Sarasota Memorial’s Nurse Residency Program Aims to Halt a Nursing Crisis
Florida may face an overall shortage of R.N.s as soon as 2025.
“… The critical demand for hospital nurses is the result of an aging population combined with staggering workforce attrition. About 34 percent of newly licensed nurses who work in hospitals leave their jobs within two years. And a wave of retirements is coming. Of Florida’s current R.N.s, 44 percent are over the age of 50. The Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition (SNAC)—a pilot project in Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte counties—reports that Florida may face an overall shortage of R.N.s as soon as 2025.
At the same time, Sarasota Memorial and hospitals across the country are pushing to make a B.S.N., a bachelor of science degree in nursing, the standard level of education since the degree is correlated with lower death rates, reduced disease and infection rates, and fewer complications. (Most nurses in the country have a two- to three-year associate of science nursing degree.) Currently, only a third of Southwest Florida nurses have a B.S.N. A national campaign led by the National Academy of Medicine is pushing for 80 percent of nurses to have their B.S.N. by 2020.
“There are millions of associate nurses producing excellent outcomes, but a B.S.N. education is more aimed toward critical thinking and leadership,” says Kate Garber, SNAC’s nurse navigator, who helps students and existing nurses get their B.S.N. …”