Health Care Our Team and Culture

AdventHealth making changes to blunt nursing shortage

With Florida’s nursing shortage expected to climb to nearly 60,000 by 2035, AdventHealth and AdventHealth University are taking action today to blunt the shortfall.

A report in the Orlando Business Journal this week noted the work AHU is doing to alleviate the crisis outlined in a report commissioned by the Florida Hospital Association and the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, which said Florida could be short 59,100 nurses in the next 15 years.

“To be sure, the nurse shortage was a problem before the pandemic,” the article states, “but Covid-19 has ramped up the urgency to address it, industry experts have said.”

Among the hiring initiatives at AdventHealth:

  • Utilizing licensed practical nurses in hospital roles traditionally reserved for registered nurses
  • Providing hospital training to nurses who work in home health or nursing homes
  • Creating a Reimagining Nursing task force to focus on retention

At AdventHealth University, nursing continues to be its most popular degree program. As more Baby Boomer nurses reach retirement age, finding veterans to serve as faculty at higher education institutions is a challenge, the story explains: “To address the projected shortages, an additional 2,300 registered nurses and 1,700 licensed professional nurses need to enter the workforce annually, per the study. If programs followed a 12-to-1 student-to-instructor ratio, that would require another 333 nursing faculty positions statewide.”

In addition, AHU is offering evening and online classes to make nursing courses more accessible for students.

The article shares that AdventHealth University has roughly 435 nursing bachelor's degree students, per its fall 2021-22 enrollment data. That compares with roughly 355 nursing students in fall 2018-19.

AdventHealth University is a private Christian university affiliated with AdventHealth, seeking to teach the healing values of Christ by advancing whole-person care research, transforming modern health sciences education and developing influential professionals of uncommon compassion.

Janice Lowden-Stokley, AdventHealth University nursing professor, said she is not swayed by these challenges, encouraging students and nurses to heed their inner calling to help others.

“Nursing is rewarding, exciting at times, and can be exhausting,” said Lowden-Stokley. “But at the end of the shift, you know that you have had a positive impact on someone's life.”