SNAC Boosts Suncoast Region's Workforce with Nursing Scholarships

SNAC Boosts Suncoast Region's Workforce with Nursing Scholarships

Posted on August 17, 2022 by Jan Mauck, co-chair of Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition
The Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition (SNAC) recently awarded 12 scholarships totaling $125,000 to local nurses working to advance their education and critical thinking skills with bachelor's and doctorate nursing degrees.

Focused on promoting a more highly prepared nursing workforce, the annual scholarships are part of SNAC's multi-pronged plan to increase the number of nursing students graduating from local nursing schools with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and to encourage aspiring nurse educators to complete their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). A DNP is the highest degree in nursing and an essential tool for nurse educators planning and teaching advanced nursing courses and curriculums.

"The pandemic has shown us all how vulnerable our healthcare delivery system can be and the critical role nurses play in crisis management," said Jan Mauck, former chief nursing officer at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and co-founder of SNAC, a grassroots coalition of area hospital, community, and academic leaders who have been working since 2013 to strengthen the nursing workforce in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. "Advancing our nurses' education equips them with exceptional nursing skills and critical thinking and leadership skills to navigate the challenges of this pandemic and increasing complexity of today's healthcare system."

Since it began awarding scholarships in 2016, SNAC has given $664,000 to 164 local nurses and nursing students, including the recent grants awarded in 2022. All recipients have been accepted into accredited nursing programs in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota county region.

The scholarship program is helping to create a pipeline of highly prepared nurses living and working on the Suncoast, said Mauck, noting that many previous scholarship recipients have graduated with BSN degrees and are now working as acute-care, community and public health nurses in local hospitals and community healthcare settings; others who earned doctoral degrees are now nurse professors expanding the capacity of local nursing schools.

In addition to awarding scholarships, SNAC's initiatives include:

Mentorship and Support for Aspiring Nurses
SNAC employs a Nursing Education Navigator to advise and mentor people interested in a nursing career. Since 2015, the navigator has counseled over 1,800 students/nurses and referred more than 99% to accredited nursing school programs, with more than 85% choosing to study locally.

Resource for Nursing Education & Care
SNAC worked with academic leaders to create the first traditional BSN degree programs for nursing students in the Suncoast region and to expand existing educational pathways to encourage practicing registered nurses to complete BSN and higher degrees. SNAC continues its work to strengthen and advance the preparation of the region's nursing workforce while also serving as a trusted source of information on legislative, healthcare, and education issues that impact nursing. Among other priorities, SNAC supports efforts to expand regional BSN training programs in Florida and improve student performance on the NCLEX nursing licensure examination (Florida's statewide passage rate has ranked last nationally in the past four years).

Collaboration & Community Support
With support from an influential triad of collaborative partners, SNAC harnesses the strengths of area hospitals, nursing schools, and community leaders to expand and improve nursing education and care in the 4-county Suncoast region. Along with donors and funders, area foundations and community organizations supporting SNAC scholarships and initiatives include The Bishop Parker Foundation, CareerEdge, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Manatee Community Foundation, and The Patterson Foundation.

About the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition
Guided by the National Academy of Medicine's Future of Nursing: 2020-2030 Campaign for Action, SNAC supports all levels of nurses across the healthcare continuum. Comprised of representatives from health systems, colleges, and universities educating nurses and community members in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties, the local coalition is an active member of the Nursing Action Coalition of Florida and works collaboratively with regional and state partners to reduce health disparities and improve the health and well-being of the U.S. population. For more information, call (941) 780-1447 or visit

Comments (1)



    25 August 2022 at 12:29 | #

    Such a marvelous organization and a tremendous benefit to the healthcare environment on the sun coast. The scholarships are absolutely essential for individuals to progress in nursing education. Well done SNAC.


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