UCF breaks ground on new nursing building in Lake Nona
Rendering of Dr. Phillips Nursing Pavilion at University of Central Florida's Lake Nona campus.

UCF_Exteriors_06_nursing sign (1)
Where "great thinkers live, future nurses learn, and innovators and scholars work together to solve our world’s most pressing healthcare problems."

University of Central Florida (UCF) officials celebrated the groundbreaking Friday of the new Lake Nona nursing building that will help the school educate more nurses at a time when the state badly needs them.

Construction on the high-tech $68 million Dr. Phillips Nursing Pavilion is set to be completed fall 2025.

“A building is space where you’re able to do what you need to do. For the UCF College of Nursing, it will be a venue where great thinkers live, future nurses learn, and innovators and scholars work together to solve our world’s most pressing healthcare problems,” said College of Nursing Dean Mary Lou Sole. “In this building, the Dr. Phillips Nursing Pavilion, UCF will unleash potential that will have an immeasurable impact for generations to come.”

UCF showcased renderings of the building that featured exterior facades with bright windows and inside mock hospital rooms and classrooms.

Here in the bigger space, UCF projects it will graduate 150 additional nurses each year. Already, UCF boasts it graduates more newly licensed registered nurses every year than any other public school in the State University System. About 260 Knight nurses are currently entering the workforce each year and most stay in Florida to work, according to UCF.

The nursing school is paid for a combination of private and public dollars. State government has committed $43.7 million for the project with UCF crediting former Senate President Wilton Simpson as helping champion it. Orlando Health and AdventHealth each gave $5 million and  Dr. Phillips Charities’ $10 million which kicked off other donations, UCF said.

“The UCF story has been fueled by partnership, community investment, industry engagement, and the support of our elected leaders,” said Alex Martins, Chair of the UCF Board of Trustees and CEO of the Orlando Magic. “Today’s groundbreaking on the new home of our nationally ranked College of Nursing is a true symbol of community partnership, where together this community has positioned our great university to unleash the potential of every individual and drive impact across our region and our state.”

Located in bustling and growing Lake Nona, the Dr. Phillips Nursing Pavilion will be next to UCF’s medical school. The area is dubbed Medical City. Being next-door means UCF’s doctors and nurses in training will have opportunities to collaborate and work together, the school said.

“UCF has a bold vision to scale our nationally ranked College of Nursing to provide the highest quality healthcare education to graduate more nurses, who are desperately needed in Florida,” said UCF President Alexander Cartwright. “The UCF College of Nursing’s Dr. Phillips Nursing Pavilion is a state-of-the-art space that will enable us to reshape the next generation of healthcare and create a healthier, brighter future for our entire state through education and innovation.”

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .

One comment

  • PeterH

    January 13, 2024 at 11:30 am

    Florida’s and America’s doctor and nurse shortage can only be solved with mass immigration! The USA is in desperate need of 8 million new immigrants!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704