ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Piedmont Virginia Community College is expanding its associate degree in nursing program by partnering with the University of Virginia Medical Center and with support from an anonymous donor.

This will allow PVCC to provide a direct impact while also addressing the shortage of nurses in Central Virginia, according to a news release.

There will be a contribution from UVA Health contribution of $400,000 over a three-year period and also a $300,000 private contribution.

PVCC's nursing program currently accepts 100 students each fall. However, the college says it turns away hundreds of qualified candidates every year because of space, faculty and other limitations with resources.

"We have probably 300 applicants per year, but we can only offer 100 spots, and there's such a critical need for nurses everywhere right now. We are in a crisis situation like I've never seen before," said PVCC's Dean of Health and Science Services Nicole Winkler.

This expansion will allow for 50 more nursing students every year. UVA Health will provide clinical opportunities for these students as well.

The expanded nursing program allows for the opportunity for students to graduate in December instead of May.

The expansion will advance the facilities at PVCC's Giuseppe Center in Greene County, including an upgrade to two skills labs to match the ones at the PVCC Main Campus in Albemarle County. There will also be two more full-time faculty members from this expansion.

“As the community’s college, PVCC seeks to be flexible and responsive to the workforce needs in Central Virginia. Expanding our nursing program has been a long-term goal. We are extremely grateful for the generous philanthropic support the UVA Medical Center and other community members have provided to make this goal a reality,” PVCC President Frank Friedman said in the release. “We are equally delighted to be able to elevate our partnership with the UVA Medical Center. This expansion will not only help address the critical nursing shortage in our community, but also provide our students with the opportunity to prepare for work in rewarding and high-demand careers.”

“We are excited to partner with PVCC to provide more Central Virginia residents with the opportunity to fill a vital role in our community by becoming nurses,” Wendy Horton, UVA Medical Center’s chief executive officer, said in the release. “The need for highly skilled nurses has never been greater, and we look forward to welcoming even more PVCC nursing graduates to care for our patients.”