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Survey: Growth expected in Florida's nursing field

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(CNN/Meron Moges-Gerbi)

A recent study by the Florida Center for Nursing found that the state has thousands of vacancies for Registered Nurses and more growth is expected.

The Florida Center for Nursing’s report, Demand for Nurses in Florida: The 2015 Survey of Florida’s Nurse Employers, surveyed six nurse-intensive industries to evaluate the state’s demand for registered nurses, advanced registered nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants (CNA)/home health aides.

The survey has been conducted by the Center for Nursing biennially since 2007.

The survey found that turnover has increased for hospital indirect care RNs and decreased or remained stable in other areas. Overall, there is an increase of nearly 30 percent in vacant RN positions since 2013.

FCN estimated 12,493 RN vacancies statewide as of June 30, 2015, of which 75 percent are in hospitals.

The survey also asked respondents to estimate the total number of new nursing positions they intend to create through June 2016. Nearly 10,000 new RN positions will be created statewide with the majority of these in home health agencies.

READ: Key findings in report | Full report

Positions requiring experience and/or advanced education remain in demand in hospitals, home health, and public health. Staff nurse positions are most difficult to fill in skilled nursing, home health, and hospice settings, the survey found.

Over 70 percent of hospitals reported that they preferentially hire nurses prepared at the baccalaureate level. Fewer than 20 percent of the responding facilities in other industries preferentially hired BSN graduates.
 
The majority of responding facilities indicated that they provide some type of educational support for their nursing staff. The most common types of support are tuition reimbursement and flexible scheduling.

Respondents were also asked what some of the key emerging roles for nursing are in their facility given the healthcare environment. Nurse employers primarily reported care coordination as a leading emerging position in their industry for which an RN or BSN would be required.
 
“While the state and national economies are slowly improving, healthcare has remained a strong sector of employment throughout the recession,” FCN said in a release. “Economic factors will have an undetermined impact on the future employment growth of healthcare personnel in Florida.”

The overall survey response rate was 20 percent and included information on 43,179 nurses (37,875 RNs, 627 ARNPs, and 4,677 LPNs) and 11,181 CNAs.
 
For more information on the Florida Center for Nursing, visit www.FlCenterforNursing.org.