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Nurses Needed

March 29th, 2010 by flanews

Floridas unemployment rate is at a record setting 12.2 percent, but nurses arent worried. The nursing industry has been adding jobs throughout the recession. As Whitney Ray tells us, there are 22-thousand openings and Floridas colleges cant graduate nursing students fast enough to fill the vacancies.

Thais Wilhite is a wife, a mother, a full time employee and now a nursing student.

Five semesters of nursing and your done and you have nursing career and you have a little bit more stability in your life, said Thais.

Her classmate Angela Millender sees nursing as a way to guarantee shell have a job after graduation.

Nobody knows when the economy and the jobs are going to be out there for everybody so its nice to know that when I get out of school, Ill take my test, hope and I pass and get a job, said Angela.

While Floridas unemployment rate climbs to new heights, the nursing industry is actually adding jobs. There are 22-thousand opening statewide and the need for nurses will grow as Baby Boomers begin to retire.

Jobs in the medical field are expected to increase by 18 percent by 2018. Rebecca Rust, the Chief Economist of the state Agency for Workforce Innovation, says schools will need to pay nursing professors better to keep up with the demand.

The wages are one of the major constrictions for not being able to have enough classroom activity for nursing and not having enough facilities for the laboratory testing, said Rust.

The growth estimates in the nursing field dont account for how the new federal health care regulations might affect the industry, but if more people have insurance, the need for nurses will likely go up.

The shortage is one reason the demand for nurses is so high. The need is causing nurses to burn out because theyre being forced to work longer hours and pull extra shifts to make up for the shortage.

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