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Nurse educators shortage, Broward’s trash woes, Wildlife Thursday: Florida's swamp on TikTok

MartinezLuca_owls_04282022.jpeg
Courtesy of Luca Martinez
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Luca Martinez, a junior at Palmer Trinity School in Palmetto Bay, has garnered hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of views on social media for his beautiful photography and videos of wildlife in Florida.

There’s a growing nursing shortage and it starts with a growing nursing educator shortage. Broward County communities are looking to start a new trash district. Plus, a teenage TikTok star who spends his time in the Everglades making beautiful photos and videos.

On the Thursday, April 28, edition of Sundial:

Nurse educators shortage

COVID taught us just how serious a nursing shortage can be. It can even mean life or death.

There's another shortage impacting the nursing profession––nurse educators to teach the next generation.

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Nursing schools across the U.S. are having to turn away applicants because of a shortage of faculty, according to a study by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

“One of the key factors is that nurses who have master's degrees and above can make much more money if they work in hospitals and clinical settings than nurses who are educators," said Dr. Ora Strickland, dean of FIU's Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences. "Just based on salary, many nurses would prefer to stay in clinical settings,"

Florida International University is trying to tackle this issue by forming a new partnership with HCA Healthcare.

“[They’ve] basically given us a gift of $1.5 million to help us address the nurse educator shortage. Because without adequate nursing professors, we cannot address the nursing shortage,” said Dr. Strickland. “They're going to give us funding for faculty to teach nurse educators.”

Nurse educators shortage
School nurses confront the coronavirus.

Broward’s trash woes

There are a lot of residents in Broward County who are not happy with their trash and recycling service.

So much so, that nearly all municipalities have created a group that’s trying to form a new trash tax district. That group is called the Solid Waste Working Group.

Broward County Commissioner Beam Furr is the Vice-Chair of that group. He joined Sundial to discuss this endeavor.

Broward's trash woes
Trash sent for recycling moves along a conveyor belt to be sorted at Waste Management's material recovery facility in Elkridge, Md. In 2018, China announced it would no longer buy most plastic waste from places like the United States.

Wildlife Thursday: Florida's swamp on TikTok

Snorkeling is known as a peaceful way to encounter nature. You might see clownfish, colorful coral and sea horses. Imagine coming across a gator while you’re wearing your mask, fins and snorkel.

That’s what happened to Luca Martinez, who is a junior at Palmer Trinity School in Palmetto Bay. He’s garnered hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of views on social media for his beautiful photography and videos of wildlife….like a gator filmed while he was snorkeling.

But it's not all photography and TikToks. He uses social media to raise awareness and educate others about the threats to Florida's environment and wildlife.

"I realized the biggest threat to the Everglades is not these homes, it's not even global warming, it's not the invasive species. The biggest threat is that we're all so dangerously disconnected from it," said Martinez, who was Sundial’s guest for this week’s Wildlife Thursday.

“I realized the way to save this place is sharing it and having people experience it because they'll fall in love with it. We'll all fall in love with this place if we give it our attention and our time. And that's just it because when you love something you'll protect it, you’ll care for it and you'll fight for it. And that's what we need before we can get into any of the other conversations [about] the threats of global warming; we got to care about it.”

Wildlife Thursday: Florida's swamp on TikTok
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Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.
Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, produces WLRN's midday public affairs program, Sundial weekdays at 1 and 8 p.m. Prior to transitioning to production, Caitie covered news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News for four years.