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UNF MedNexus & FSCJ announce academic/facility health care education partnership

president and others gathered in front of a wall of logosThe University of North Florida (UNF) and Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) today hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate a new facility and academic partnership between UNF MedNexus and FSCJ.

The UNF MedNexus-FSCJ collaboration expands the education and development of high-quality, trained nurses and medical professionals to help fill the region’s needed health care talent pipeline.

Through the facility agreement, UNF MedNexus will locate its nurse training and health care simulation center to be used by students within UNF’s Brooks College of Health at the FSCJ Deerwood Center. The simulation lab will allow students to learn hands-on skills and will give them an opportunity to practice clinical scenarios on patient care situations.

In addition, UNF President David Szymanski and FSCJ President John Avendano signed an official Memorandum of Understanding for an academic partnership that will create a master’s pathway for FSCJ students to get a head start in UNF’s nursing graduate programs and an accelerated entry into high wage jobs in the region.

“UNF MedNexus addresses the region’s growing and evolving health care needs through education and development of talented nurses and health care workers who are prepared to enter the workforce,” said UNF President David Szymanski. “Our academic and facility partnership with FSCJ allows us to advance health care education in an innovative and progressive manner by positively impacting the number of high-demand health care professionals.”

The Health Honors Direct master’s pathway will allow senior students in FSCJ’s RN-BSN program enroll in up to 9 credit hours in UNF’s nursing master’s program. Upon graduation and completion of the nursing exam, students can enroll in UNF’s nursing master’s programs with nine hours already completed.

“At FSCJ, we are continually seeking ways that we can better serve and provide for the needs of our neighbors throughout this community,” said FSCJ President John Avendano, Ph.D. “We are proud of our role in this partnership that will elevate the level of health care available here in local hospitals and medical offices, while also generating the highly skilled medical professionals of tomorrow.”

UNF MedNexus will provide students with the health care education and experience needed to enter the workforce by linking resources in a collaborative effort to expand educational programs and enhance medical research.

The United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast projects that between 2015 and 2030, Florida will be one of the top three states in the U.S. with the greatest shortage of registered nurses. Northeast Florida continues to be a much-needed destination for quality health care training, including highly specialized services.

UNF MedNexus is designed to be the nation’s first comprehensive, university-based medical and health care nexus, connecting health care providers with University students, faculty and researchers. More information can be found at