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"We need boots on the ground:" North Port RN on nursing shortage

Suncoast Technical College offers a practical nursing program.
STC's nursing program
Posted at 9:55 PM, May 29, 2024

NORTH PORT, Fla. — There's a growing need for nurses in North Port as the city's population grows and more hospitals open.

However, there's a nursing program at Suncoast Technical College that helps fill that need.

Students told North Port Community Correspondent Victoria Scott that it allows them to start their careers, without breaking the bank.

"For me, it was like a dream to go to nursing school," said nursing student Cledlyn Charles.

He hails from Haiti.

"I moved to the United States two and a half years ago," Charles told Scott. "I went to learn English and then I went to get my GED to go to nursing school, because that's what I wanted to do."

He said he's always wanted to be a nurse. It's basically his family business.

"All my family is in the nursing field," Charles said. "Helping people, being around people, and making them feel better. I feel like that's one of the most important things for me."

Charles came to Suncoast Technical College to enroll in its practical nursing program.

"The first step is just learning the basics of nursing," said Health Science Instructor and RN Karie Rawlings. "Then, we teach everything from medication administration, wound care, and different types of nursing procedures."

Rawlings told Scott she can not only help people like Cledlyn get their degree, but also help the community where she lives.

"We need the boots on the ground, and we need the people at the bedside," she said. "This is the quickest and most cost-effective way to get healthcare workers into the hospitals and clinics around here that need help."

Charles said he plans to be one of the nurses who makes a difference.

"My favorite part is being around people," he said. "I don't know; it just makes me happy and makes me feel good. Being here is really amazing. I've had a great journey so far."

You can find more information about STC's nursing program by clicking on this link.