Connect with us
Image via AP

Coronavirus in Florida

Ron DeSantis calls on FEMA to help relieve Florida’s nurse shortage

The question is: Are there enough nurses to help?

The state is asking the federal government for 1,500 nurses to “surge into hospitals for day and night shifts.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ administration submitted the application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency on July 3 and said it would provide the names of the hospitals where the nurses would be deployed this week.

Immediate attempts to get the names of the facilities were unsuccessful.

Until the FEMA nurses arrive, DeSantis said he would direct other nurses to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and to Tampa.

And DeSantis isn’t the only one clamoring for additional nurses.

Florida’s county health departments told state officials they need 997 additional nurses to help in the COVID-19 response. The health departments in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties asked for an additional 400, 90 and 76 nurses, respectively.

But the question is: Are there enough nurses to help?

study conducted by the Resources and Services Administration National Center showed the United States had an estimated 3.95 million licensed registered nurses in 2017. Roughly 60% of them reported working in hospital settings.

A more recent Florida Department of Health report showed 353,654 registered nurses were licensed to practice in Florida in June 2019, the latest available data. The majority of the nurses — 275,976 — lived in the state. Another 35,304 advanced practice nurses were licensed to work in Florida. And the Legislature this year agreed to allow certain advanced nurses to practice independently from physicians.

Nurses aren’t the only professionals the county health departments told the state they needed.

When surveyed about their needs by the Florida Department of Health last month, county departments reported needing another 350 epidemiologists and 1,210 contact tracers.

The DOH released the county health department data Thursday as it announced the distribution of more than $138 million in federal pandemic funds to hire staff. The Broward County Health Department is slated to receive $30.5 million; the Miami-Dade County Health Department will receive nearly $19.5 million, and the Palm Beach County Health Department will receive more than $12.7 million.

___

Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.