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FLORIDA NEEDS NURSES: Shortage Of 59,000 Expected By 2035

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BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The Florida Hospital Association is sounding an alarm. The organization expects a shortfall of 59,100 nurses in the State of Florida by 2035.

This is the advisory issued by the FHA:

Florida faces a nursing crisis! There are not enough nurses now and that trend will continue into the next decade! That is the major finding of a new report released today commissioned by the Florida Hospital Association and the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida from IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO), a world leader in next-generation information and analytics that works with 50,000 business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500. 

The report’s projections show Florida will face a shortfall of 59,100 nurses by 2035. This includes a 12 percent shortfall, -37,400, in Registered Nurses (RN) and a 30 percent shortfall, -21,700, in Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). 

“Florida needs nurses now and well into the future. A recent FHA study, prior to the current spike in COVID-19, showed an 11 percent vacancy rate for nurses this spring and that one in four nurses left their positions last year,” said Mary C. Mayhew, President and CEO of the Florida Hospital Association.

“As Florida’s population continues to grow, our healthcare system must be ready to meet the ever-increasing demand for services. A strong healthcare workforce and capacity in the education system to graduate needed nurses over the coming years are critical.” 

Justin Senior, CEO of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida added, “As we have seen throughout this pandemic, there is no substitute for the care of an excellent nurse. Our state’s rapid, accelerating growth is a testament to the state’s strong pandemic response and to the state’s leadership during this crisis. This growth does put a strain on existing infrastructure – including health care generally and nurses specifically.  It is our hope that this study will provide valuable information to all of those in leadership positions about the state’s near-future nursing needs.”

The Nurse Workforce Projection Report found the need for nurses is not evenly distributed across the state.

Florida’s major metropolitan areas are projected to largely have an adequate supply of RNs, but a shortfall of LPNs. Florida’s rural areas and panhandle will face a shortage of RNs but have a largely adequate supply of LPNs. The Villages is projected to have the largest shortage of both RNs and LPNs.

Gainesville is projected to have a significant excess of both RNs and LPNs. 

In the report, the Florida Hospital Association and Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida suggest addressing the nurse shortage in the coming years by expanding nursing schools and clinical training capacity, increase the number of nurse faculty opportunities, improving pass rates of the nurse licensing exams which the state ranks towards the bottom in nationally, and taking advantage of an influx of people moving to Florida by increasing funding for recruitment of nurses from outside the state. 

The Florida Hospital Association and Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida also commissioned IHS Markit to conduct a similar projection for physicians. That report will be released later this fall.

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