With the 2023 Florida legislative session having come to an end, Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to receive recently-passed legislation for his consideration. Gov. DeSantis has been laser-focused on education reform and recently signed 5 education-related bills into law. DeSantis is also prioritizing education with healthcare issues.
Florida healthcare has been saddled with a massive shortage of healthcare professionals, namely nurses and nurse practitioners.
The Republican-controlled legislature recently voted in support of Senator Corey Simon’s SB 1272 Education Grants measure, which passed unanimously in the Florida Senate, that would help nursing schools like Herzing University’s School of Nursing, attract more students to the nursing program.
According to Sen. Simon’s bill, the measure “would provide education grants to eligible students” in hopes of filling the nursing void that Florida is confronted with.
One problem nursing schools are contending with is the lack of teachers in the classrooms, which only compounds the statewide nurse shortage.
Gov. DeSantis recently signaled that he would address the shortage.
“The state is the place to be, people like it,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.“So the demand for nursing, I think, is nationwide, but for us it’s even gonna be more acute.
DeSantis is expected to sign Sen. Simon’s measure in the coming weeks.
According to the Florida Hospital Association, the state’s nursing shortage crisis is expected to reach 60,000 nurses by 2035.
“We are humbled and proud that the legislature has expanded access for tuition assistance to deserving students, specifically Herzing students who are primarily minorities, women in single parent households, and veterans who want to make a difference in the lives of their families and Floridians, while helping solve the critical nursing shortage,” stated Jason Morgan, Sr Vice President Herzing University (Florida)
The Floridian spoke to Sen. Simon about his bill, where the former Florida State University football star emphasized the need to help “prop up” the nursing industry as a result of the COVID-19-fueled shortage and the increase in the traveling nurse program.
“When we look at the landscape of where we are, we see the dire need that we have in that space, and I wanted to make sure that we were doing all that we could so that these students, many of them that are working you know in the evenings, have families but really wanted to pull themselves up and be meaningful members of society,” said Sen. Simon.
Sen. Simon added that because he was the “hard work” these students were putting in because they were “fighting for their future,” he wanted to “assist in any way” he could.
“We thought that this was a good piece of legislation and a need for our state, and so I wanted to help them as much as I possibly could,” added Simon.
Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming weeks.