Educational Affairs

Opportunities for nursing education are aplenty on the Jacksonville campus.

By: Anna M. McDaniel, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN

Care. Lead. Inspire.

These three words mean so much to the University of Florida College of Nursing and drive everything we strive to accomplish as educators, scientists, clinicians and students. Our college has a proud history and rich tradition of excellence as the premier educational institution for nursing in Florida and as one of the top leaders nationally.

The College of Nursing continually attracts and retains the highest caliber of nursing students and faculty with a passion for science, service, innovation, integration, diversity and so much more. Our college’s mission is to provide excellent nursing care, generate research and scholarship that have an impact on practice, and prepare graduates who care, lead and inspire.

As a part of this great university, now top 10 in the country, we hold ourselves to the highest standards. The College of Nursing boasts the top-ranked Doctor of Nursing Practice program in the state, according to U.S. News World Report’s Best Nursing Grad Schools. We welcome Bachelor of Science in Nursing classes with an average GPA of 3.5 or higher, while the college’s B.S.N. graduating class is among the largest in the state each year. More than 70 percent of our undergraduates continue on to graduate study within three years.

Florida began the first master’s and the first doctoral programs in the state, and pioneered the first B.S.N.-to-Ph.D. track in Florida. The college also takes pride in serving the community through Archer Family Health Care, our nurse-managed health care practice that serves Archer and surrounding North Central Florida communities.

Nursing in Jacksonville

We are especially proud to be part of the UF Health Science Center Jacksonville, where we offer our accelerated B.S.N. degree. We debuted the program in Jacksonville last year. The Jacksonville accelerated B.S.N. class of 24 students began in summer 2016 and became proud Gator nurses this year in August.

UF College of Nursing students engage in simulation-based training for labor and delivery.

University of Florida College of Nursing students engage in simulation-based training for labor and delivery.

The accelerated program builds on previous learning experiences and transitions individuals with undergraduate degrees in other fields into nursing careers. The program is an innovative way to reach out to new student populations with a unique knowledge base and life experience who desire to make a difference as a nurse.

Our accelerated curriculum, which is four semesters long, requires a high level of motivation and desire to study and work hard through classroom, laboratory and clinical practice experiences.

Our Jacksonville students are taught using an innovative clinical training model known as Academic Partnership Units, or APUs. The APU provides a stable clinical experience for UF nursing students who are placed on designated UF Health Jacksonville patient care units over four semesters, while being paired with a staff nurse.

These staff nurses, who hold courtesy faculty appointments in the college as clinical instructors, provide state-of-the-science teaching while college faculty oversee the educational experience. Participation in this collaborative educational endeavor allows staff nurse clinical instructors to contribute to the next generation of nurses. We were honored to be a part of the opening of UF Health North’s Labor and Delivery unit and are eager to extend our APU teaching model to the north campus.

A tremendous honor

We are especially proud of one of our Jacksonville-based faculty members — Jane Gannon, D.N.P., director of simulation-based learning at the College of Nursing. She was recently selected to participate in the National League for Nursing’s 2018 Leadership Development Program for Simulation Educators.

Jane Gannon, D.N.P.

Jane Gannon, D.N.P.

This is a tremendous honor. The program is designed for the experienced simulation nurse educator who wishes to assume a leadership role in simulation. The year-long program examines issues related to research in simulation, curricular integration, the role of simulation in interprofessional education, and managing and directing simulation activities within a school of nursing setting.

Gannon collaborates with faculty members from the colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine on the Jacksonville campus on education research focused on interprofessional care delivery. The joint efforts have produced simulations on end-of-life care and medication-management safety using TeamSTEPPS competencies.

Interdisciplinary collaboration is at an all-time high in Jacksonville between the colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy, as we work on practice, research and education strategies together to enhance the profile of the Health Science Center Jacksonville. Gannon and I sit on the Academic Work Group for this effort.

Charging to the forefront of nursing education and being on the leading edge of simulation technology and student resources is our priority. With nursing leaders and simulation experts like Gannon, we are excited about the future of the College of Nursing and the Health Science Centers in Gainesville and Jacksonville.

As we move forward as a college, we are driven to transform health through innovative practice, preeminent research and exceptional academic programs. We are in the process of finalizing our next five-year strategic plan and are transforming our B.S.N. curriculum to advance the college’s education model.