Fla. legislation produces more--but less competent--nurses

An increasing number of short-term nursing education programs in Florida are boosting the number of nurses, but not necessarily ones prepared and competent to pass nursing exams, according to an article in the Miami Herald. While the number of two-year programs jumped from 181 to 281 by the end of 2012, the percentage of programs that offer bachelor's degrees for nurses fell. Eleven of the two-year programs on probation were piloted in 2011 or later, after the legislation passed. Some healthcare officials claim these programs were not up to par with the Board of Nursing, which assessed and approved proposed nursing programs prior to the 2009 legislation. "Florida doesn't need more associate's degree nurses," said Ann-Lynn Denker, one of the 13 members of the state Board of Nursing. "These people don't have to go $100,000 into debt. Community colleges offer programs that are cheaper and offer a way for a student to move on into a bachelor's program if they want to down the line." Article