Nursing Programs in Florida

Overview of Floridian Nursing Opportunities

It is no surprise that healthcare centers of the Florida Hospital Association are one of the top employers in the sunny Floridian peninsula. With thousands of senior citizens flying south to Orlando or the Keys for the winter or for permanent retirement, there is bound to be a massive demand for geriatric checkups, in-home supervision, and nursing home care in a state with such a large influx of the elderly. Consequently, there is a paucity in the number of nurses available in the state to take responsibility for the care and wellness of such an unusually large aging population.

A whopping one thousand people move to Florida every single day. This makes for a high need for quality nursing both in the metropolitan areas of Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami and in the rural grasslands and swamps which are home to a uniquely Floridian array of exotic creatures like the boa constrictor, some of which wreak havoc for emergency care nurses.

Nursing Outlook in the Sunshine State

The Sunshine State needs more than solar rays and freshly squeezed orange juice to keep it going. Emergency room nurses, home health caretakers, and medical center facilitators are also necessary to keep big names like the Sacred Heart Healthcare System and the Memorial Healthcare System functioning properly. Those who do choose to provide care are nicely rewarded by good overall quality of life in this tropical landscape as well as by an average RN salary of about $60,000.

With more seniors flocking to Florida every season to relax and enjoy their golden years, the skewed unemployment rate among the general population continues to skyrocket. This has not affected the nursing arena, however, where there are still a large amount of job openings. Though there are upwards of 160,000 registered nurses and 45,000 licensed practical nurses, there must be far more to meet the needs of the 20 million residents of the state, many of which are elderly and need more than the average amount of care. In fact, the Florida Center for Nursing estimates that by the year 2025, 50,000 more nursing professionals will be in demand.

Jobs and Licensing for Florida Nurses

Of the 125 schools in Florida which include nursing programs, there are many that offer programs that will be suitable for a student wishing to advance their education from LPN to RN, such as Valencia College and Miami Dade College. RNs who aim to receive their BSN degree will find an academic home at Florida International University and Florida Atlantic University, among others. Florida Atlantic and the Florida Hospital College of Health and Sciences also offer a comprehensive MSN program for nurses desiring to complete their Master’s degree in nursing. Entry level programs that start small and make their way up in the nursing world include those like the Academy for Nursing and Health Occupations in West Palm Beach.

The Florida Department of Health Board of Nursing allows nursing students to apply for their initial licensure online, provided that they have fulfilled the requirements. Information about regulation compliance, continuing education, licensing from other states, and license renewal can all be found on their easy-to-access website. The Florida Nurses Association provides another resource where nurses can look for jobs in the state, compare notes and network with fellow coworkers, and get in touch with hospitals.

Average Salaries for Nurses in Florida

Data from BLS 2012 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Registered Nurses $44,630.00 $60,060.00 $81,230.00
Licensed Practical Nurses $31,770.00 $41,030.00 $51,630.00

References:

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, Occupational Employment Statistics, and Employment Projections http://www.bls.gov/
The American Health Care Association http://www.ahcancal.org/research_data/
Kaiser Family Foundation http://statehealthfacts.org/
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation http://rwjf.org/
Florida Center for Nursing http://www.flcenterfornursing.org/