Seminole State partners with AdventHealth to address nursing shortage

Public and private sector partnerships are essential to fill the workforce pipeline

Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Written by: Laura E. Richeson, APR

AdventHealth launched a new partnership with Seminole State College for eight senior nursing students to participate in a hands-on Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) program at AdventHealth Winter Park

The novel DEU at AdventHealth Winter Park was launched this fall semester out of a growing partnership between AdventHealth and Seminole State College School of Nursing and the need to stem the nursing shortage. The goal for this project is to provide a realistic and supportive clinical learning environment for senior nursing students while also recruiting and preparing skilled nurses ready for practice. 

“Partnerships are essential in creating a nursing pipeline and meeting the needs of the community,” said Nancy Gasper, Dean of Nursing at Seminole State College. “Our dedicated and talented faculty are educating some of the best and brightest nursing students in Central Florida. This partnership with AdventHealth, 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.” 

During the DEU experience, each student is paired with an AdventHealth preceptor nurse, and once a week for eight weeks, is able to observe and practice skills that they’ve only heard about in lectures or seen in textbooks or experienced through simulations. Most nursing students get the opportunity of working on a hospital floor while they’re in school, but not always in a one-on-one setting.

“Having a Dedicated Education Unit on our campus not only better prepares future nurses for a career in health care, but also gives our current team members the chance to pass their sage wisdom on to the next generation of nurses,” said Nicole Ayoub, chief nursing officer at AdventHealth Winter Park. “Who better to coach these student-nurses than those on the frontlines.”

Students work on a 40-bed medical telemetry and orthopedic unit at AdventHealth Winter Park that specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal system disorders. This type of nursing focuses on providing care for adults who are either preparing for or recovering from surgery. 

“Caring for real patients on a hospital floor for the first time can be a dauting experience. But having an experienced nurse next to you – it helps students build confidence and learn in a safe way,” said Amanda Zachar, one of the AdventHealth Winter Park nurse preceptors. “It has been an awesome experience seeing these students connect with the patients for the first time, and I’m so glad to be a part of this opportunity.”

Student Spotlight 

Kelly Andrews

Kelly Andrews is a non-traditional student at Seminole State College. She launched her first career in elementary education and returned to higher education in 2021 to pursue a degree and career in nursing. Andrews has an affinity for helping others and is dedicated to having a direct, positive impact while educating patients, setting up patients for success at home and providing a well-rounded explanation of healthcare and wellness. She is on track to graduate in December 2022 with hopes to stay onboard with AdventHealth in the orthopedic or progressive care units, then onto wound care with the ultimate goal of becoming a nurse educator. 

“The DEU provides nursing students with direct experience including dispensing medications, monitoring and education for all patients on the unit side-by-side with an experienced preceptor providing teachable moments and real-world knowledge,” said Andrews. 

“You can really do anything you set your mind to. It’s never too late to change careers. Focus on school to make career moves that fit your passion,” she continues.  

Seminole State is actively engaged with several local medical centers and practices, education institutions, business leaders and healthcare executives to expand nursing program opportunities and increase the number of students enrolled. 

About Seminole State College of Florida and its Nursing Program

Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves nearly 30,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A comprehensive college, Seminole State has awarded more than 100,000 credentials, from bachelor's degrees to high school diplomas, and offers more than 200 degrees, certificates and programs designed for success. The College’s nursing program, part of the Ann Wiggins Moore Center for Nursing and Healthcare Professionals, is consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and by the Florida State Board of Nursing (2014-21).
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About AdventHealth Central Florida Division

AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division encompasses more than 20 hospitals and Emergency Rooms in the seven counties in and surrounding metro Orlando. The world-class hospitals, combined with a comprehensive outpatient care network, sees more than 5.7 million patient visits annually. 

AdventHealth Orlando — the division’s flagship campus — boasts nationally and internally recognized programs, and serves as a major tertiary referral hospital for much of the Southeast, the Caribbean and Latin America. The organization has an expansive research portfolio with more than 500 clinical trials in progress. 

AdventHealth has a deep commitment to serving the community and has a local financial impact of more than $1 billion annually. The organization and its employees are responsible for nearly 20 percent of Central Florida’s economy.