“There’s been a huge need for nurses:” Local hospital has a new method to combat nursing shortage

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A state-wide shortage of nurses that could last for years has one local hospital preparing for what’s to come.

The HCA Healthcare Center for Clinical Advancement at UNF is a new approach to recruiting nurses.

Dr. Albert Holt, HCA Florida Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer said students training to become nurses can now practice treating mannequins.


Those mannequins can simulate real world scenarios such as heart attacks, complaints of certain symptoms and even have a pulse.

“You’re able to help nurses train in the situation where the anxiety and the stress of the nursing situation dealing with real patients, can be delt with in a preparatory way,” said Dr. Holt.

With the new technology, it’s something he said will help combat the nursing shortage.

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“There’s been a huge need for nurses,” said Dr. Holt.

He said the shortage is mainly caused by the pandemic, but other factors play a role such as burnout, and the increase in travel nurses.

A new study by the Florida Hospital Association reveals that the state will face a shortfall of a little more than 59,000 nurses by 2035.

Action News Jax reached out to local hospitals to ask what they are doing to combat these shortages.

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This is a part of a statement from HCA Florida Memorial Hospital:

“As part of HCA Healthcare, we are continuing to recruit nurses while also supporting existing nurses with expanded care teams, technology and investments.

We design clinical care teams to help ensure our patients receive great care from the most skilled people working together.”

Mayo Clinic: “Thank you for your inquiry. We appreciate the opportunity but respectfully decline.”

Baptist Health: “Baptist Health’s workforce strategies are designed to ensure we are enhancing the careers of our nurses today while anticipating future staffing needs. Accelerated programs to build our nursing pipeline include Baptist Health Clinical School (a 15-week Nurse Assistant Training Program), 11-week LPN intensives and scrub nurse training, a new graduate residency RN program and the 12-month accelerated nursing degree developed with Jacksonville University.”

UF’s College of Nursing: “The University of Florida College of Nursing is committed to addressing the nursing shortage locally, statewide and nationally. Last year, the college received recurring state PIPELINE funding to help meet the demand for baccalaureate-prepared nurses, nurse practitioners and nurse scientists. To assist the college in maximizing supervised instructional time and expanding the clinical placement options available to students, this funding is being used to hire 18 new faculty, allowing us to expand enrollment in our nursing programs. At the UF Health Jacksonville campus, where the Accelerated BSN program is offered, the cohort increased by nearly 40% this May, with plans to double enrollment by 2025 — from 40 to 80 students. In addition, a new partnership with Edward Waters University was formed last fall, which allows up to five qualified EWU students a pathway upon graduation to earn a BSN degree from the UF Health Jacksonville program. This partnership promotes access to nursing education to highly qualified, underrepresented students while increasing the state’s nursing workforce.”

Ascensions St. Vincent’s did not get back to us.

Dr. Holt said with the professional development systems HCA has implemented, they’ve already hired 70 nurses this year.

“It’s not just them coming in, working a shift, going home, they’re part of a team, they’re part of a clinical team that providing care,” said Dr. Holt.

HCA Healthcare received $90 million to open 20 more centers over the next three years.

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