SNAC Increases Scholarships to Strengthen the Suncoast Nursing Workforce

The Giving Coast

Bolstered by a $50,000 grant from the Bishop Parker Foundation and continued support from area foundations, the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition (SNAC) is increasing the number of nursing education scholarships it will award this spring. Scholarships are earmarked for nursing students completing BSN degrees (bachelor of science in nursing) at local, accredited nursing schools, as well as for faculty nurses earning DNP degrees (doctor of nursing practice) to expand BSN nursing school programs in the 4-county Suncoast region. Aspiring nurses are encouraged to apply now for the 2023-2024 academic year. Applications can be submitted through March 1, 2023 at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County (www.cfsarasota.org). Recipients must live or work in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties to qualify. Although the crisis period of the pandemic has subsided, a critical shortage of nurses remains. Mauck, former chief nursing officer at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, says a robust pipeline of professional nurses is needed to replace a wave of retiring nurses as well as expand the faculty of local nursing schools. That's why SNAC scholarships support both young professionals entering the workforce as well as experienced nurses transitioning to faculty roles. Significant donations from area donors have made it possible to more than double the number of nursing scholarships SNAC has awarded in recent years, said Charles Baumann, a retired accountant and longtime community leader who serves as SNAC’s co-chair and volunteer business adviser. The Bishop Parker grant will provide targeted outreach and scholarship support to aspiring nurses and nurse educators living and working in Manatee County. SNAC has awarded $651,000 in nursing scholarships since 2016. SNAC's outreach includes, among other resources, a nursing education navigator who provides 1-on-1 mentorship and guidance for aspiring nurses in the region. SNAC scholarships are administered by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Manatee Community Foundation. Other supporting foundations include: The Patterson Foundation, Burruss Foundation, Florida Blue Foundation, Lela D. Jackson Foundation, Janice S. Kelly Memorial Foundation, Rita B. Lamere Memorial Foundation, and Sarah Greer Mayer Fund of the Community Foundation and Charlotte Community Foundation.

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