News Releases

UWF receives approval for Triumph grant to address nursing workforce demands

The University of West Florida is positioned to fill projected gaps in the Northwest Florida nursing workforce, following the final approval of a $6,685,757 Triumph grant. Details of the grant were approved on Sept. 28, 2023. Triumph Gulf Coast’s board of directors tentatively approved of the award in June.

“This new funding will enhance nursing program offerings on both the Pensacola and Emerald Coast campuses, allowing UWF to make important new contributions to the state and regional Healthcare workforce,” said UWF President Martha D. Saunders.

UWF requested $6,685,757 over eight years to expand and improve delivery of nursing credentials and related health science certifications administered by UWF’s Usha Kundu, MD College of Health. UWF will commit $10,558,412, the remaining cost of the $17,244,169 project. 

The University will use award funds to assist in the expansion of programs in its Usha Kundu, MD College of Health including two new nursing programs. One will be an evening/weekend Bachelor of Science in Nursing program which will provide flexibility for individuals who are employed and work traditional business hours. The other will be a direct entry master’s degree which will allow individuals who have a bachelor’s in a science to become nurses. 

The Triumph award also includes funding to help the University expand its medical laboratory sciences certificate programs; develop a new respiratory therapy bachelor’s degree program; renovate facilities at the Pensacola and Emerald Coast campuses; hire personnel; acquire simulation and laboratory equipment and supplies; and provide student transportation services. All new programs will be taught in person on UWF’s Pensacola campus.

“Programs supported through this Triumph Gulf Coast grant produce healthcare workers that are in high demand,” said Dr. David Bellar, dean of the Usha Kundu, MD College of Health. “This project is critical for our ability to support both the current and future needs of our region.”

Data prepared by the UWF Haas Center suggests five-year regional workforce growth rates of 23% in nursing, 7.5% in medical laboratory sciences and 5% in respiratory therapy.

For more information about UKCOH, visit For more information about Triumph Gulf Coast, visit