Labor Market for Nurses in Florida

Florida State is located in the South Eastern region of the United States.  Most of it is a peninsula bordered by the Gulf of Mexico on the west and Atlantic Ocean on the East.  Florida has the 4th highest state population in United State. As at 2006, the population was over 18 million.  Economically by 2005, the gross state product was over 500 billion dollars.

Florida’s labor market is determined by employment and wages, labor force, economic indicators and the population structure.  In 2004, Florida approved a constitutional amendment to increase the minimum wage to over 6 dollars per hour.  All employees were then supposed to comply with the wages increase (www.stateoflorida.com/portal/)

In labor market, employees and workers respond in exactly opposite ways to higher wages.  More people want to work when wages go up but employers then hire fewer workers. However, if labor markets operated normally, the level of employment and subsequent wage would be determined by the law of supply and demand.  The number of workers on a given job and the wage paid to them should reflect an agreement between the needs of both parties.  Employers would like to hire more workers at a lower wage but not enough workers are willing to accept employment for lower pay (Lovell, 2006).

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Nursing wages are determined mostly by the skills needed at work, place of employment and the mount of time spent at work.  Enhanced educational credentials also determine the amount of premium that a nurse is paid.  Therefore nurses are paid according to the level of academics and their job contribution. Among many determinants of wage calculation, include productivity of the worker, output per hours worked, employer’s willingness to work, cost of living, experience and many others. These factors determine wages of nurses in Florida (http://www.floridanurse.org/foundationgrants/index.asp)

There are various factors that influence the supply and demand of nurses in Florida.  The rapid aging of both the population and the nursing workforce results in the need for supply of nurses to maintain pace with the growing demand. There has been a decrease in supply of nurses due to poor working environment, closure of nursing schools, nursing faculty shortages and other career opportunities. All these have decreased the supply of nurses.  Licensing data indicate that over 40% of active licensed Florida nurses are over 50 years of age and 15% are over 60 years. (http://www.dob.state.fl.us/). These factors have led to an increased demand in the supply of nurses

In Florida, various factors play a critical role in determining the salary that a nurse is to be paid.  These include the academic level, time spent at job, the locale, and experience. There are different types of nurses; school nurses, occupational health nurses, Geriatric nurses who work and care for the elderly and also those with masters and doctoral degrees.  All these have a different structure of salary.

However, generally the average starting salary for a new nurse in Florida ranges from about 15 dollars an hour or around 31,000 dollars a year.  However, the salaries increase tremendously with experience.  The salary of an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) range from 45,000 dollars to over 90,000 dollars annually. (http://www.floridanurse.org/foundatrionGrnats/index.asp)
Utah State also faces a shortage of nurses.  The situation is a more severe and critical shortage.  Utah has ageing nursing professionals with an average registered nurses being 47 years.  However, Utah can employ various techniques to increase the supply of nurses.

They can increase the number of nursing faculty in the various nursing schools.  Young men and women interested in developing a career in nursing can get an opportunity to train in the arena.  The nursing schools can be increased to accommodate more students and also be able to offer refresher courses to learners. Learners can also be given loans, scholarships and grants to undertake nursing education programs. This will increase the supply of nurses tremendously.  (http://www.utahnurses.org/portal/default.)

REFERENCE

Florida Nurses Association article- Retrieved on 23rd Jan 2008 from;

http://www.floridanurse.org/foundationgrants/index.asp

Lovell, v. (2006). Solving the nursing shortage through higher wages. Institute for women’s policy research: Washington DC, USA.

Utah Nurses Association article- Retrieved on 23rd Jan 2008 from;

http://www.utahnurses.org/portal/default.

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