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Millennials Step Up To Fill Nursing Shortage

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - There's a shortage of nurses across Florida and it is expected to continue as more baby boomers retire.

A new study, however, suggests millennials could help fill that void.

The study, published in Health Affairs in October, found millennials are entering the nursing field at nearly twice the rate as baby boomers did.

"Students seem to want personal satisfaction and personal fulfillment, and nursing provides that," said Linda Comer, dean of Florida Southern College's nursing school.

The nursing program has nearly doubled in size in the past four years.

The field offers opportunities millennials tend to crave, such as flexible schedules and the ability to make a difference. Those are some of the reasons Deanna Sheppard, 24, chose to work in Lakeland Regional Health's residency program.

"It's like a family member. Cares for them and loves them like a family member. That's what nurses do," she explained.

In Florida, there have been more online ads placed for RNs than any other profession for the past seven years. That data from the Department of Economic Opportunity means job security for students like Nina Hoyt.

"I know that a lot of people in other majors may have difficulty getting job placement, but we never really have to worry about that," the junior nursing major said.

Even the boom in millennials becoming nurses might not be enough when the baby boomers retire. People in the industry say we need to figure out how to handle the shortage quickly. Florida's population is getting older, and we need nurses who can help take care of them.

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