Each year, Florida International University trains 170 to 175 nurses. About 85% stay and work in Florida, says Ora Strickland, dean of the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the CRF. She spoke to FLORIDA TREND about the effects of COVID-19 on the nursing profession.
Shortage: âThere was a nursing shortage even before COVID hit, mainly related to the fact that many nurses were aging and retiring, and we were not producing nurses quickly enough to replace them. Then COVID came along and put a huge demand on hospitals and the healthcare system. COVID requires a lot of specialist nursing care to help people cope. We are in trouble if we do not fix this problem.
Emotional toll: âIt’s not only physically demanding to take care of COVID patients, but it’s also emotionally demanding because so many of these patients die, and you are their only source of bedside support as they die. That’s why nurses are getting burned out. The work is so demanding that some older nurses decide to retire. But there are retired nurses who have decided to come back and help.
New interest: âWe have not seen a drop in the number of applicants who wish to become nurses. It has not affected our ability to attract potential students. They are on board; they still want to be nurses. We just can’t produce them quickly enough to meet demand.
Faculty needs: âI believe the state legislature could help us by providing more funding for nursing teacher education. Most nursing schools struggle to find well-prepared nurses who can teach and train exceptional nurses. The Legislature could also provide scholarships for registered nurses who wish to become professors of nursing. Students who are training to become nursing instructors and teachers need financial support. We compete with very high salaries in the clinical setting.
To pay: âDuring COVID, nurses’ salaries really went up, especially for traveling nurses. A new travel nurse can earn $ 5,500 per week. That’s over $ 280,000 a year. If you’re an experienced critical care nurse, you can make over $ 10,000 a week – that’s over $ 500,000 a year – if you’re willing to travel to areas of the country where there are real ones. shortages and working with COVID patients. “
Find out more in the November issue of Florida Trend.
Choose from the following options: