nation faces a critical nursing shortage.

The first class will be welcomed in May 2023.

“It’s great for our students,” EWU President Dr. A. Zachary Faison Jr. said. “It’s great for Jacksonville. It’s great for our state.”

EWU is the state’s first historically Black college or university (HBCU).

This is the first partnership between an HBCU and UF College of Nursing.

Five students from Edward Waters University will be admitted to the UF College of Nursing’s Accelerated B.S.N. program — at the UF Health Jacksonville campus.

The program is designed for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree or higher in another field — to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

EWU scholars majoring in biological sciences would follow the typical curricular requirements. Prerequisite courses for admission to the nursing program can be taken at EWU prior to entering the nursing program.

“I feel great because I want to become a traveling nurse, so I just think it’s a good opportunity for us,” said EWU freshman Te’Zarria Richardson.

EWU does not have a nursing program. The partnership will allow underrepresented students to gain access to nursing education while helping toward the nationwide nursing shortage.

“We’re just looking forward to their students becoming both University of Florida graduates, as well as EWU graduates,” said UF President Dr. W. Kent Fuchs.

The UF College of Nursing is increasing enrollment at both their Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses.

In Jacksonville, enrollment in the Accelerated B.S.N. program is expected to double by 2025 — from 40 to 80 students.

Expanded enrollment at the College of Nursing’s Jacksonville and Gainesville campuses, as well as scholarships for EWU students with financial need, will be provided by the state’s Pipeline funding.

UF will receive $3.6 million in recurring state funding, which will be used to increase enrollment across all programs, increase faculty numbers, provide student scholarships, and more.

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