Florida's demand for registered nurses eased in 2004, as the vacancy rate for RNs fell to 8.2%, down from 9.9% a year earlier, according to a Florida Hospital Association survey. The Tallahassee-based trade group surveyed 215 Florida acute-care hospitals via e-mail for a snapshot of nurse vacancies during the week of Feb. 22, 2004. Fifty-four percent, or 118 hospitals, responded. Based on reported vacancies, Florida hospitals needed an estimated 5,342 additional nurses. Florida nurse vacancy rates have declined each year since 2001, when hospitals reported 15.6% of RN positions open. In 2004, the most sought-after RNs were step-down or telemetry nurses, followed by certified nurse anesthetists. By 2020, Florida will need an estimated 61,000 additional nurses to meet demand, according to the National Center for Healthcare Workforce Analysis. To see complete survey results, visit FHA Web site -- by Melanie Evans
Fla. nurse vacancy rate on steady decline
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