For years, many states have been facing a nursing shortage and it is only expected to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that the United States will need another 203,700 new RNs every year until 2026 to fill openings.
Despite being one of the top states employing nurses, Florida is no exception to the nursing shortage. By 2025, the Florida Center for Nursing expects that the state to see half the amount of nurses actively employed. Florida could face such a shortage of registered nurses that it could reduce access to care and potentially harm the healthcare system in Florida. For this reason, there is no better time to begin your nursing in Florida.
Here’s what you need to know about Florida’s nursing shortage and what’s being done to get it resolved:
What’s causing the shortage?
There are several factors contributing to the nursing shortage. In Florida specifically, population growth and retirements add to the growing demand.
Widely known as an ideal retirement destination, Florida’s need for more skilled nurses will increase as the baby boomer generation continues to retire. In fact, each day, about 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 and percentage of this demographic moves to Florida. Geriatrics is anticipated to become more important since patients are living longer.
While the general population is aging, so are some nurses in the workforce. According to the Florida Center for Nursing, more than 40% of nurses are within the baby boomer demographic and are looking to retire in the next 10 years. There is a constant need to find new and younger nurses to replace them.
Resolving the nursing shortage will require introducing a new demographic of new nurses into the work force, adapting work environments as well as preparing for older nurses to retire while anticipating some to work beyond their retirement.
What’s being done?
Several actions have been taken around the United States to battle the shortage. With strategies for retention and an increase in nursing education, the Florida Center of Nursing expects a rise in the number of Florida nursing school graduates.
For example, the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded grants to schools, including Florida universities, to increase telehealth training. Telehealth is the use of technology in healthcare and can be used in all forms of healthcare. Telehealth courses, including Herzing University’s online nursing programs and classes, are providing students a way to pursue more accessible degrees. With the growth of telemedicine, nurses are able to provide care to patients who are homebound or that live in remote areas.
Also, some Florida hospitals are offering tuition reimbursement for employees who want to go to nursing school. This is to encourage students who may want to become a nurse but are worried about paying for school to pursue their schooling. Some of these include but aren’t limited to:
- Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare
- Nicklaus Children's Hospital
- North Florida Regional Medical Center
Because of these efforts, a Health Affairs study reported that millennials are entering the nursing field at almost twice the rate as baby boomers did. With continued work of support and education, the Florida Center of Nursing show the possibility of recovery by 2023.