How to Become a Nurse in Florida

March 27, 2023
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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Florida needs nurses! Nursing is a career in significant demand and has seen major growth, especially in Florida. As more and more families move to the state and medical needs increase, the healthcare industry needs more nurses.

If you’re looking to become a nurse in Florida but aren’t sure where to start, the following guide can help.

What types of nurses work in Florida?

Nurses are licensed healthcare professionals trained to deliver patient care to meet a wide range of needs. Nurses assist physicians and other providers by collecting patient information and vitals, helping with diagnosis, creating care plans, and carrying out various duties to meet patient needs.

Like in other states, there are two primary types of nurses the Florida Board of Nursing licenses:

  • Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs): LPNs provide many basic patient care needs, with most programs requiring a two-year degree.
  • Registered Nurses (RNs): RNs can deliver more advanced care, including helping create care plans and acting in a supervisory capacity in many circumstances. Most RN programs take two to four years to complete, depending on the degree.

Other licensed nurses in Florida include advanced practice nurses, such as nurse practitioners, or certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), who have higher training and educational requirements.

Types of Nursing Degrees for Florida Nurses

The three most common nursing degrees for Florida nurses are:

  • Diploma Programs: Community colleges and technical schools offer a one-year diploma program for students interested in becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
  • Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN): Many nursing programs offer this two-year degree. Depending on the scope of coursework, ADN programs can train nurses to become both LPNs and RNs.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): Nursing students completing a four-year BSN program will usually go on to become RNs.

Additionally, nurses in Florida can also seek a Master of Science in Nursing, which is generally recommended for managerial and administrative roles.

While an ADN is a minimum requirement for becoming an RN, many employers in Florida are increasingly looking for BSN degrees for entry-level positions. Additionally, while LPNs can receive a license without an ADN, this educational requirement is quickly becoming the standard for many Florida nurses.

4 Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Florida

One of the most satisfying benefits of being a nurse is that there are multiple entry points into the profession. For example, you can go to nursing school full-time or part-time or take a stepping-stone approach where you transition from an entry-level position like a technician or certified nursing assistant (CNA) into the LPN or RN role.

Across the multiple ways to become a nurse in Florida, most prospective nurses take some variation of the following steps:

1. Get Accepted to a Nursing Program

Most nursing programs require a high school degree or equivalent and the completion of specific prerequisite courses. Find accredited schools with a good reputation, complete prerequisite courses, and submit an application.

Nursing students also need to figure out financing at this stage. While many nursing students work to pay their way through school, others receive financial aid to focus entirely on finishing school.

2. Graduate with a Nursing Degree

Completing nursing school requires a mixture of theoretical and clinical coursework. Two-year and four-year nursing programs will generally end in a preceptorship that helps nurses gain in-person experience.

3. Pass a Licensing Exam and Receive a License in Florida

To receive a nursing license, nursing school graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for either LPNs or RNs. While nursing programs should prepare prospective nurses for the NCLEX, it is still a challenging examination that requires additional studying and preparation. The results can take up to six weeks to process.

Once a nurse is licensed in Florida, they must renew the license regularly and meet continuing education requirements.

4. Land a Nursing Job in Florida

A nurse can apply for jobs once they have received a degree or certificate and are licensed in the state of Florida. Although there is high demand for nurses in Florida, it can still be challenging to land that first job. Like any other profession, a well-written and concise resumé, a persistent attitude, dressing professionally, and extensively preparing for interview questions are essential to distinguishing yourself during the selection process.

Where do nurses in Florida work?

As the third largest state in the United States and growing, Florida has extensive opportunities for entry-level and specialist nurses. Some of the most common job sites for nurses in Florida include:

  • Hospitals: From large metropolitan hospitals to rural facilities, Florida has hundreds of hospitals, and for many nurses, this will be the first place they work. Hospitals usually involve long hours, hectic schedules, and a fast-paced environment. Due to the wide range of units and departments, it can be a great way to learn new skills and find your niche as a nurse.
  • Nursing Homes: Many Florida nurses also work in nursing homes due to the high elderly population in the state. Like hospitals, nurses in nursing homes must learn to balance the needs of multiple patients while working long hours to meet the 24/7 care needs of these facilities.
  • Surgery Centers and Clinics: Florida has many clinics and day surgery centers to meet patient needs. Nurses who need or prefer a Monday through Friday schedule with regular hours often seek out these positions, although these offices generally require previous experience and skills.
  • Home Health: Home healthcare is a growing area of the medical profession and offers patients of all ages and levels of health the opportunity to receive care right in the comfort of their own homes. Home health nursing can be an excellent fit for nurses who value one-on-one patient care, flexible schedules, and working independently. Experience levels can vary, although some previous experience is preferred due to the independent nature of care delivery.

Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care

Our home health care nurses work one-on-one with clients in the comfort of their own home. We are always looking for loving and competent nurses to provide customized care for families — from a few hours a day to around-the-clock supervision. We value our nurses’ health and well-being and understand your vital role in caring for our clients. PPE is provided in each home – including masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. We follow CDC guidelines to ensure you, your client, and your family stay healthy.

Applying for a position with Care Options for Kids is quick and simple. Our online application process is straightforward and effortless and eliminates the need to come into a local office. Our approach is virtual and can be completed at your convenience. Until you are ready to meet with our Director of Nursing, your application, resumé, license, CPR card, and other credentials can all be quickly uploaded online. Call today at (888) 592-5855 or visit us online at