FAU Receives Major Gift to Support Broward County’s Nursing Workforce

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous foundation in Broward County, Florida Atlantic University received a major grant to support students enrolled in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing’s program at FAU’s Davie campus. The funds will substantially help meet the growing need for registered nurses in South Florida and beyond.

An aging Florida population has increased the demand for health care, but the health care workforce is shrinking. According to a Florida Physician and Nursing Workforce Study report released in 2021, there is a base shortfall of more than 11,000 full-time RNs. The study estimated that Florida will need approximately 4,000 additional nurses to enter the workforce each year in order to meet the projected shortfall.

The foundation’s generosity will create expanded opportunities for nursing students through a renovated, state-of-the-art simulation center. The center will provide enhanced training technologies and continue to train students for both adult and pediatric care, ensuring a seamless entry to the workforce at the time of graduation. Additionally, the gift will provide merit-based scholarships to high-performing students, as well as establish an emergency fund to ensure students who experience a crisis have the necessary support to continue their education without interruption.

“This gift supports the vital and dynamic work that our nurses embark on every day to improve the health of our community,” said Safiya George, Ph.D., APRN-BC, FAANP, Holli Rockwell Trubinsky Eminent Dean and professor at FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. “This partnership will allow for the expansion and sustained support of our educational programs. It will enable us to train even more students who will deliver much needed health care that will allow all Floridians to thrive.”

The gift also serves to advance the university’s FAU Health initiative, which aims to address South Florida’s health care professional shortage to meet the region’s increasing patient-care needs with innovative solutions and expanded access to care. Since its inception in 1979, FAU’s College of Nursing has graduated more than 9,500 students across all academic disciplines. Of those, the College’s part-time BSN program for working professionals has graduated 225 students to date and is currently matriculating 317 professionals. The new funding will allow for the Davie campus to grow its nursing programs and encourage more working professionals to earn nursing degrees.

“Together, with the foundation’s support, we are building a workforce pipeline to prepare the next generation of nurses,” said Suzanne Ffolkes, FAU’s assistant dean of Strategic Affairs, Inclusivity and Community Engagement. “We’re also preparing nursing students for emerging technologies in the health care system. These technologies will go a long way to ensure a better quality of life for those in our community.”