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Grand Opening of IRSC School of Nursing Transforms Healthcare Education ‘For Generations to Come’

Grand Opening of IRSC School of Nursing Transforms Healthcare Education ‘For Generations to Come’

August 9, 2023 Jon Pine

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL—A standing-room capacity crowd of more than 200 students, faculty, local healthcare professionals and other dignitaries gathered Tuesday morning, August 8, at the IRSC Pruitt Campus in Port St. Lucie to celebrate the grand opening of the College’s School of Nursing.

Photos by James Crocco IRSC Staff Photographer

At the event, guests were invited to tour the high-fidelity simulation center. Featuring an 11-bed simulated nursing hospital that offers students the latest in real-life educational experiences, the immersive center is the centerpiece of more than 50,521 square feet, in two buildings, that have been repurposed to create high-tech nursing classrooms and simulated clinical settings. The project doubles the capacity for IRSC’s Nursing program, which was established in 1965 and has grown to become one of Florida’s leading producers of nursing talent.

U.S. Representative Brian Mast offered congratulations in a video message.

“Here in Florida and throughout the country we’ve been faced with a critical doctor and nurse shortage,” Mast said in the video greeting. “The students who graduate from this program will have hands-on experience that sets them up for success … and sets their patients up for the best possible outcomes.”

In early 2022, IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore was invited to attend a State of Florida Senate subcommittee meeting on health and human services. At that meeting, he said, he announced the College’s commitment to doubling the capacity of its Nursing program.

“This state is growing by leaps and bounds,” Moore told those gathered at Tuesday’s opening ceremony. “What’s not growing is our pipeline of nurses and physicians. We have a challenge. We decided to set a course, and we believe … it will transform the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County into an employment base, a healthcare base, and an education base for generations to come.” 

Dr. Moore joined with Gayle Harrell, Florida State Senator for District 31, to cut the ribbon for the school, flanked by other dignitaries before a crowd of guests and members of the news media. Prior to serving in Florida government, Harrell worked as a healthcare administrator in her husband’s OBGYN practice. In the Florida Senate, Harrell chairs the Committee on Health Policy and is Vice Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

“This is a day that is going to change the Treasure Coast tremendously,” Harrell said. “I can tell you that we are at a crisis situation when you see our aging population and you see the mass retirement we experienced during the pandemic, especially. This is the state-of-the-art facility. I’ve been in healthcare for 30 years, and I have never seen anything quite this impressive. This is truly the future of medicine.”

In addition, two large classrooms, each able to accommodate up to 120 students at once, and two smaller nursing laboratory classrooms seating 24 students each, the School of Nursing features an 11-bed high-fidelity simulated nursing center, a surgical suite, two medical/surgical rooms, two nursing stations, two labor and delivery rooms, two pediatric nursing rooms, and two Emergency/ICU rooms. There also is a room dedicated to home-health nursing.

“This newly renovated area was created by nurses for nurses,” said Patricia Gagliano, Dean of the IRSC School of Nursing. “The final product provides us with the tools and resources to guarantee that our nursing graduates, your future nurses, will meet the demands of our community and directly address the nursing shortage.”

IRSC’s School of Nursing has a long history of excellence. Students may choose from multiple programs, including Home Health Aide, Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.), Licensed Practical Nurse (L.P.N.), Registered Nurse (A.D.N.), and Bachelor of Science Nursing (R.N. to B.S.N.). The College maintains more than 250 clinical affiliation agreements with area healthcare agencies. Graduates are in high demand. Over the past three years, A.D.N. graduates have had a 99% employment rate. Local hospitals employ more than 80% of IRSC Nursing program graduates.

For more information about IRSC’s School of Nursing, visit

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