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St. Petersburg College and partners leading the charge to address nursing shortages

Florida is dealing with a important nursing scarcity and St. Petersburg College and its partners are taking a solutions-based method at fixing the drawback. A spring 2021 survey by the Florida Hospital Association discovered that one out of 4 registered nurses and one out of three important care nurses had left their jobs in the earlier 12 months. They additionally discovered a 25 p.c turnover price, the highest over the previous a number of years, and a projected deficit of 59,100 nurses in Florida by 2035, with 37,400 of these being RNs, and 21,700 licensed sensible nurses.

To take a look at methods to address a burgeoning nursing scarcity in Florida, St. Petersburg College gathered greater than 50 regional stakeholders in December. Leaders from space hospitals, nursing training establishments, nursing associations and authorities officers met to attempt to assess issues which are contributing to the decline in the variety of Florida’s nurses, in addition to to brainstorm concepts for addressing these issues.

The Collaborative Problem-Solving Event: Taking Action to Address the Critical Nursing Shortage in Tampa Bay, was hosted at SPC’s Collaborative Labs by St. Petersburg College, Pasco-Hernando State College, State College of Florida and Hillsborough Community College.

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“A nursing shortage affects all of us. We recognize that it is imperative to the health and well-being of citizens throughout the state that we address the issue and come up with bold and sustainable solutions,” SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams mentioned. “This meeting of the minds was a fantastic way to work directly with our partners to find ways to fill these crucial nursing positions in our community.”

Aggravating elements: an ageing workforce, COVID-19 pandemic

This isn’t the first time that the nursing career has confronted a scarcity, however sure elements are exacerbating the scenario. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job progress for nurses in Florida is predicted to develop by 21 p.c, whereas at the similar time, 40 p.c of working nurses will method retirement age in the subsequent decade. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic created worrying working situations that caused an elevated turnover price. According to Cheryl Love, Chief Clinical and Patient Safety Officer, Florida Hospital Association, there’s a particular drawback, and it’s particularly so in Florida.

“In the middle of 2021, we asked hospitals to report vacancies and turnover,” Love mentioned. “Overall, there was an 11 percent RN vacancy rate in Florida over 12 months, which is higher than the national rate of 9.9 percent.”

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 “We need to add more (nurses) than a couple thousand per year to mitigate the workforce shortage that is projected,” Love mentioned.

Collaborative options wanted

The group established priorities for employers and nursing training establishments. Employer points included low salaries, which make it onerous to recruit good hires; the want to rent and retain skilled nurses; and the want to create a piece setting that promotes job satisfaction and loyalty. Educational priorities embrace a school scarcity due to low salaries and a necessity for recurring state funding to address that, in addition to an absence of scientific website entry.

The group broke out in groups to take a look at methods to address the priorities. Some of the prime options had been:

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  • Increase and allocate recurring funding from the state for instructional expertise and to increase college salaries;
  • Be artistic in scheduling outdoors the 12-hour scheduling mannequin for nurses, which might free skilled nurses to educate;
  • Create devoted partnerships for scientific experiences;
  • Re-imagine clinicals to discover different experiences and add scientific capability;
  • Create a wholesome work setting evaluation;
  • Increase National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) move charges in Florida, that are over 17 p.c decrease than the nationwide common; and
  • Cultivate pupil engagement and take a look at pupil analysis strategies to be sure that they’re rigorous, honest and equitable

Higher training initiatives

Dr. Louisana Louis, Dean of SPC’s College of Nursing, says the school is already actively engaged on a few of these concepts. A present final 12 months from the Hough Family Foundation to SPC’s nursing program is allotted to improve the school’s simulation space, the place college students get hands-on coaching with high-tech manikins, mirroring conditions they’d see in a dwell scientific expertise.

“The Hough donation gives a bit more leverage,” Louis mentioned. “It allows us to add three simulation rooms, so we can better prepare our nurses with the challenges they’ll meet at clinical sites.”

Louis mentioned one other focus is getting extra nurses out into the neighborhood.

“We are creating a special cohort in the summer for students who were not successful in their last semester to give them another opportunity to graduate early,” Louis mentioned. “And we are working on implementing an evening and weekend program within the next year, which will produce more nurses.”

Louis mentioned the collaborative session was a good way to get state representatives, key hospitals and companies and larger training representatives in a single room to focus on the prime limitations and points and provide you with artistic options.

“Before this session, everyone was having their solo discussions on how to address the nursing shortage,” she mentioned. “This allowed us all to be in one room. It had not been done this way before, and that made all the difference.”

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