BREVARD COUNTY, FL – Eastern Florida State College plans to start a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 2018 to help meet a critical need for more nurses along the Space Coast and in Florida.
The College’s Board of Trustees approved the program Monday, taking another step forward in EFSC’s continuing expansion of its four-year degrees.
“Our current nursing program that allows students to earn an Associate of Science degree is among our premier fields of study and very popular,” said College President Dr. Jim Richey. “The ability to gain a Bachelor’s degree will take that to the next level and open new career vistas for students who will have excellent job prospects when they graduate.”
College officials cited state and national studies showing there are thousands of nursing vacancies in Florida caused by the retirement of health care professionals. They also said Florida’s aging population of Baby Boomers is another major factor contributing to the rising demand for nurses.
Locally, the program is supported by Health First, the largest employer of nurses in Brevard County, to help fill its ranks. Other community-based health care facilities also say it’s needed.
The program would be located in the College’s new $20 million Health Sciences Institute scheduled to open on the Melbourne campus in January. The 60,000-square-foot facility will house 12 new and existing programs and contain 10 specialized labs with state-of-the-art equipment.
The degree still must be approved by the Florida Department of Education. It would start no later than Fall 2018 with 25-30 students in the first class. An Associate in Science degree in Nursing would be required for entry.
The nursing degree would be the latest four-year track in the fast-growth job fields of Business, Health Care and Computer Technologies added at Eastern Florida. The College is currently offering nine Bachelor degree tracks with more than 1,100 students enrolled and plans to add eight more tracks in 2017.
“Students recognize the programs are affordable, convenient and taught by excellent instructors,” said Dr. Linda Miedema, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Chief Learning Officer. “They also know the degrees will give them a valuable edge in the job market.”
To learn more about Bachelor degree opportunities at EFSC, visit http://www.easternflorida.edu/go/bachelors