Nursing Notes

October 13, 2009

Florida facing shortage of nurses

Here is another article that describes the current nursing shortage as being very complex.  This article discusses the shortage from the dwindling number of nursing instructors and the effect these lower numbers are having on the overall shortage.

I have always felt that this problem is multi-focused.  First, you have nurses leaving after a long term commitment to the profession.  The population is aging and so are the nurses.  Second, you have many younger people wanting to become nurses and alleviate the shortage, but they are being turned away from nursing schools because there are not enough instructors to allow for larger numbers to be accepted.  Third, you have middle-aged nurses getting burned out due to over work and understaffing.  These nurses are leaving in large numbers to take early retirement, or to just simplify their lives.  Then, you have the younger nurses who leave to care for new and very young families when it becomes apparent that this job takes a bigger toll on your personal life than expected.

I really don’t have an answer to this problem, and apparently no one else does either.  I wonder what we will all do when no one can get any care when they are truly ill?

Posted: Oct 09, 2009 3:07 PM CDT
Updated: Oct 09, 2009 5:22 PM CDT

LEE COUNTY: A statewide nursing shortage is expected to get even worse. Nursing schools are now turning away many well-qualified applicants, because there are not enough teachers to run the classrooms.

In the next 10 years, Florida is expected to be short 52,000 nurses.

“The United States does have a shortage of nursing. Florida does have a shortage of nursing. But in Fort Myers, Naples, Charlotte County – we’re not really having a shortage of nursing,” said Dr. Mary Lewis, Edison State College Associate Dean of Nursing.

At least, that is not the case just yet.

As more instructors retire, Edison State College is a perfect example of luck running out. Nursing schools are becoming desperate for masters level nurses to teach. But it’s tough to entice a teacher with no money.

“We’re offering them a different salary, much lower salary, sometimes one-third or one-half of what they can get using their nurse practitioner or their administrative licenses abilities so we need the educators but education just doesn’t pay,” said Lewis.

Fewer teachers will mean fewer nurses.

While Lee Memorial Health System isn’t feeling the pinch yet, it is having trouble recruiting people from out of the area.

“Depending on what their spouse or significant other’s career or employment type might be, with our high unemployment rate here in Lee County it can be challenging,” said Kristy Rigot of Lee Memorial Health System Human Resources.

In a down economy, the nursing shortage isn’t getting any better. In fact just in the next year, the state will be down about 18,000.By Christina Mora

Florida facing shortage of nurses – WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida

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