HCA Healthcare, Inc., a leading healthcare provider, today announced that it will donate $1.5 million to Florida International University’s (FIU) Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences (NWCNHS) in a partnership to expand its faculty and offer scholarships to increase enrollment and help address the national nursing shortage.
Florida is suffering from a major nursing shortage, with an estimated 17,000 vacant positions across the state. The crisis is worsening at a proliferating rate due to a booming population and subsequent demand for adequate healthcare.
Hospitals and nursing homes across Florida are turning toward educational resources to help mitigate the ongoing acute nursing shortage, focusing on acquiring, training, and acclimating new members of the labor force to a hospital setting.
“HCA Florida Healthcare and FIU have a longstanding relationship and a shared commitment to serving South Florida,” said Chuck Hall, national group president of HCA Healthcare. “We are thrilled to announce this partnership with FIU to help address the nursing faculty shortage by supporting programs that help expand the number of registered nurses qualified to teach our country’s future nurses.”
The Florida Hospital Association (FHA) recently conducted a survey of its member institutions, finding an alarming Registered Nurse turnover rate of 25 percent, also noting turnover in over a third of its total critical care unit workforce.
FHA projects a deficit of 59,100 nurses in Florida by 2035. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for nurses in Florida is expected to grow by 21 percent, while 40 percent of nurses will approach retirement age in the next decade. The report also noted that stressful working conditions caused by the pandemic were leading swaths of healthcare workers to resign from positions, citing burnout and fatigue.
“From our collaboration to launch the nation’s first Foreign-Educated Physician to Nurse re-careering program twenty years ago, to this latest venture to boost enrollment in our nurse educator programs, FIU Nursing is grateful to HCA Healthcare for their continued support as we develop innovative solutions that address critical healthcare industry challenges,” said Ora L. Strickland, dean of FIU’s Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences.”