Thank you for your article in the previous issue (“Nursing’s Next Crisis”) that brought to light the national shortage of nurses and nursing faculty
Two studies conducted in 2007 by the Florida Center for Nursing indicate the nursing shortage persists. Almost 700 employers across the state reported more than 5,000 vacant positions for RNs. Half the responding hospitals reported RN shortages and turnover. While there is great demand by students for nursing that could ease these shortages, nursing programs are unable to respond because faculty shortages are acute. The Center found that more than 10,000 qualified applicants were turned away from nursing programs in 2006-2007. Over 300 unfilled faculty positions exist across the state.
With faculty retirements and not enough replacements, this will exacerbate the problem. The shortage remains a perfect storm. Schools are producing fewer nurses than can meet the workforce demands, while fewer faculty are available to prepare the nurses necessary to replace retiring nurses, at a time when hospitals need more nurses and our citizens are aging and dying of preventable chronic diseases.
Dr. Pegge Bell
Dean, Barry University’s Division of Nursing