Florida is now critical - page 2

This makes me rethink heading south for retirement. Nursing shortage hits critical stage in Florida By Nancy McVicar Health Writer... Read More

  1. by   whipping girl in 07
    with less than 60 percent of nurses in Florida working in hospitals

    They act so surprised that there's a shortage. Who wouldn't work at a easier job making as much or more money with better hours (no nights, weekends, or holidays), without mandatory overtime? Money matters, but working conditions matter even more. With 12 to 16 hour shifts, heavier patients, sicker and sicker patients, higher nurse to patient ratios, 48 to 60 hour weeks EXPECTED, it's hard to blame anyone for leaving the bedside. And it's amazing that so many keep at it.

    Hospitals' minimum starting pay for registered nurses has grown from $12.22 an hour in 1993 to $14.96 in 2001, and maximum starting pay during that period has increased from $14.60 to $18.76, but non-hospital nursing jobs sometimes offer higher pay and better hours, Fuller said.

    Now see, that's just pitiful. I live in an area where wages are traditionally low and I started out in 2001 making more than that as a new grad RN. The cost of living in south Florida is ridiculously high. You can't afford to live there and make that amount of money. You probably couldn't live there on twice as much money.

    But they can manage to cough up $60/hr for agency/traveler RNs because it comes out of a different column in the budget.

    And they wonder why there's a shortage...
  2. by   geekgolightly
    Florida needs to wake up and start paying nurses what they are worth and staffing appropriately. There is not one nurse I know who would move down to Florida. They have the worst reputation of any state.
  3. by   Blackcat99
    Quote from -jt
    I have a friend who works in Tampa, got tired of the abuses staff RNs had to take & the low pay for staff (working agency she made $35/hr but the hrs were not reliable), so she quit the hospital & the agency, signed on with a travel nurse company & "traveled" right back to the same hospital as a "traveler nurse"....... with a contract & higher pay.... plus a stipend for housing allowance which pays her rent - and she is living in her same own house, in her same own community, worked in the same hospital & when that assignment was finished, she chose a different hospital in the same town instead of extending her assignment there. She is no longer subject to the inequities the staff is subject to because her contract allows for certain things - like when & where she floats to, which shift she works, whether or not she works w/e & how many, and of course, NO mandatory OT.
    That's wonderful.:hatparty: Yes it sounds like becoming a "travel nurse" is the way to go. How nice to be able to pick the shifts you want and no mandatory overtime. I bet she is not required to attend any boring "mandatory meetings" or to participate in any stupid x-mas gift exchange either.:chuckle
  4. by   canoehead
    Florida and Texas have made my "never gonna work there" list. Florida for the above mentioned reasons, and TX for that infamous Group one list.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Please note, this is a 4 year old thread.
  6. by   michelle95
    From what I see in Bradenton, Florida still looks critical.

    I just started working on a Cardiac Floor a month ago. Most of the time, they try to keep us with 4-5 patients...but, it's because these folks are so sick. However, last night, they had night shift taking 9-10 because they just didn't have any staff. That's just too many.

    I've left this job at least 50% of the time with my back massively hurting because we are short CNA's. There might be one for 25 patients and these patients are elderly and some are not able to do much for themselves. I have to do all of the "nursing" responsibilities and then adl's too. Some of these guys are on critical drips and such...so basically, if I'm not pulling on these people...I'm running the whole 12 hours.

    Speaking of finding other jobs. I have an interview next Wed for a staff RN job at a nursing home. Monday-Friday. I'm not sure if I'll take it...but, it has to be less physical than what I am doing now. Usually, there are more CNAs in LTC..even if they are short. I don't think my back is going to take much more abuse (about 12 years now) and I am trying to figure out what to do. I just graduated RN school (was a CNA-LPN-RN) and am now thinking about what other career options that I have.

    People just don't realize how nursing takes its toll.
  7. by   Blackcat99
    I remember a thread about Florida on this site. I think it was called the "Hall of shame" when it came to nurses salary. I believe it said in that thread that of all the US states, Florida paid nurses the lowest wages of all states.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I don't get why that would be if the demand is as great as you all say.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It would seem places like this will create their own shortages in their insistence on paying such low wages. Who would move where wages are that low yet cost of living rising each year?
  10. by   barefootlady
    Florida has been on my "will visit but not work there" list for years. Texas too. I have added a couple of others but mainly, nursing is much the same everywhere right now, feast or famine with staffing and pay rates. Maybe one day, when we, as nurses, accept the fact that we are highly skilled and necessary for good patient outcomes, then these problems will be decreased. I do not think we can ever say eliminated because we can never predict what will happen on a given day.
  11. by   bloviate
    Quote from suzi_h
    I would think part of the problem is economics. If an RN is only bringing in $15-20/hr. it's not enough to survive down there.
    This is probably the number one problem with working down here. I live in Southwest Florida. Moved here in 97 and bought a nice house for 87k. Same house today is going for 250K. Unbelievable!!!!!!

    The attitudes of these hospitals are pretty shocking too.:angryfire They don't want to ante up with the cash. It is a tough environment.
  12. by   VickyRN
    Let me add my Florida and Texas are two states in which I would never work as a nurse.
  13. by   Momto3andNurse2B
    Sadly, I'm in nursing school here in South Florida, and I plan to leave immediately after graduation. I've lived here since '91...plan to sell the house I bought for $95k for about $275k and head north, away from the heat, the people, the heat, the traffic, the heat, the hurricanes, oh, and did I mention the heat? Not to mention, I sure as heck don't want to raise my kids here for any longer than I have to.

    In fairness, the pay has changed since this very old thread originated. A new grad now starts at about $22/hr. I have seen in clinicals, though, what the working conditions are like. I don't want to work here either.