How to Become a Nurse in Florida

Becoming a Nurse in Florida

With over 5 million registered nurses currently practicing, nursing is one of the largest areas of employment. Nurses provide much of the hands-on care that keeps the healthcare system running smoothly and plays a key role in patient health outcomes.

Nursing can also provide a stable career in healthcare and is one of the highest-paying major occupations. Students interested in a career in nursing can benefit from learning how to become a nurse in Florida.

Requirements to Become a Nurse in Florida

Like most healthcare professions, becoming a nurse in Florida involves both education and professional licensure. The licensing process ensures that the health and safety of patients is supported by trained healthcare professionals.

To earn a registered nurse (RN) license, students must first complete an approved Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and then pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Students will not be qualified to take the NCLEX-RN exam without completing an accredited nursing degree.

Steps to Become a Nurse in Florida

The first step to becoming a nurse in Florida is identifying and applying to an approved nursing degree program. Once enrolled in a nursing degree, students will gain the knowledge and skills needed in a clinical context. Nursing students will also typically complete some clinical experience hours as part of their degree program.

As nurses near the end of their degrees, they will begin to prepare for the NCLEX-RN exam. Finally, nursing graduates must pass the NCLEX-RN exam and complete a background check before they receive their RN license.

Best Degree to Become a Nurse in Florida

Students aspiring to a career in nursing have several degree options. While an associate degree (ADN) can qualify students to take the NCLEX-RN exam and become registered nurses, there is a strong trend toward bachelor’s (BSN) degrees in nurse education. 

The additional training and education gained in a bachelor’s degree has been associated with improved patient outcomes and many healthcare organizations prefer or require graduates of BSN programs. 71% of registered nurses currently hold a bachelor’s degree. 72% of healthcare employers state a preference for RNs with the increased education provided by a bachelor’s degree and 28% have made it a requirement. 

Nurses who have completed an associate degree (ADN) can earn the remaining credits needed to finish a BSN degree in specialized programs called RN to BSN programs. Because registered nurses have already completed an associate degree and gained professional licensure, RN to BSN programs are designed to be efficient for busy nurses. PBA offers a flexible and convenient online RN to BSN program to help you gain this important qualification.

Career Outlook for Nursing Graduates

Nursing is not only a rewarding and meaningful profession, it is also a smart career choice. Employment of RNs is expected to increase by 6% over the next decade, and many areas of the country experience severe shortages of nurses. One of the factors creating new employment opportunities in nursing is the aging nursing workforce. Over 25% of nurses plan to retire within the next five years. An aging general population also creates a need for new healthcare strategies. 

Students who complete a nursing degree such as PBA’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing will be well positioned to progress in healthcare careers. Additional opportunities in healthcare leadership are also available for students who complete an advanced degree in nursing. PBA’s Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice programs prepare students for in-demand and highly-compensated roles in the healthcare system. Employment of nurses with advanced degrees is anticipated to increase by 38% in the coming decade.

Learn more about PBA’s Nursing Program

A solid education is the first step to a rewarding career in nursing. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a nurse in Florida, get in touch with PBA and learn more about our fantastic nursing programs.


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