Responding to Growing Nursing Shortage in Florida, WCU Launches Modern Nursing Program in Greater Miami

Posted on 02/19/2014

As statistics predict a prolonged shortage of nurses in all types of care environments in the state of Florida, West Coast University (WCU) announced today the opening of a new campus in the greater Miami area. The new campus will be the fifth campus location for the 105-year-old regionally accredited university based in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1909, WCU focuses on health sciences education and will offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at the new Miami location. As the demand for nurses escalates in the communities served by the campus, students will be able to earn their BSN in as little as 39 months through a student-centric learning approach.

Over the next decade, the United States is projected to have a shortage of one million nurses, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration. The Florida Center for Nursing (FCN) predicts that the Sunshine State will run short of registered nurses (RN’s) by 11,000 openings in 2015, and more than 50,000 by the year 2025. FCN also estimates that 60 percent of qualified applicants to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree programs in south Florida were turned away last year due to an insufficient number of spots for nursing students at colleges and universities. At the same time, FCN says, more than 40% of Florida’s nurses are approaching retirement age within the next 10 years and there are not enough younger nurses to replace them. WCU hopes to address those shortfalls through its nursing programs.

“The metropolitan Miami area has become one of the country’s major health care hubs, and demands on health care providers will only increase as the population continues to grow,” said University president, Dr. Barry T. Ryan. “WCU is pleased to be part of the solution by preparing the highly educated, competent and confident nurses that are increasingly in-demand.”

“We look forward to playing an important role in the advancement of nursing education in the Miami metro area,” said Brian Watkins, Executive Director of WCU Miami. “Additionally, West Coast University has a tradition of supporting the communities in which our campuses are located. We intend to be a strong community partner and will be exploring the many options for doing so.”

“A considerable amount of thought and diligence has been devoted to developing our campus and our educational programs. We are committed to preparing our graduates to be skilled professionals, and I am enthusiastic about helping to guide the University’s entry in Florida,” said Dr. Claudette Spalding, Dean of Nursing.

West Coast University brings a student-centric approach to health care education that supports its mission of providing students with the tools and learning environment necessary to ensure graduates are prepared to enter the health care community as leaders in their field. Classes start five times a year and boast a low faculty-to-student ratio as well as no wait lists. From admission through graduation, faculty and staff remain actively involved in providing the resources students need to succeed, including: student services to assist any students who are struggling academically with tutoring, study and time management skills training; financial aid; and career services that feature résumé-writing workshops and career guidance.

The classrooms at each campus integrate modern technology, including permanently mounted projectors, projection screens, and interactive whiteboards with the ability to capture, print, and transmit images and text. Areas at the campus designated to support student needs include meeting rooms, food service areas, and computer stations with wireless connectivity. The campus also provides a library with a Master’s Degree-prepared Librarian, along with administrative functions and staff including Admissions, Registrar, Student Services, Career Services and Financial Aid.

*The entry-level MSOT Program at WCU has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-2682, and their web address is Once accreditation of the program has been obtained, its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure to practice; however, states licensures are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may effect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. For graduation rates, median debt of graduates completing these programs and other important information, visit

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