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Sponsored content: Accelerated degree program designed to fill the need for skilled nurses

With employment opportunities and earning potential for nurses at an all-time high, there has never been a better time to consider a career in nursing.

Florida Hospital and Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) have partnered to bring a remarkable opportunity to residents of the Tampa Bay area seeking a nursing career, and the fast-track program can be completed in as little as 17 months.

According to the most recent report from the Florida Center for Nursing (FCN), an agency created by the Florida Legislature to address the nursing shortage, the shortfall of trained nurses in Florida stands at more than 12,000. According to FCN projections, 40 percent of Florida nurses will reach retirement age over the next 10 years. That, coupled with the aging of baby boomers and new demand for services under health care reform, ensures the need for more nurses will extend well into the future.

The Harrogate, Tennessee-based LMU-Caylor School of Nursing (CSON) has a reputation for educating highly skilled and compassionate nurses with excellent pass rates on national board exams. LMU's pass rate was 98 percent for its December 2016 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduates.

Florida Hospital is already seeing the effects of the nursing shortage with 225 vacancies in their hospital system. In partnership with Florida Hospital, LMU will roll out its first program, an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program, in August 2017. The BSN program may be completed in 17 months after general education requirements have been met. The class size for these programs will range from 24 to 48 students.

"The LMU-Caylor School of Nursing was built on excellence; we are proud that LMU nurses continue to be in-demand and are working in hospitals around the country," said Vice President of Extended Sites and Dean of the CSON, Dr. Mary Anne Modrcin. "We have already started recruiting our inaugural class and are taking applications now for all programs.

"We encourage interested students to apply sooner than later, as classes begin August 14."

LMU and Florida Hospital will create an extended learning site, with classrooms adjacent to Florida Hospital Tampa, near the University of South Florida. The location includes administrative offices, classrooms, study rooms, a simulation and skills laboratory and library.

Students will complete clinical experience in the program within Florida Hospital West Florida Division facilities. Florida Hospital's support is fueled by a serious shortage of nurses, a problem that's grown 30 percent in Florida since 2013. As LMU's mission is to serve underserved areas, the synergy of the partnership is natural, and a training environment inside working hospitals is invaluable.

"The clinical students will have the opportunity to learn and train with the best," said Mike Schultz, Florida Hospital West Florida Division president and CEO.

LMU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and all current programs in the Caylor School of Nursing are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The University has requested approval from the SACSCOC and ACEN to offer courses at the extended learning site in Tampa. LMU has received a provisional license from the Florida Department of Education and approval from the Florida Board of Nursing.

In addition to the BSN program, LMU will offer its Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at the Tampa site beginning January 2018. LMU also offers an RN-BSN, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and a new Nursing Business Administration (NBA) program – all completely online. To learn more about LMU nursing and degree programs offered, visit nursing.LMUnet.edu.

About Florida Hospital West Florida Region

The Florida Hospital West Florida Region is a not-for-profit, 1,295-bed hospital system composed of Florida Hospital Tampa/Pepin Heart Institute, Florida Hospital Carrollwood, Florida Hospital at Connerton Long Term Acute Care, Florida Hospital North Pinellas, Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center Sebring, Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center Lake Placid, and Florida Hospital Wauchula. Part of the Adventist Health System, Florida Hospital is a leading health network comprised of 26 hospitals throughout the state. For more information, visit FloridaHospital.com.

About Lincoln Memorial University

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at (423) 869-6280 or email admissions@LMUnet.edu.

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