Florida's Community Colleges Receive Grant to Benefit Nursing Programs

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Florida's community colleges have received a hefty grant to benefit nursing programs, while also addressing the nursing shortage.

$250,000 in scholarships is going to the state's 28 community colleges. The scholarship fund is seeded by a $2.5 million endowment established by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation.

A spokesperson for Tallahassee Community College's healthcare programs say the money will help with the high cost of books, uniforms and lab fees.

"A recent statistic states that 80 percent of hospital employees are community college graduates. They either receive their associate’s degree with us or earn their certificate with us," says Lois Ewen, Dean of Healthcare Professions at Tallahassee Community College.

Community college and workforce education chancellor David Armstrong says Florida is facing a severe nursing shortage.

Workforce studies project the need for nearly 45,000 more nurses statewide by the year 2012.