Florida International University Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences created the nations first Foreign-Educated Physician (FEP) nursing Track in 2000. This pioneering Track offers doctors from other countries, who are not practicing medicine in the U.S., the unique opportunity to reemerge in the healthcare industry as nurses and nurse practitioners. Tapping this underutilized source for qualified nurses is a way to alleviate the nursing shortage, improve health care for patients, and increase diversity in the nursing workforce. This Track received a Recognition of Excellence Award distinction from the U.S. Department of Labor in 2006 as a viable 21st Century Workforce solution for the healthcare industry. In 2010, the FEP-to-BSN was transitioned into the FEP BSN/MSN as a way to fast-track students in pursuit of their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. This new accelerated curriculum allows students to obtain their MSN degree and become nurse practitioners in 8 semesters (3 years) as opposed to the traditional 6 years. Students in this track have the option to stop-out with their BSN-only degree after five semesters if they choose not to continue in the graduate track. Since graduating its first class in Miami in 2003, many FEPs have made their way from around the globe into nursing in Miami, Orlando, and Tampa.