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Former Patient and Recent STC Graduate Aspires to be Catalyst of Change


According to, Florida is in the top five states projected to have the largest shortage of nurses with a projected shortage of more than 59,000 nurses by 2035. What does that mean for recent Suncoast Technical College Practical Nursing Graduate, Paige Kinney? It means that her chosen profession will provide her with an amazing, rewarding and lucrative career for years to come.

Paige is no stranger to hospitals. She’s had her fair share of hospital stays and knows first-hand, the intrinsic value of caring, compassionate nursing professionals. “My experiences, both as a child and as an adult, allowed me to witness the incredible impact that nurses have on patients’ lives.” Paige says that it was in those hospital rooms that she realized the power of the nursing profession and the difference it makes in the lives of others. “I knew early on that I wanted to be that source of comfort and healing.” She also believes that her own experiences as a patient will allow her to empathize with and understand the unique needs of each patient under her care.

Paige graduated alongside eight others from the Suncoast Technical College, North Port Branch, Practical Nursing Program in August, 2023. “Through STC’s comprehensive curriculum, I have gained a solid foundation in the principles of nursing practice, including patient care, critical thinking, and evidence-based decision-making. My clinical rotations provided valuable opportunities for me to apply my learning in real-world healthcare settings, honing my clinical skills and building my confidence.” Paige is grateful to all her instructors, but especially Ms. Rawlings, who she stated, “is an absolute ROCKSTAR in the field and showed an extra commitment toward not only Paige’s success, but to the success of each and every student.”

When asked about the nursing shortage and what advice she would give to someone who may be interested in the field, Paige said this. “Nursing is a demanding yet incredibly fulfilling profession. Throughout your journey, I encourage you to embrace the opportunities to learn and grow, both in the classroom and in clinical settings. Remember to prioritize self-care, as it’s essential  for maintaining your own well-being. Lean on your classmates and mentors for support and know that you are entering a profession that is not just extremely high in demand, but one that will change your life and the lives of those around you.”

Paige is scheduled to take the NCLEX in October. She will attend Galen Nursing College in January, 2024, and plans to obtain her Associates of Science Degree while working in a hospital setting, specializing in surgical nursing. Her long term goal is to then become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologist (CRNA), and someday pursue travel nursing to align with her love for travel and passion for nursing. “In the next five years, I see myself not just as a nurse, but as a catalyst of change, influence, and comfort in the healthcare ecosystem.”

By Laurie Dillon
September 6, 2023