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Orlando VA Medical Center Faces Nurse Shortage

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
The hospital has more than 1,300 positions that have yet to be filled.

Officials at Orlando’s VA Medical Center at Lake Nona are struggling with a shortage of nurses and doctors.

The hospital has more than 1,300 vacancies to treat Central Florida’s 400,000 veterans.

The number of veterans continues to rise, along with demand for treatment, spokesman Michael Strickler said.

“There is a growing national shortage of the availability of experienced, qualified providers and candidates who have the competencies that we’re looking for," Strickler said. "With the Lake Nona Medical Center standing up, we have a dire need for nurses, pharmacists, optometrists, physicians — you name it ... we’re trying to staff a full ... rather large VA medical center.”

Strickler blamed open vacancies on salary competition with private providers.

Lake Nona Medical Center has more than 600 nurse positions open.

WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.