TALLAHASSEE — Florida nursing schools are being forced to turn away well-qualified applicants because the state doesn’t have enough space in its programs.
The problem is expected to worsen an existing shortage in the field. Florida is expected to be without 18,000 nurses needed next year, and 52,000 in a decade.
Nursing school officials say there aren’t enough training sites near them to help educate students.
A more pressing issue is finding teachers, because there’s a big salary difference between nurse educators and those in the field.
An RN qualified to teach in Miami, for example, would make $80,000 to $100,000 annually.
Florida International’s nursing dean says she can’t compete with that. She’s trying to hire four faculty members at $45,000 a year.