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2004 Press Releases
USF Nursing Students Helped by Gift From Morton Plant Mease Health Care

Clearwater, FL (22 Nov 2004) - Nursing students will get a fresh experience of hospital nursing thanks to a gift of $250,000 from Morton Plant Mease Health Care to the University of South Florida College of Nursing. This gift is eligible for a 50-percent match by the state of Florida, which could make it a $375,000 contribution to the USF College of Nursing.

The gift creates the Morton Plant Mease Clinical Education Program fund to support a learning community and a faculty position at USF centered on students' experiences.

"Morton Plant Mease is making a bold statement that they support better education for nurses," said Patricia Burns, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the USF College of Nursing. "The result will be nurses who succeed in careers in hospitals, which is where we see the most acute nursing shortage."

USF is currently constructing a new College of Nursing facility that will double the size of the current College to house the growing numbers of students and faculty needed to address Florida's nursing shortage. This modern headquarters for nursing education will demonstrate the latest advances in education and technology, and will transform the way nurses are taught and how they care for their patients.

Within the new building, USF is creating student learning communities to provide students a comfortable gathering place that emphasizes a sense of community and collegiality that encourages shared learning and discovery. It is the perfect place for students completing rotations at various hospitals to discuss their experiences and share ideas about their cases.

"Quality nursing care is the heart and soul of great hospitals. This collaborative partnership will facilitate advanced patient care," said Philip K. Beauchamp, president and chief executive officer of Morton Plant Mease Health Care.

Morton Plant Mease is helping the USF College of Nursing transform its vision into a reality. Their contribution will help the College serve the needs and interests of its students, faculty, patients, and community partners for generations to come.

"By seizing this opportunity to partner with USF's School of Nursing, we are able to bring additional faculty to our facilities," said Lisa Johnson, RN, Vice President of Patient Services, Morton Plant Mease Health Care. "At the same time, we are becoming more visible at the Learning Communities at the USF campus."

Established in 1994, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is an entity providing administrative and other services to Morton Plant and Mease hospitals in Pinellas County and Morton Plant North Bay Hospital in Pasco County.

- USF -

The College of Nursing at the University of South Florida Health Sciences Center is deeply integrating students into real-world care to anchor them in the nursing profession. The College forged a clinical collaborative with Tampa Bay's leading health care providers to offer students "home base hospitals" with one to one mentoring for state-of-the-practice education. Funding for research has doubled in the last two years, and the College aspires to be in the country's Top 20 for federal research funding by 2010. Research teams are focusing on palliative and end of life care, cardiac rehabilitation, and complementary therapies for chronic illness and cancer. The College offers baccalaureate, masters and doctoral programs.

Media contacts: Anne DeLotto Baier, USF, 813-974-3300, or Beth Hardy, Morton Plant Mease, 727-298-6199