New advice to help hospitals and universities tackle nursing shortages

Written by Monica Correa on July 19, 2022


Faced with a dramatic shortage of registered nurse practitioners projected in South Florida by 2035, Keizer University and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses have created an advisory council to help hospitals and universities work together to fill the void.

By 2023, Florida workforce projections show a supply of 243,546 registered nurses but a demand of 267,355, a supply adequacy of 91%, according to a 2021 report from Florida. Hospital Association and the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida. By 2035, the report says, the percentage of registered nurse adequacy drops to 88%, with a projection of 285,542 nurses and a demand of 322,928.

When it comes to licensed nurse practitioners (LPNs) in the state, the outlook is a bit bleaker. The same report shows an LPN adequacy percentage of 83% by next year, with supply of 46,680 and projected demand of 55,962.

For example, the Nursing Advisory Council, led by Adriana Nava, president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses; Gino Santorio, president and CEO of Mount Sinai Medical Center; Mary Mayhew, president and CEO of the Florida Hospital Association; Florida Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez; and Florida Rep. Marie Woodson, along with other key health players, educators and policymakers, were trained to “work together to define practical ways to address this challenge,” said Belinda Keiser, vice-president. Chancellor of Keizer University.

“Nurses, over the past few years, have certainly been a challenge to retain and recruit,” Santorio said. “Put simply, without action, the supply of nurses cannot and will not meet the demand of our communities.”

For the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area, in 2019 there were approximately 10,100 LPNs and a demand of 13,419, covering 75% of demand. By 2035, the expected supply is expected to be 10,590 LPNs in the region and demand is expected to reach 17,911, covering 59% of demand, according to the workforce projections report.

Nevertheless, when it comes to registered nurses in South Florida, supply is estimated to exceed demand at 101% match in 2019, with supply of 63,923 RNs and demand of 63,182. It is also projected that, by 2035, the region will have 79,010 registered nurses and a demand for only five more.

“The looming nursing workforce shortage is an important issue that we are here to address,” said Nava, whose national association is celebrating its 47th annual conference in Miami. “The past two years have been extremely difficult for nurses.

A study by Incredible Health said that 70% of Florida hospitals can anticipate critical nurse shortages in the coming years, and in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the demand for nurses will increase by more than 3 500 from 2022 to 2023, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

In 2019, there was an estimated shortage of 11,481 RNs in Florida, but U.S. nursing schools turned away more than 80,000 qualified baccalaureate and graduate nursing applicants because they had too few faculty to fill them. teach them, said Senator Rodriguez. “We know that some of the major drivers of the shortage include Florida’s aging population, poorly funded nursing programs, and a lack of nursing faculty.”

Rep. Woodson said a major issue for nurses when it comes to retention is affordable housing. “A lot of nurses can’t even find affordable housing to come and work here, graduate [a university] able to work and live there.

She added that in the state legislature, policymakers are advocating for increased funding for nursing schools. “A lot of students who would like to get a nursing degree can’t afford to pay,” she said. “So it’s a lot of work we have to do, but it’s something we’ll look at and try to provide some incentives.”

In 2020, the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration said it gave money to Florida universities through its Nurses Loan Program, including St. Thomas University, which received $349,843. ; Florida Atlantic University, which received $678,109; and the University of Central Florida, which received $15,900.

In 2022, HCA, one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers, donated $1.5 million to expand nursing faculty and provide scholarships to increase enrollment in nursing programs across the country. Florida International University. The University of Florida also received $95,455,000 for telehealth training, and Florida Atlantic University received $64,285 for a nurse telehealth training program. “These efforts are just the tip of the iceberg,” Ms. Rodriguez said. “We must continue to work together to increase opportunities and create pathways for those who wish to become nurses.”

The newly formed council must work to “collectively understand what is working” when educating nurses, said John McFadden, dean of Barry University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences and council member.

Other board members include Florida Senator Ileana Garcia; Dean of Nursing at Nova Southeastern University Marcella Rutherford; Florida Senators Darryl Rouson, Dennis Baxley, Shevrin Jones and Lauren Book; president of St. Thomas University David A. Armstrong; Director of Nursing Program at Keiser University, Dr. Inela Brito; and Dr. Debra A. Toney, president of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Association.

“When we talk about the future, I’ve often heard that talent – ​​the workforce – is vital, but also the number one currency today,” Ms Keizer said.

“There is an opportunity, as we work through these important challenges, to ensure that we identify, communicate and encourage those who have an interest in nursing.”

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