AdventHealth partners with colleges to prepare Central Florida nursing students

Dedicated Education Units established to pair students with experienced nurses

WINTER PARK, Fla. – AdventHealth Winter Park and Seminole State College are getting results when it comes to preparing nursing students for a career in health care.

In the last year, AdventHealth Winter Park and Seminole State College partnered up to form a Dedicated Education Unit.

Chief Nursing Officer for AdventHealth Winter Park Nicole Ayoub said the hospital’s DEU helps build a solid foundation for nursing students as they enter the workforce.

Initially, nursing students are paired with an experienced nurse and work together one-on-one. Eventually, the experienced nurse will assess the student’s skills and give them more independence on the unit.

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“It allows for our experienced nurses to know the new nurses, be able to share their knowledge with them so that as they become part of our workforce. That (way) there is less (of a) learning curve and everyone’s more comfortable with each other,” Ayoub said.

In March 2022, the American Nurses’ Foundation and American Nurses’ Association released the results of its “Impacts of COVID-19″ survey. It found that 52% of nurses said they were considering leaving their positions and that 60% of acute care nurses reported feeling burnt out.

Seminole State College’s Dean of Nursing Nancy Gasper said she hopes the program will reduce attrition.

“So, in the past, students would come into the workforce and their eyes were open,” Gasper said. “They were shocked, especially with our complex system of health care right now. So, students who go through the DEU, you tend to be more competent and confident. They also know their team members. They’re better able to transition into their new roles. We find patients are safer and our new graduates, our new nurses, are happier, more satisfied.”

Recent Seminole State College Nursing graduate and new AdventHealth Winter Park nurse Kelly Andrews said the program has helped her find ways to prevent burnout.

“So, I know there’s more opportunities out there if I were to feel that way,” Andrews said. “And I feel with this program, it definitely gave me a lot of skills and opportunities that I wouldn’t have elsewhere to kind of prevent me from burnout. And like I said before, just being comfortable with the floor I’m on and already kind of knowing people has really helped prevent that.”

Andrews was offered a job at AdventHealth Winter Park on the same unit she trained on as a student. She said the program helped her gain confidence.

“I think I would have been a lot less confident without the program, and I think I would have been very nervous, you know, on every shift,” Andrews said. “But I feel like I’m already just two weeks out of training and I already feel very confident in what I’m doing.”

Andrews said she remembers the day she received her offer letter from AdventHealth, and it was exactly what she wanted.

“It made me feel very excited,” Andrews said. “And to know that I didn’t have to go and interview elsewhere, that I could just stay where I was comfortable, was very nice.”

AdventHealth has several DEUs across Central Florida. Here’s the full list:

  • AdventHealth Waterman with Lake-Sumter State College
  • AdventHealth Orlando with AdventHealth University
  • AdventHealth Winter Park with Seminole State College
  • AdventHealth Palm Coast with Jacksonville University

AdventHealth said the hospital will be adding more dedicated education units this fall.

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Emily joined WKMG-TV in November 2022.