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Orlando VA Medical Center Faces Nurse Shortage

State lawmakers are looking at a bill to boost medical tourism, which economist Hank Fishkind said could help Orlando and Medical City.
The hospital has more than 1,300 positions that have yet to be filled. Photo: Lake Nona.

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. With the Lake Nona Medical Center standing up, we have a dire need for nurses, pharmacists, optometrists, physicians—you name it. You know, we’re trying to staff a full up, 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.

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