New partnership provides Edward Waters University (Official) students a pathway
to earn Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degrees at the University of Florida

JACKSONVILLE, FL – On October 12, 2022, Edward Waters University (EWU)—Florida’s first independent institution of higher learning, and first historically black college or university (HBCU) — and the University of Florida (UF) College of Nursing, officially entered into an agreement that allows students from EWU to be recruited and admitted to the UF College of Nursing’s Accelerated BSN program at the UF Health Jacksonville campus.

EWU scholars will now have a dedicated pathway to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or B.S.N., degree from the state’s top ranked nursing program. EWU does not have a nursing program, and this partnership allows qualified students who are majoring in biological sciences and are interested in a career in nursing the option to pursue a nursing degree at UF’s Jacksonville campus, just minutes from the EWU campus. This is the first partnership between a historically Black college or university and the UF College of Nursing.

“As President and on behalf of the State of Florida’s first HBCU–Edward Waters University–we are tremendously excited to enter this historic and incredibly impactful partnership with President Fuchs and the University of Florida’s College of Nursing,” said Edward Waters University President & CEO, Dr. A. Zachary Faison Jr.

“We believe that this first-of-its-kind focused academic and health related collaborative initiative between EWU and UF will operate to positively address our state’s growing need for more nursing and health care professionals overall and support the increasing promulgation of the same particularly amongst African-Americans and other communities of color,” President Faison said.

As the nation faces a critical nursing shortage, the UF College of Nursing has taken steps to increase the number of bachelor-prepared nurses by increasing enrollment at both their Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses. In Jacksonville, enrollment in the Accelerated B.S.N. program is expected to double by 2025 — from 40 to 80 students. This agreement with UF College of Nursing will promote access to nursing education to highly qualified, underrepresented students while also increasing the nursing workforce in the state.

 “The UF College of Nursing is committed to promoting access to our Accelerated B.S.N. program in Jacksonville through this historic agreement with Edward Waters University,” said Anna M. McDaniel, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, College of Nursing dean and the Linda Harman Aiken Chair. “Consistent with our core values of caring, diversity, engagement, excellence in learning and service, this program will provide innovative, high-quality academic nursing programs to meet the growing workforce needs for baccalaureate-prepared nurses in the state of Florida.”

The Accelerated B.S.N. program is designed for students who have already earned a baccalaureate degree or higher in another field to pursue a baccalaureate degree in nursing. EWU scholars majoring in biological sciences would follow the typical curricular requirements. Prerequisites courses for admission to the nursing program can be taken at EWU prior to entering the nursing program.

Expanded enrollment at the College of Nursing’s Jacksonville and Gainesville campuses, as well as scholarships for EWU students with financial need, will be provided by the state’s PIPELINE funding. UF will receive $3.6 million in recurring state funding that will be used to increase enrollment across all programs, increase faculty numbers, and provide student scholarships and more.

“We’re very pleased to partner with Edward Waters University to provide a pathway for under-represented students to earn a UF nursing degree and enter the nursing profession,” said UF President Kent Fuchs. “Through this shared effort, we will help to improve health care through addressing a critical need for more Black nurses.”

A public signing ceremony with President Faison and President Fuchs was held on October 12, 2022 at 3 p.m. in the Edward Waters University’s Milne Auditorium as the official launch of the partnership between the universities.

Watch the historic EWU/UF MOU signing ceremony below:

About Edward Waters University

Edward Waters University (EWU), accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), is a private, historically black, urban institution of higher education, which offers a liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on the Christian principles of high moral and spiritual values. EWU was established in 1866 and is an African Methodist Episcopal Church-related institution of learning. It is the first private and independent institution of higher education in the State of Florida.