If nothing is done to resolve the problem, Florida may face a shortage of RNs by 2020 that is "capable of crippling" the healthcare system and reducing access to quality care for Floridians, according to a new report by the Florida Center for Nursing.
A shortage of just under 11,000 full-time RNs in 2007 is expected to grow to more than 52,000 in 13 years. The number of RNs is forecast to increase each year, but demand for nursing personnel is projected to increase dramatically as Florida's general population grows older. The shortage is projected to increase at an increasing rate beginning in 2015, as the large baby boomer cohort reaches typical ages for retirement and begins to require more healthcare for age-related conditions.
Simulated forecasts show Florida's projected nursing shortage can be made less severe if immediate action is taken. If nursing program graduates are increased by 15% each year, beginning in 2010, and nurse retirement is delayed by two years, beginning in 2009, the shortage would begin to shrink after 2013 and eventually be resolved after 2020.
"The unique demographic context of the projected shortage — an aging nurse and general population — means that the nursing shortage will likely remain critical for several years despite our best efforts," the report stated.
The Florida Center for Nursing has added a new feature to its Web site, The Nursing Shortage in Florida Quick Facts. The inaugural September 2008 issue highlights information from reports, including forecasting supply, demand, and shortage information; nurse employer survey demand data; analysis of licensure data supply information; and nurse education program survey results.
For report details and complete information, visit www.FLCenterFor Nursing.org.
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