Milestone moment: UF College of Nursing admits largest cohort of Gator Nurses in college history

This month, the UF College of Nursing welcomed the largest class of future nurse leaders ever admitted in its nearly 70-year history.

new student class
Gator Nurses practice nursing skills in the Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Innovation and Learning Lab.

The fall 2023 cohort of baccalaureate and doctoral students is the largest incoming class to join the UF College of Nursing. These 331 new students will make up about one-fourth of around 1,150 Gator Nurses distributed across the college’s three degree offerings: the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the Doctor of Nursing Practice and the PhD.

“This record number of newly admitted students makes me so happy that we are adding more and more deserving individuals to each of our nursing programs,” said UF Student Nursing Association President and BSN student Emily Hart. “I know these Gator Nurses will do amazing things in the future and proudly serve their communities to help meet the need for nurses across the country.”

The cohort achieved record numbers of admissions for several programs. The incoming fall PhD cohort will welcome 10 students, 25% higher than a typical semester and one of the largest since the program’s inception. The college’s number of BSN students also significantly increased, thanks to the number of RN-BSN students growing by nearly 100% — the largest number of Gator Nurses to ever enroll in this program.

This past May, the UF College of Nursing also welcomed its largest summer cohort of Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing students, which included a 40% increase to the college’s Jacksonville class.

The college’s growing number of students is a direct result of the Prepping Institutions, Programs, Employers and Learners through Incentives for Nursing Education (PIPELINE) funding received in 2022 to expand the nursing workforce. Thanks to this support, the UF College of Nursing has increased the number of its clinical and research faculty, expanded the BSN program in Jacksonville and Gainesville — including through an ongoing collaboration with Edward Waters Universityand offered a new fall admission opportunity for Florida nurses to continue their education virtually through the UF Online RN-BSN program.

According to UF College of Nursing Interim Dean Debra Lyon, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN, this large cohort will help state and national organizations meet an increased demand for clinical practitioners, as well as facilitate additional graduate students’ pursuits to become educated as nursing faculty and scientists.

“These matriculants represent the newest clinicians, researchers and scholars who will soon transform the nursing workforce,” said Lyon. “As our state’s preeminent nursing institution, we are proud to educate the next generation of well-prepared nurses who will address critical gaps in our nation’s health care infrastructure.”