New Dedicated Education Unit Provides Lake County Nursing Students with Unique One-on-One Learning Opportunity

Clermont, FL (November 1, 2022) – Orlando Health South Lake Hospital and Lake-Sumter State College have partnered together to develop a teaching-learning model that welcomes student nurses to a dedicated medical unit located on the hospital’s campus for their entire clinical rotation. The dedicated education unit will pair students one-on-one with Orlando Health South Lake registered nurses who will serve as clinical instructors and mentors while also helping students develop partnerships needed for a successful nursing career. The first class to participate in the program started earlier this month. 

Orlando Health South Lake’s dedicated education unit provides Lake-Sumter State College nursing program students with a unique advantage in their last year of nursing school. The education and experience gained in the hospital and under the supervision of their clinical instructor further support what they are learning in the classroom. As the relationship between each clinical instructor and student develops, it also creates an individualized learning and clinical experience. By spending the last year of nursing school embedded in the hospital and becoming familiar with the clinical environment, students bypass some of the adjustments many graduate nurses experience upon entering the workforce for the first time.  

“We’re excited to partner with Lake-Sumter State College to further enhance nursing education in South Lake County,” said Bonnie Onofre, M.S.N., chief nursing officer, Orlando Health South Lake. “Allowing these nursing students to witness and apply what they learn in a one-on-one, clinical environment helps brings their education full circle and gives them a unique advantage when they graduate. Our dedicated education unit will help foster career-long relationships and give student nurses the opportunity to learn from veteran nurses dedicated to providing the best healthcare possible.” 

Lake-Sumter State College nursing program faculty will work closely with Orlando Health South Lake clinical instructors throughout the program to ensure on-site learning supplements the nursing program curriculum and supports course outcomes. Progress and milestones students reach throughout their clinical rotation are communicated with the school's nursing program faculty and used to provide additional support and encouragement throughout the semester. 

“We are appreciative of our strong partnership with Orlando Health South Lake Hospital and thrilled to be able to offer the DEU experience to more student nurses in our nursing program,” said Dr. Jessica Shearer, LSSC Dean of Allied Health. “With the DEU, you’re assigned a specific nurse that you see each and every day, so you get an opportunity to explore how they think, how they solve problems, and how they plan their day. The end result is nurses who are more comfortable with patient care as they’re already gaining comfort applying their classroom training and building problem-solving skills. The nurses leave the program comfortable with their nurse preceptor, the facility, and its culture.” 


About Orlando Health

Orlando Health, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with $8 billion of assets under management that serves the southeastern United States. 

Founded more than 100 years ago, the healthcare system is recognized around the world for Central Florida’s only pediatric and adult Level One Trauma program as well as the only state-accredited Level Two Adult Trauma Center in the St. Petersburg region. It is the home of the nation’s largest neonatal intensive care unit under one roof, the only system in the southeast to offer open fetal surgery to repair the most severe forms of spina bifida, the site of an Olympic athlete training facility and operator of one of the largest and highest performing clinically integrated networks in the region. Orlando Health has pioneered life-changing medical research and its Graduate Medical Education program hosts more than 350 residents and fellows. The 3,200-bed system includes 10 award-winning hospitals, 9 hospital based ERs, and 7 free-standing emergency rooms; rehabilitation services, cancer and heart institutes, imaging and laboratory services, wound care centers, physician offices for adults and pediatrics, skilled nursing facilities, an in-patient behavioral health facility, home healthcare services in partnership with LHC Group, and urgent care centers in partnership with FastMed Urgent Care. More than 4,200 physicians, representing more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties have privileges across the Orlando Health system, which employs more than 23,000 team members. In FY21, Orlando Health served more than 160,000 inpatients and 3.6 million outpatients. During that same time period, Orlando Health provided approximately $648 million in total value to the communities it serves in the form of charity care, community benefit programs and services, community building activities and more. Additional information can be found at, or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @orlandohealth. 

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