Florida hospitals and health care systems continue to face critical workforce shortages, exponential growth in their labor costs, and ongoing dependency on temporary staffing.
The dramatic rise in hospital labor costs—combined with inflation and significant losses in hospital budget reserves from the stock market decline—increases the financial strain on hospitals.
Florida hospitals and health care providers are showing signs of improvement in the workforce compared to last year, but continue to face challenges with critical staffing shortages, exponential increases in labor costs, and an ongoing dependency on temporary staffing and travel nurses. While there has been progress, the situation remains concerning.
The analysis presented here was surveyed from Florida hospitals to gather data on hospital workforce staffing issues such as vacancy and turnover rates. This data highlights the strides made since last year but also underscores the persistent and very dire situation Florida’s hospitals are still facing.
Violence against hospital employees is becoming more frequent and severe. Enhanced penalties already exist for emergency department employees, and FHA supports expanding these penalties to violence against any hospital employee.
During the last legislative session, FHA helped to secure $125 million in new state funding for nursing education.
Part of these funds also create incentives for collaboration between nursing education programs and health care partners to meet changing workforce demands.
Individuals working in hospitals and health systems experience violence in the workplace in various ways, including harassment (physical and psychological), threats, intimidation, humiliation, shootings and other acts of violence, assault, and bullying. Incidents of violence in health care settings increased during the pandemic. Stronger criminal penalties are needed to send a clear message that violence against health care workers will not be tolerated.
$125 million in nursing education programs for the 2022-2023 state fiscal year for two programs: Prepping Institutions, Programs, Employers, and Learners through Incentives for Nursing Education (PIPELINE) and Linking Industry to Nursing Education (LINE) programs. These programs focus on addressing the growing workforce demand the state is facing.
$15 million in Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant funds to grow the nursing workforce, improve access to nursing education, and advance health equity. The grant funding includes $10 million for Clinical Faculty and Preceptor Academies Program and $4.75 million for over three years for a Registered Nurse Training Program.
The Florida Legislature awarded The Florida Housing Finance Corporation $100 million for the 2022-2023 state fiscal year to establish the Hometown Heroes Housing program. The is a zero-interest loan program that provides upfront payment for a down payment and closing costs to assist health care professionals with homeownership.
Allied health professionals are a diverse group of health care workers who provide necessary services to patients in addition to services provided by physicians and nurses. Allied health professionals comprises nearly 60% of the heath care workforce. People working in these roles may perform diverse responsibilities from laboratory testing, interact with patients, provide emergency medicine, or administrative work. They may also promote wellness and preventative medical practices.
The Florida Board of Nursing (Board) licenses, monitors, educates, and disciplines licensees to assure their fitness and competence in providing health care services in the state. The Florida Hospital Association (FHA) advocates for resources and policies that support an adequate, knowledgeable, competent, and healthy nursing workforce.
Florida has one of the largest populations of military veterans and their spouses in the nation. More than 1.5 million veterans call Florida home. FHA supports helping military medics transition to the civilian health care workforce. Specifically, FHA supports pathways and programs for retired military medics so they can more easily transition to the civilian health care workforce with the needed qualifications and competencies.
Senate Bill 102, known as the Live Local Act, is a comprehensive, statewide housing strategy designed to increase the availability of housing opportunities for Florida’s workforce. This bill provides $711 million in workforce housing funds that are administered by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC). The bill continued funding for the second year of the Hometown Hero Housing Program, that was established in the 2022 – 2023 SFY.