Gabe Bullaro, CEO of HCA Florida West Hospital, knows what the lauded healthcare institution is investing in with its $50,000 grant to establish a Nurse Explorer Boot Camp at Pensacola State College’s Warrington campus.
It’s an investment in our community and the health of its citizens. It’s job growth investment which aims to bring more young talent to nursing and health-care related fields and professions. It’s also an investment in PSC’s mission to educate and train nurses and ready them for immediate entry into the workforce.
“This is an all-star setup,’’ Bullaro said of the PSC nursing and healthcare training facilities at a check presentation ceremony at the PSC Warrington campus on Thursday, Jan. 19. “The sim lab is incredible.
If I were looking to get into healthcare, I would be honored to be trained here.”
He noted that PSC has the state-of-the-art technology that students seek.
“I’ve gotten to know some of the leadership here,’’ he said. “It’s the people, but it’s also the technology. Students want to see that in their education too and this institution can promise that.”
The year-round Nurse Explorer Boot Camp would serve 12 to 20 high school seniors. Student recruitment has already begun for the free program that will target underserved student populations.
Florida is projected to face a shortage of 59,100 nurses by 2035 according to the Florida Hospital Association.
The Boot Camp will consist of a one-week summer camp at the Warrington campus where students will learn various aspects of the nursing profession. Students will work with PSC nursing faculty and simulation specialists in real-life situations that healthcare professionals face.
Once each quarter the students would also meet to hear guest speakers in the nursing and healthcare profession and take on additional learning and educational challenges. PSC President Ed Meadows said the HCA Florida West Hospital grant will “offer students an opportunity to gain careers in the healthcare industry after graduation”.
Also partnering in the project is Chain Reaction, an area non-profit teen leadership organization that focuses on empowering young people ages 14 through 18 through service and real-world leadership experiences. Chain Reaction will bring its Resume Learning Plan Program and its
Leadership Development Program to the Bootcamp to provide students with the additional resources they will need to excel in the workforce.
Another partner is West Florida Area Health Education Center, which is assisting with student recruitment.
Meadows thanked HCA Florida West Hospital not only for the $50,000 gift but for all of Florida West Hospital’s support of PSC’s healthcare and nursing programs through the past 23 years. The financial support alone is nearly $200,000.
“We’ll do more together,’’ Bullaro promised at the ceremony. “This is the beginning of a lot more to come.”