The Florida Department of Health recognizes May 6-May 12 as National Nurses Week as a time to honor the crucial role nurses play in keeping Florida’s residents and visitors healthy and safe. The department commends the many nurses that volunteered to provide care in special needs shelters during Hurricane Irma for their hard work and sacrifice.
According to Karen Johnson, Health Officer for FDOH-Holmes/Washington, “Our nurses are always striving to improve our community and find avenues to offer needed services. I’m extremely proud of all of our nurses. Some have even worked full time and chose to pursue a higher level of education to increase their knowledge. I would like to recognize those nurses that have completed or are completing a degree: Candice Hudson, BSN; Jennifer Eldridge, BSN; Susie Sewell, MSN; Stephanie Greene, MSN; Traci Corbin, DNP.”
Nursing is a diverse field, and public health nurses can work in many different settings. They work in clinics to provide immunizations, conduct testing for diseases and infections, help people manage chronic conditions like diabetes and asthma and inspire people achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Public health nurses also help communities prepare for natural disasters and assist in disaster relief efforts. During Hurricane Irma, Florida’s dedicated nurses and nurses from other states volunteered to staff more than 90 special needs shelters in 53 counties, providing mass care for people who could not safely remain in their home.
Nurses continue to be high-demand in Florida. The Florida Center for Nursing (FCN) estimates that by 2025 Florida will have a shortage of at least 50,300 registered nurses, or 56,000 registered nurses and 12,500 licensed practical nurses.
To respond to the growing nursing shortage, the department joined the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact in January 2018, allowing registered nurses and licensed practical nurses who hold licensure in one Compact state to practice in any of the 27 Compact states without having to obtain additional licenses. Florida now issues a multi-state license to new applicants who meet the Compact licensure requirements; nurses who reside in Florida and hold an active, unrestricted license will also have the option to convert from a standard Florida license to a multi-state license.
For more information regarding the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact please visit the Florida Board of Nursing web page at http://floridanursing.gov/.
To learn more about obtaining a license as a nurse, visit www.flhealthsource.gov.