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Florida projected to need nearly 60,000 nurses by 2035; see how TMH and Goodwill are working to meet demand

Next class for CNAs starts April 15
Posted at 5:55 PM, Mar 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-29 17:55:22-04
  • Florida is projected to need nearly 60,000 nurses by 2035.
  • Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare and Goodwill have partnered to help close this gap.
  • Watch the video above to see how the program works and how you can get involved.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Thursday, March 21, 2024) – Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) and Goodwill Industries, Big Bend - Inc. are partnering to expand healthcare employment opportunities and build a pipeline of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) in the region.

Goodwill offers six weeks of onsite classes and online courses to prepare CNA students to take their certification exams and enter the workforce. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will have the opportunity to be employed at TMH. The partnership will address the growing need for qualified healthcare professionals and strengthen the local workforce.

“As the region’s healthcare leader, TMH is dedicated to working with community partners to meet our region’s healthcare workforce needs,” said Ryan Smith, vice president and chief clinical officer/chief nursing officer at TMH. “Our partnership with Goodwill will create economic opportunities for local students and allow them to work at TMH where they can continue to grow their careers.”

Rick Campbell, director of Training Development at Goodwill, said, “Partnering with TMH helps our program stay better in tune with the needs of the healthcare industry and helps our students better prepare for a rewarding career with a reputable healthcare provider.”

The initiative reflects TMH and Goodwill’s commitment to fostering local talent and creating pathways for career growth that can lead to higher levels of education and compensation. TMH offers tuition reimbursement or scholarships to CNAs interested in becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN) or other clinical professional.

Kayla Streeter, currently enrolled, discovered the program at the Kearney Center because of its partnership with the Goodwill Prosperity Center. She plans to work for TMH and pursue the pathway to become a Registered Nurse. Streeter said, “The path is laid for you. If you’re interested in furthering yourself, take the steps and walk down the path.”

Goodwill began training CNAs in 2015 at its Panama City and Tallahassee location, and has produced more than 700 graduates. Since partnering with TMH, ten students have graduated and two of them are working at TMH. Florida is projected to need nearly 60,000 nurses by 2035.

CNA experience builds a foundation for someone interested in a nursing career. CNAs provide essential inpatient or outpatient care and may work in a hospital, rehabilitation center, long-term care facility or home health environment. CNAs support nurses, often allowing nurses to dedicate more time to direct patient care.

The CNA courses consist of skill-building classes and clinical experience. Students will receive training at Goodwill’s Career Center, 300 Mabry St. Tuition is free and students only pay for a background check, BLS certification and their CNA exam fee.

Goodwill’s Mabry location serves as a Prometric Testing Site for Florida, allowing students to test for their certifications in a familiar setting. The program culminates with the students graduating and earning their Basic Life Support certification and their CNA certification. TMH’s Talent Acquisition team will extend letters of employment at graduation, contingent on certification.

The program will train and graduate classes of 35 students every six weeks. The next class starts April 15. The deadline to enroll in the CNA course is April 1. Anyone interested in the program can call the Career Center at 850-316-4972 to discuss enrollment.