School district leaders push for change to technical college nursing programs

Proposed bill to change state nursing program laws

BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Leaders from Manatee County School District are advocating for the state legislature to pass a bill that would allow technical colleges to offer associate’s degrees in nursing.

The district's Deputy Superintendent for Operations, Doug Wagner, and School Board Member, Dr. Scott Hopes both testified in the House about why they want this change statewide.

With over 100,000 open nursing positions in Florida, both Wagner and Hopes believe changing the state's nursing laws could help fill positions.

The proposal would give technical college students in Practical Nursing programs a chance to get an associate's degree and the opportunity to become a Registered Nurse at technical colleges. They say this is needed because not everyone who wants to become a nurse can get into programs at state colleges and universities.

"There's just not enough nurses, there's just not enough people going into the profession. And the universities and the state colleges cannot handle all of the applicants. So by allowing the technical colleges in our state to do that, we would help the workforce, we would help local communities, we would help the hospital, and care facilities with nurses. Registered nurses," Wagner said.

The proposed bill is continuing to make its way through the House and Senate after passing in the first committee unanimously.

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