In a little more than 10 years, the state could face a shortfall of nearly 60,000 nurses, according estimates by the Florida Hospital Association. With such a great need for skilled nurses hanging in the balance, AdventHealth implemented several programs, including partnerships with schools to train new nurses onsite at hospitals within specialized Dedicated Education Units (DEUs).
One such DEU located at AdventHealth Waterman saw its inaugural class of nursing students trained in partnership with Lake Sumter State Collage in 2022. Among the students in this first group was Christina Vega, who recently graduated and is now finding success in her new career.
After graduating magna cum laude, Vega passed the National Council Licensure Examination in June.
Vega credits this DEU experience for her success.
“My confidence in my skill set has improved,” Vega recently shared during an interview with the Triangle News Leader, adding that the culture at AdventHealth Waterman and her time in the DEU helped her to improve her communication skills with patients and ability to handle wound care, IV insertions and echocardiograms.
Now a registered nurse, Vega began a 20-week program this month at AdventHealth Waterman and is paired with an experienced nurse, giving her additional real-world experience.
“It’s been a tough journey; it’s been challenging but exciting,” Vega said, adding that the experience of working alongside nurse techs, paramedics and others gave her an immense amount of hands-on training. “It’s a great program.”