Board approves new nursing program to increase faculty numbers

The Board also approved a new name for the College of Public Health Building to honor Sam Bell at their Tuesday meeting. ORACLE PHOTO/MRIDULA SINGH

The Board of Trustees (BOT) approved a proposal to create a new program that will provide a pathway for BayCare Health nurses to become instructors for USF in a Tuesday morning meeting.

The program between the USF Health College of Nursing and BayCare Health System will be called the Nursing Master Class Academy (MCA). 

The MCA will provide a tiered education program for BayCare nurses. Once the program is completed, the nurses will serve as a preceptor, master preceptor, clinical adjunct faculty or classroom adjunct faculty to USF students, according to the meeting agenda

A preceptor is a licensed clinician that acts as a teacher or coach, supervising nursing students in clinical rotations.

The initiative will alleviate the “critical nursing faculty shortage” that USF is experiencing, USF College of Nursing Dean Usha Menon said. 

“In order for us to increase enrollment and enlarge our programs, it’s really important that we have well trained faculty and well trained preceptors at those hospitals,” Menon said. 

She said the program will increase the number of trained preceptors, in turn increasing the number of clinical opportunities for students and the number of qualified nursing faculty. 

The program will cost $750,000 and will be partly financed by the Linking Industry to Nursing Education (LINE) fund from the Florida Department of Education. 

The LINE program provides matching funds, on a dollar-to-dollar basis, to state universities if a healthcare partner provides financing for an initiative. The healthcare partner for the MCA, Baycare, will provide $375,000 which will be matched with a $375,000 LINE contribution. 

The Board of Governors will vote on the proposal in their next meeting on Nov. 8-9.

The BOT also approved a naming resolution in their meeting. The College of Public Health building was renamed to honor deceased lawmaker Samuel Bell.