Brooks Home Health Division Launches Student Nursing Program with University of North Florida

News Update

Apr 2, 2024

Brooks Rehabilitation recently formed a partnership with the University of North Florida (UNF) nursing program in Jacksonville, Fla., to provide nursing students in-depth clinical experience in the area of home health.    

In fall of 2023, UNF approached Felecia Hudson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CRRN, ICM,  director of performance improvement and education in Brooks Rehabilitation’s Home Health division, to develop a clinical practicum for senior nursing students as they were entering the last portion of their nursing program. The program’s first cohort began January 2024. The participants are expected to complete the initial program end of April 2024. 

How the Program Works  

The home health/UNF partnership was designed to ensure nursing students gain practical clinical experience and in-depth experience in what home health nursing entails.  “This is different than what we have done prior to this collaboration,” said Dr. Hudson. “In the past, we may have had nursing students come in and observe home health for a day. But with this partnership, the students are with us for an entire semester.”  

Dr. Hudson along with the clinical educator at UNF, Sarah Knowles, MSN-Ed., RN, meet with students every two to three weeks to receive feedback. Students must complete 60 clinical hours in the program.  

Program participants must then develop a project aimed at a topic that would help patients in a home health setting. Examples of possible project topics may include home safety or dealing with a lack of caregiver resources. 

Home Health Nursing Career Outlook 

After graduation, many nurses start their career in an acute care setting. However, their exposure at Brooks may help some nurses see home health as a viable option to launch their nursing career or transition to at some point.  

“We believe our clinical partnership is a great opportunity to provide an experience that the students would not traditionally get in nursing school,” said Dr. Hudson. 

Though skilled nursing employment has decreased since the pandemic, hiring nurses is still a challenge. Florida ranks as third in the nation, after California and Texas, as having the highest level of employment for skilled nursing, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, making filling RN positions competitive. Between 2021 and 2040 the skilled nursing industry will need to fill three million RN jobs as the industry adds new jobs and nurses transition or retire out of the job market. RNs also account for 11.3% of the employment in the home health sector. 

“It allows the students to have that exposure to what we do,” says Hudson. “Down the line, this can be something from a recruitment perspective to help get new nurses into the pipeline for home health.” 

Brooks hopes to continue to grow the program with UNF and possibly expand it. “With the success of the collaboration with UNF, we are looking at ways to branch out and reach more students,” said Hudson. “We hope to roll this program out in our south and west regions with local nursing colleges and universities.” 

Interested in a career in home health at Brooks? Visit, to learn more.  Interested in education opportunities through Brooks? Visit


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