Faculty, space constraints hurt FL nursing base growth

A new report suggests that a lack of faculty and clinical space at Florida's nursing schools is hampering the growth of the state's nurse talent base. According to a recent survey, vacancy rates for registered nurses in Florida are above 9 percent at hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, public health departments and hospitals. Not only that, all but the public health departments expected to see their list of RN positions grow by at least 5 percent from 2008 to 2009. 

However, as is happening in other states, Florida's nursing programs are well over capacity. During academic 2006-2007, they turned away more than 10,000 qualified applicants, according to a separate study. Schools are turning students away because they don't have enough faculty or clinical space available. Programs in the state had a 10.6 percent faculty vacancy rate for LPN program, 6.1 percent for Associate Degree in Nursing programs and 11.1 percent in BSN programs. This isn't surprising, given that faculty salaries are much lower than what educated nurses can make in other settings, observers noted.

To learn more about Florida's nursing shortage:
- read this South Florida Business Journal piece

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