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Spectrum Bay News 9 Highlights Saint Leo’s Nursing Program, Inaugural Class of Students

The university’s nursing program is growing thanks to state funding as well as more than $1.2 million in donations to help alleviate shortage of nurses in Florida.

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25 September 2023 - By University Communications

Saint Leo University’s holistic approach to nursing was in the spotlight as Spectrum Bay News 9 featured the university’s inaugural class of Bachelor of Science in nursing students in a story airing Monday, September 25. 

Reporter Angie Angers visited Saint Leo during a lab class in which nursing students practiced performing health assessments on each other. Armed with their new stethoscopes, they checked their peers’ hearts and lungs, measured their blood pressures, and executed other examinations, all while trying to not look at their check sheets. 


Saint Leo junior Grace Lundfelt, who earned her associate degree from Pasco-Hernando State College in a dual enrollment program with Land O’ Lakes High School, was interviewed and featured on Bay News 9. “It’s reassuring to know that, once we graduate, we’re going to have somewhere to go,” she said. “Somewhere is going to need us, and someone is going to want us,” Lundfelt told Bay News 9. 

Angers noted that Saint Leo’s nursing program is slated to receive funding from the state of Florida’s 2023-2024 budget — $740,000 —  to develop the program and address the critical nursing shortage in the state. More than $520,000 also has been raised from private donations, bringing the total raised for the nursing program to $1.26 million. 

And Saint Leo’s nursing students not only are learning how to take care of others, but they’re also learning to take care of themselves. Saint Leo’s nursing program emphasizes clinician well-being — stress management, resilience, mental health, spiritual well-being, and healthy habits and behaviors.


“We saw how important it was for nurses to be resilient, for nurses to manage stress," noted Dr. Kathleen Van Eerden, dean of the College of Health Professions, in an interview with Angers. "During COVID, we saw nurses leaving the profession. It’s important to us to help students build the skills they need to be happy in their choice, so they have a long career in nursing as well.”

In addition to Bay News 9, which covers Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk, Manatee, Hernando, and Citrus counties, the story also aired on Spectrum News 13, which reaches Orange, Brevard, Osceola, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties. 

Read more and view the Bay News 9 story here:

Support Saint Leo’s Nursing Program

More support is needed to grow the university’s bachelor’s degree program in nursing. Donations may be made by selecting Nursing Excellence Fund at