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Nirvana Health Services Establishes Scholarship in Physical Therapy, Nursing at UCF

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By Katie Korkosz

The UCF Colleges of Health and Public Affairs and Nursing are pleased to announce a new partnership with Nirvana Health Services, Inc. Recognizing the importance of nurses and physical therapists and the role they play in health care, Nirvana Health Services has established a $25,000 endowed scholarship at UCF. The scholarship will be available to students enrolled in the Doctorate in Physical Therapy and accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs. The first scholarship will be awarded this fall.

Leo Mendez, president and CEO of the company, said "Nirvana Health Services is excited to establish this scholarship to aid nursing and physical therapy students with on-going financial assistance. It will also present students with the choice of a different avenue of pursuit within the health care field since students will receive better knowledge about home care, the alternative to employment in a hospital or skilled nursing facility." This scholarship program will provide the framework for a lasting lucrative and challenging career in home care, he added.

Physical therapy. The program in physical therapy includes a three-year, nine-consecutive-semester professional curriculum designed to prepare entry-level therapists to practice in a variety of clinical settings. The professional curriculum is a full-time, "lock-step" program with no opportunity to take courses other than those prescribed by the curriculum. The program includes clinical practica and internships ranging from four-to-twelve weeks long. The program currently has 100 students enrolled, with another class of 40 being admitted this fall.

Nursing. The accelerated BSN program is designed for individuals with a bachelor's or higher degree in a non-nursing field who wish to change careers and become nurses. The full-time, "lock-step" program begins each May and takes four consecutive semesters, or 15 months, to complete. The professional curriculum includes service-learning courses with clinical rotations in culturally diverse, medically underserved communities, as well as clinical rotations in long-term care facilities, hospitals and other health care agencies. Students completing this degree program are eligible to sit for the national licensure exam for registered nurses (RN). The program currently has 110 students enrolled, with another class of 60 being admitted this summer.

Nirvana Health Services. Nirvana Health Services is a Medicare Certified home health agency serving Central Florida since 1994, with offices in Winter Park and Leesburg. Since its inception, the home health agency has seen thousands of patients in their own homes, and it currently provides services to more than 200 patients per day.  In the last year alone the company did more than 30,000 specialty nursing and therapy visits. The company celebrated its 15th year in business with a proclamation by Mayor Crotty on May 29, 2009. Its primary mission is to provide an exceptional quality of health care services to its patients in coordination with staff, patients and health care providers, in a caring, timely and professional manner.

For additional information about Nirvana Health Services, visit

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