ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Ascension Sacred Heart and the University of West Florida are partnering up to allow nursing students to receive a more immersive experience, according to a news release.

The partnership will allow 16 upper-level nursing students to complete their last three semesters of classes on Sacred Heart’s campus.

Sacred Heart is investing $228,000 for the first group of students. That amount will also be matched by Florida’s Linking Industry to Nursing Education fund.

UWF Provost and Senior Vice President Dr. Gary Liguori said, “Sacred Heart’s investment in UWF’s nursing program is significant in both size and scope, and emphasizes the value UWF can play in meeting the nursing shortage.

“The creation of healthcare provider-university partnerships is critical to meet the current and future needs of the local healthcare workforce, and Sacred Heart’s commitment to UWF will keep that pipeline strong for many years to come.”

Funding from Sacred Heart will go toward student scholarships and staff stipends for this educational opportunity.

“We are blessed to be able to provide additional support to our local nursing students and the University of West Florida in this collaborative way,” said President of Sacred Heart Pensacola Will Condon.

“It’s in the best interest of our community that we continue to cultivate and support our nurses of tomorrow in every way possible.”