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How to Become a Nurse in Florida, FL

With a large population of retirees, there is a huge need for nurses in Florida and it is only expected to grow in coming years; but how to become a nurse in Florida?

There are three common ways to become a Florida nurse: by becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) through a Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BSN) education program or an Associate Degree, Nursing (ADN) program, or through a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) degree.

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The easiest way to become a Florida nurse is via an LPN nursing education program, which takes a year once admitted. Admission requires prerequisite courses, usually around 15 credit hours, in introductory level sciences and arts topics like biology, English, math and psychology. LPN students then study patient care in both a classroom and a clinical setting and take the NCLEX-PN at the culmination of their studies. Once passed—90 percent of students pass the test, although this can vary from program to program—one is qualified to get a job as an entry-level LPN in Florida, who make, upon average, $38,000 per year plus benefits; a pretty good wage for a year of nurse training.

Becoming a Registered Nurse in Florida can be achieved through a two year ADN or a four year BSN program. While it may seem nonsensical to take the longer route, a BSN takes students beyond the patient care and management practices taught at the ADN level to advanced nursing theory, practice, and management courses, while also offering the opportunity for specialization into any number of topics like community health, pre-natal care, nursing research and beyond. It also opens up more opportunities to earn even more than the Florida RN average of $60,000 (according to annually.

Regardless of whether you choose a BSN or ADN, prerequisites are similar—5 to 10 courses in introductory arts and science classes, which can vary by nursing education program—and both take the same nursing licensure test, the NCLEX-RN, at the end of their studies. Licensure at the end of a nursing education program is achieved by passing the NCLEX, and students are then qualified to begin working as a Florida nurse.