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What You Need to Know About Florida Today

Matt Nelson | 10/9/2009

FRIDAY, OCT. 9, 2009

Universities Turning Away Qualified Student Nursing Applicants


Wade L. Hopping

He was perhaps the best-known lobbyist for developers in the state and was a key player in modern Florida history, beginning as an adviser to Gov. Claude Kirk in the 1960s. He died in August.

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Aspiring nurses interested in applying to programs at Florida's 11 public universities are stuck in a quagmire that will eventually affect the quality of health care throughout the state, according to nursing school deans and the Florida Center for Nursing. About half of the qualified student nursing applicants were turned away this fall from the University of Florida, Florida State, Florida A&M and Florida International universities, deans said. It's one thing to turn away an applicant who is not qualified, they said. But highly qualified applicants are being rejected. By 2010 the shortage of full-time registered nurses is estimated to be 18,000. A decade later, the shortage can increase by as much as 52,000. [Source: Tallahassee Democrat]

Orlando & Orange County

More than just gathering data, we're trying to capture elements that make each community distinctive. [Source: Florida Trend]

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Downsized Economy Is New Reality, Markets Expert Says

America's economy has not only been fundamentally reshaped by the Great Recession, it's been resized. "We've been here before. The economy will survive," John Jung, senior managing director of BB&T Capital Market, said Thursday. "But we can't sit around and say, 'My house was worth $1 million. When's it going to be worth $1 million again?' We can't look to 2007 as a policy goal." He singled out the biggest culprit as the overleveraged consumer. [Source: St. Petersburg Times]

Stimulus Saved Existing Jobs But Hasn't Created Many New Ones

When the $787 billion federal stimulus package was announced in February, the goal was to save or create at least three million jobs nationwide by the end of 2010. In South Florida, the stimulus has undoubtedly saved jobs, especially in education. But how many jobs it has created is unclear. Money is flowing through multiple channels to public and private sectors. The first clue will come from stimulus recipients reporting jobs to the federal government, required by midnight Saturday. But those numbers aren't likely to be public until early November, after states have the opportunity to make corrections. [Source: Sun Sentinel]



› Jeb Hits the Road Talking Education, Pitching 'Cocktail of Reforms'"It's kind of hard to continue to argue" that Florida isn't boosting student achievement, Bush said. "It's like policymakers in Washington continuing to fight the Cold War."
Jeb: Obama is changing the political dynamic on education reform

› Whocanisue.com Comes Under Fire

The website prompts visitors to choose from a drop-down menu — nursing home abuse, for example — and then a sub-category, such as bed sores, dehydration or falls and fractures. Enter your ZIP code and an array of lawyers appears. Critics say it degrades the legal profession and often steers the public to lawyers who simply churn cases en masse in order to quickly settle them.

› Miami Lawmaker Denies Conflict with His Lobbyist Wife
Senate Majority Leader Alex Diaz de la Portilla was named chairman of the Senate's energy, environment and land use committee this month. He insists any vote on oil drilling or other energy policies that come before him will not be influenced by his wife, Claudia, one of more than two dozen lobbyists registered to represent Florida Energy Associates.

› Brockovich: 'No Stone Should Go Unturned' in Cancer-Cause Search
Responding to concerns about a suspected cancer cluster in The Acreage, environmental crusader Erin Brockovich said tonight that residents deserve answers — and might want to drink bottled water until they get them.

› Crist Still the King of Cash But Rubio Is Gaining

After Charlie Crist's summer fundraising, his campaign has $6.2 million in cash on hand.

› Broward Teachers Union Wins Grant for Pay Plan

The Broward Teachers Union was awarded money to start working on a plan to pay teachers based on student performance.

› Virginia Key Plan Delayed
Commissioners on Thursday put off Mayor Manny Diaz' star-crossed proposal for remaking environmentally scarred Virginia Key after a stream of activists complained the plan doesn't do enough to safeguard and showcase the island's natural treasures.

› Managing Growth a Hot Button Topic
Volatility surrounding the Hometown Democracy movement was evident Thursday as nearly 300 people watched the battle lines being drawn during a fiery debate at the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club.

› Senators Ask FEMA for Chinese Drywall Disaster Help

Bill Nelson, D-Fla., has joined with three other senators to send a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency that asks the agency to review whether it has the power to provide aid to homeowners or businesses displaced by defective Chinese drywall. Sarasota: Drywall problems hit builder

› Brevard Joins Fight for Taxes from Travel Websites

In its suit, Brevard County says the companies charge customers a tourist-development tax based on the higher rate but don't remit any the tax collections to the county.

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