ORLANDO, Fla. — Nurses from across Florida will be in Tallahassee to demand more staffing, better pay and better work conditions.
Enid Tirado switched careers to nursing later in life. She works at AdventHealth on the observation unit.
“Some days are challenging. I’m not gonna lie. But for the most part, it’s a very rewarding profession,” she said.
It’s National Nurses Week, a time to celebrate the unsung heroes like Tirado, working tirelessly on the frontlines.
Nurse staffing has been a challenge for decades. The pandemic has made it worse.
“It was a very stressful, very demanding time in our field,” Tirado said.
Burnout and stress are taking a toll on nurses.
“We were being stretched every single day,” Tirado said.
Incredible Health, which describes itself as a nurse talent marketplace, surveyed 2,500 nurses. Over a third (34%) said they will likely quit their job by the end of this year.
Of the nurses surveyed, 44% cited burnout and a high-stress environment as the reason.
Benefits and pay are the second leading cause.
“It is kind of scary. The nursing shortage and the statistics that I’m hearing are unsettling,” Tirado said.
One way AdventHealth is filling the gap is with what it calls staff flex nurses, who float around different campuses.
“Until we get our full-time staff in, that particular flex staff has been a blessing to help us cover that gap,” Tirado said.
There are over 187,000 nurses in Florida,
According to estimates from the Florida Hospital Association, there could be a shortfall of more than 59,000 nurses by 2035.
Channel 9′s Christy Turner asked Tirado what she thought hospital systems could do to recruit and retain more nurses.
“Listen to their nurses. Listen to what they want,” she said.
AdventHealth created a nursing advisory panel.
Tirado is the co-chair.
“Being heard by our executives, I’m glad that they’re there trying to hear what are the concerns, how can we make it better?”
She said it gives nurses a voice.
“When you see happy nurses on the unit, it does extend to the patient experience,” Tirado said.
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