Plantation Community Foundation of Venice Awards Grant to SCF Nursing

The Plantation Community Foundation of Venice, Florida has awarded State College of Florida Foundation a $2,800 grant to purchase IV infusion pumps for the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota nursing program in Venice.

The Plantation Community Foundation met a vital need to purchase IV infusion pumps, which will allow the nursing program to upgrade training and to offer additional student practice. Infusion pumps offer significant advantages over manual administration of fluids, including the ability to deliver fluids in very small volumes and at precisely programmed rates or automated intervals. They can deliver nutrients or medications, such as insulin or other hormones, antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs and pain relievers.

Nursing students gain in-demand skills using the IV infusion pumps, which are incorporated into training scenarios to replicate a wide range of real-life healthcare situations in medical facilities. The IV infusion pumps can be used to teach nursing students to develop consistent habits of responsible practice to avoid life-threatening medical dispensing errors. The more SCF can provide real-life experiences in a safe and controlled simulated clinical environment, the better prepared SCF nursing graduates will be.

The Plantation Community Foundation of Venice is composed of residents of Venice’s Plantation community and surrounding neighborhoods, and members and employees of the Plantation Golf and Country Club, whose mission is to improve the quality of life in South Sarasota County.

Medical equipment for the nursing program are among the most expensive items the college must purchase for teaching. SCF offers nursing classes at its three campuses and online. To donate to the program or for more information, contact Cassandra Holmes, executive director of the State College of Florida Foundation, at

Couple Creates Nursing Scholarship in Memory of Infant Son

A Manatee County couple has created a nursing scholarship at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) in memory of their infant son, who was born prematurely and died December 27, 2016 after 190 days of life.

The David Skinner Gerstenberger Memorial Bachelor of Science Nursing Scholarship honors the nurses who helped care for David and was established to help other nurses advance their careers. David was born prematurely on Father’s Day last June and was flown from Sarasota Memorial Hospital to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg within hours of his birth. David was diagnosed with Pfeiffer syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by premature fusion of certain skull bones. David went through 20 procedures, including operations for a tracheostomy, gastrostomy and removal of granulomas. He spent most of his life breathing through a ventilator.

His parents, Stephanie Skinner and Thomas Gerstenberger, worked closely with David’s nurses to learn how to care for their baby. They learned how to do everything from cleaning his tracheostomy to caring for his eyes. They formed a bond with the nurses and other families at All Children’s Hospital and are still in touch with them. After their son died, one of the ways they decided to give back was through the SCF scholarship for nursing students. Skinner and Gerstenberger both graduated from SCF and knew about the nursing school’s outstanding reputation.

They give back in other ways as well through volunteering for Ronald McDonald House; High Risk Hope, an organization that helps mothers through high-risk pregnancies; and at All Children’s Hospital. As difficult as the loss of their son was, they find joy in giving back to those who are struggling. They also are looking forward to seeing who gets the nursing scholarship and watching that person succeed.

Contact Allison Nash, SCF Foundation scholarship coordinator, at or 941-752-5633 to contribute to the scholarship.