New Program Will Help Address Anticipated Growing Need for RNs

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 6:59 PM

Fortis College in Orange Park has been preparing students for careers in various allied health care fields for 18 years. The campus now has expanded its career education options to include an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program.

Fortis College in Orange Park currently is enrolling students for its new Associate Degree in Nursing program with classes starting soon. Additional program starts will occur throughout the year.

The Associate Degree in Nursing program will provide the knowledge and skills to prepare students to sit for the NCLEX licensure exam following graduation and pursue careers as entry-level registered nurses in a variety of clinical and hospital settings. The Associate Degree in Nursing was developed as a hybrid program to give students more options when scheduling their classes.

“Hybrid learning provides students in selected courses the best of both worlds – the ability to study at anytime, anywhere on their courses via the Internet and also have access to both campus and online-based faculty to support their learning,” says Fortis Vice President of Nursing Robert L. Anders, Dr. PH, CS, CNAA, ANEF, FAAN, LTC USA (Ret). “The Fortis hybrid approach also means students will have fewer days on campus, providing more flexibility in achieving their educational goals.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 (Jan. 8, 2014) reports RNs will have the largest projected employment growth nationwide among licensed nurses through 2022 – an increase of 19% or 526,800 positions.

The Florida Center for Nursing anticipates Florida’s nursing shortage will re-emerge as nurses retire or reduce their hours, health care access is extended to more Floridians, and the continued aging of the state’s population heightens the need for more nurses.

The 2014 Demand for Nurses in Florida report (Jan. 2014) notes that vacancies for RNs in the state are trending upward and 90% of hospitals and 85% of skilled nursing facilities hire new graduate RNs. The Center’s forecast of future need for RNs predicts a statewide shortfall of more than 11,000 full-time equivalent RNs in 2015 and in excess of 50,000 by 2025.

“The combination of healthcare reform and improving state and national economies are expected to bring even more changes to the nursing workforce,” notes Orange Park Campus President Wyman Dickey. “Our Associate Degree in Nursing program will help address the anticipated growing need for highly trained registered nurses in Jacksonville and throughout northern Florida in coming years.”