The latest report on Florida’s nurse workforce found an estimated statewide 9,111 RN vacancies (as of June 2013) and 4,162 new RN positions planned to be created in 2014. The Florida Center for Nursing’s report found that demand for nurses will be affected by the combined factors of an aging population requiring more care, and the variable economic drivers of Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements, fluctuating state and local economies, changing care delivery models, and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The Center’s report, Demand for Nurses in Florida: The 2013 Survey of Florida’s Nurse Employers, surveyed six nurse-intensive industries to evaluate the state’s demand for registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants/home health aides. This survey has been conducted by the Center for Nursing biennially since 2007.
Nurse turnover remains high, increasing in hospitals and psychiatric hospitals for RNs, but decreasing in home health and hospice. The median turnover for RNs in hospitals is 18%, and 35% for RNs in home health. “Florida’s nurse employers must find methods to reduce nurse turnover, and encourage experienced nurses to move up the career ladder into positions of greater responsibility, which will open up positions for less experienced personnel to enter the workforce,” said Mary Lou Brunell, RN, Executive Director of the Florida Center for Nursing. “Retention efforts for the aging nurse workforce should focus on improving the work environment for the aging workforce, so these valuable nurses with years of experience can remain in positions of mentorship for newer nurses.”
Home health agencies are predicted to experience the largest growth in nursing positions among the surveyed industries, with expected growth of over 3,000 RN positions, 1,700 LPN positions, and 2,700 CNA positions through 2014. Home health agencies also have the highest number of estimated vacancies for LPNs and CNAs, and over 2,700 RN vacancies. “The need for experienced RNs and Advanced Practice Nurses in the home care field will continue, as these care delivery settings grow due to an aging population and care shifting away from the expensive hospital setting,” said Ms. Brunell.
Ninety percent of responding hospitals indicated they hired new graduate RNs, while 71% said they preferentially hire new graduate BSNs. The majority of responding facilities provided some type of educational support for their nursing staff to advance their education. Employers reported difficult to fill positions were a mix of those requiring advanced education and/or specialized training (such as operating room and administration), along with positions requiring less experience such as staff and inpatient RNs, LPNs, and CNAs. “The Center recommends that Florida continue to strategically increase production of new nurses, and that employers develop models of incumbent worker education and training to meet the diverse hiring needs,” said Ms. Brunell.
For more information on the Florida Center for Nursing, and to view a full copy of the reports, please visit www.FLCenterforNursing.org.
The Florida Center for Nursing is the definitive source for information, research, and strategies addressing the dynamic nurse workforce needs in Florida.