Gabe Bullaro, CEO of HCA Florida West Hospital, knows what the institution is investing in with a $50,000 grant to establish a Nurse Explorer Boot Camp on Pensacola State College’s Warrington campus.
It’s an investment in our community and the health of the residents. It’s a job growth investment to bring more young talent into nursing and health care fields.
It also is an investment in the College’s mission to educate, train and ready nurses for immediate entry into the workforce.
“This is an all-star setup,’’ said Bullaro on Jan. 19 at Pensacola State’s nursing and health care training campus during the check presentation ceremony. “The sim lab is incredible. If I were looking to get into health care, 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,’’ Bullaro said. “It’s the people, but it’s also the technology.
Students want to see that in their education too. This institution can promise that.”
The year-round Nurse Explorer Boot Camp will serve 12 to 20 high school seniors. Recruitment has started for the free program that will target underserved student populations.
According to the Florida Hospital Association, the state is projected to face a shortage of 59,100 nurses by 2035.
The Boot Camp will consist of a one-week summer camp where students learn various aspects of the nursing profession. Students will work with the College’s nursing faculty and simulation specialists in real-life situations.
Four times a year, the students also will gather to hear guest speakers in the nursing and health care 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 enter careers in the health care industry after graduation.”
Also partnering in the project is Chain Reaction – a local nonprofit that focuses on empowering 14- to 18-year-olds through real-world service and leadership experiences. Chain Reaction will bring its Resume Learning Plan Program and Leadership Development Program to the Boot Camp to provide students with resources they will need to excel in the workforce.
A third partner ─ West Florida Area Health Education Center ─ will assist with student recruitment.
Meadows thanked HCA Florida West Hospital for the donation and support of the College’s health care and nursing programs over the past 23 years. To date, HCA Florida West Hospital has contributed nearly $200,000 in financial support to the College.
“We’ll do more together,’’ Bullaro promised at the ceremony. “This is the beginning of a lot more to come.”