Nursing School

Nursing is Still a Growing Field in Florida

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs, Nursing News, Nursing School, Nursing Specialties

Is the nursing shortage over? Not in Florida, anyway. There are about 14,000 available nursing jobs in that state according to online job postings in November, and this article in the Bradenton Herald says that state projections made earlier this month forecast a 2.4 percent annual growth in registered nurse job openings.

There are a few catches, though.

For one, it can be hard to get into the state’s nursing schools due to lack of spaces and caps on enrollment. Also, cuts to Medicaid are coming which could mean layoffs as hospital budgets are stretched further.

The article notes that demand is growing as experienced nurses who may have delayed retirement during the economic are expected to leave the profession in coming years.

CC image of Florida Coast used courtesy of USFWS/Southeast via Flickr

“We’ve had an artificial bubble. But nurses are not going to continue to work four and five 12-hour shifts a week,” said Ralph Egües, executive director of the Nursing Consortium of South Florida.

To recruit nurses, hospitals, including some run by Broward Health, have formed training partnerships with colleges and universities.

Boca Raton Regional Hospital offers scholarships in return for a two-year work commitment to students who work at the hospital while attending Florida Atlantic University’s nursing college.

“I don’t mind. I like it,” said Cassandre Exantus, 21, who has a $10,000 scholarship from the hospital toward her bachelor’s of nursing degree at FAU. After graduating, she hopes to become a nursing teacher.

The hospital also partners with FAU in an accelerated nursing program for those who already have a bachelor’s degree and want to change careers.

Timothy Parker, a teacher for 12 years, is thrilled to be in the special one-year nursing program. “I’ve always thought about working in a medical career,” said Parker, who said a scholarship and a supportive working spouse made that career transition possible.

Not everyone who wants to be a nurse can find a spot in nursing school, where teacher shortages limit enrollment. But Florida’s nursing schools don’t have the capacity to meet the demand for students wanting to enter the field, according to the state’s workforce agency.

FAU’s College of Nursing said it usually has about 80 slots open a year for new nursing students, but it has at least 700 applicants.

Nursing and other health care jobs could be affected by Gov. Rick Scott’s proposal to cut $1.9 billion from the $21 billion Medicaid program for treating the poor. Most of the money pays for care at hospitals in South and Central Florida.

Still, nursing students are likely to find new career opportunities in the future, many the result of health care reform.

Nurses are being hired in medical technology, transitional care from hospital to home, as case managers for insurance companies and for research trial coordination, according to Broward General’s Sprada.

“You can wear many hats,” he said.

While there seem to be an especially large number of nursing jobs available in Florida right now, many of the other factors mirror national trends.

New Grads, New Jobs

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs, Nursing News, Nursing School

Some new graduate nurses are finding that there aren’t a plethora of nursing jobs, as they had expected. Instead, many discover after months of searching and applying that the nursing shortage so touted by the Department of Health and Human Services is more of a local problem in some parts of the country. There are new grads who eventually become disenchanted with the search and leave the profession in favor of finding another job that can pay their bills.

As health systems have eliminated nursing positions through redistribution of their current staff, the number of positions for new graduates nurses may no longer exist or be drastically cut. (more…)

NY Bill Would Require Registered Nurses to Have 4-Year Degrees

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs, Nursing News, Nursing School, Nursing Specialties

New York State lawmakers are considering a bill that would require registered nurses to earn bachelor’s degrees within 10 years in order to continue to work as a nurse in the state.

It’s called the “BSN in 10” and is being backed by nursing associations and major healthcare associations, with the goal creating a better-trained nursing workforce to care for an aging population. The aging of the baby boomers also means that many experienced and knowledgeable nurses will be retiring, creating a double whammy for healthcare providers.

Right now no other states have a law like this on the books. It looks like New York’s law has a pretty good chance of passing, though.

New York’s legislation died in committee last session, but it has bipartisan support in both chambers this year and could be debated as early as January. (more…)

The Nurse as Whistleblower

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs, Nursing News, Nursing School

Real world nursing isn’t just what you were taught in nursing school. As you learn to work with patients in your clinicals, your instructors teach you the “ideal” method for every procedure and every situation. Once you get into the real world, with license in hand, you begin to see that “ideal” doesn’t exist in healthcare.

As you go through your day, learning the skills and procedures you need to use in your practice, you will probably see things that make you think “that’s not right.” You may see colleagues taking chances that could endanger their patients. You might see an overstated bill that will end up costing the insurance company or patient more than necessary. Most of the time these mistakes are just random “oops” moments, with no real pattern or ill intent. But what if you see a dangerous practice again and again, or if a fraudulent billing method is standard operating procedure? What do you do? (more…)

Robot Dummies Help Nursing Students

Posted in Nursing, Nursing School

The robots don’t give the students answers, and it’s not because the robots are dumb, either.

They’re dummies that are robots, and they provide learning opportunities for nursing students while sparing actual humans the discomfort that results from being practiced upon.  (I remember my mom practicing her blood drawing technique on my dad when she was in nursing school and had graduated from oranges.  He didn’t appreciate it much.) (more…)