Hundreds of thousands of dollars are coming to nursing students in Southwest Florida. They will graduate free of student loans. It is part of a donation from a Naples family.
There are grateful handshakes between the future nurses of Collier County and Karl and Alice Sheffield.
“Our students will be able to graduate debt-free,” said Dr. Deborah Selman, director of nursing for Florida SouthWestern State College.
The couple donated $405,000 to cover the tuition for 270 nursing students for the next five semesters.
Deborah said with the generous gift, the program can accept more nursing students to help alleviate the nursing shortage in our area.
“You have able students who are dedicated to do that and they have that here,” Karl said. “But there also is a little problem. There’s so much hard work and becoming a nurse that if you have to have a job on the side in order to pay her tuition and expenses, it gets very complicated.”
Jennifer Weaver, a nursing student at FSW, knew that it would be financially challenging going into the program. But a special person kept pushing her through.
“My grandmother was a nurse and she was spectacular and passed away last year,” Jennifer said. “She really inspired me. My mom is actually a tech, so she’s always been involved with and I just kind of fell into it.”
As for Jennifer and the rest of the students in the nursing program, they said they will always be grateful to the Sheffield family for their act of kindness.