January 2, 2024

Healthcare worker crisis grows in Florida

Editor's Note

Population growth in Florida is amplifying the nationwide shortage of doctors and nurses and putting the state on the verge of a healthcare crisis, Fox 13 Tampa Bay December 27 reports.

An estimated 300,000 residents will relocate to Florida annually during the next 5 years. Meanwhile, a third of the state’s full-time doctors are older than 60. As a result, estimates project a shortage of 18,000 doctors and more than 37,000 nurses in the state by 2035. Proposals from Florida lawmakers to address the crisis include more access to telemedicine, more maternity wards, and more doctors to provide healthcare for senior citizens. 

Contributing factors beyond population growth include many of the same issues facing the nation at large, including loss of nurses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related burnout. Additionally, Florida has the lowest nursing licensing pass rate in the nation, according to a December 16 report in the Tampa Bay Times. Citing data from the Florida Center for Nursing, this article notes that less than two-thirds of applicants passed the licensing exam in 2021, driving the state’s pass rate to more than 17% below the national average.


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