Steps to Becoming a Professional Nurse in Florida

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You can train to become a nurse in Florida in as few as two years. Nurses are in demand throughout the state, and employment opportunities are expected to remain strong in coming years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, the BLS projects that U.S. Registered Nurse (RN) employment will increase 22% from 2008 through 2018.1 Many nurses find the profession to be a satisfying job that can offer qualified individuals a variety of employment options and opportunities for advancement. If you’re ready to establish a career in the expanding healthcare field and are interested in nursing, you can soon be on your way to obtaining the necessary education.

Approved Nursing Programs and Requirements

If you aspire to work as a nurse within Florida, the first step can be to enroll in a Florida nursing program. Requirements for state licensing include completion of an approved nursing program, a passing score on the national licensure exam and disclosure of any prior criminal history or disciplinary actions.

While there are many options available for two-year and four-year nursing programs, it’s important to choose a program that is approved by the Florida Board of Nursing. Approved Florida nursing programs are regulated under Section 464.019, Florida Statutes, and deemed to meet the necessary requirements to prepare students for becoming RNs.

Many individuals seeking to become a nurse in Florida opt to enroll in a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. Be sure to conduct appropriate research into the options available to you, so you are empowered to make an informed decision regarding the Florida nursing program that best meets your needs.

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Why Choose an Accredited Nursing School?

Once you have short-listed several approved nursing programs for consideration, the next step is to check your prospective nursing school’s accreditation. In Florida, approved nursing education programs are not required to be accredited; however, many approved programs are offered by regionally or nationally accredited institutions. As you work toward becoming a nurse in Florida, there are several good reasons to choose an accredited Florida nursing school:

  • Accreditation indicates that an institute of higher learning has met demanding standards set by the accrediting body to ensure a high quality of instruction as well as fairness and accountability.
  • In the United States, certain types of financial aid are available only to students enrolled in educational institutions accredited by agencies recognized and approved by the United States Department of Education.
  • National or regional accreditation may be taken into consideration by schools when determining the transferability of credits. However, because accreditation alone does not guarantee that credits will transfer to other schools, students who plan to pursue further education should verify that credits earned in an ADN program at an accredited Florida nursing school will transfer to a bachelor’s or master’s program at their chosen institution.
  • Students who choose to enroll in a nationally accredited school can be confident that the accrediting body has thoroughly reviewed the integrity of its programming to ensure that it meets quality standards.
  • All students who graduate from an accredited nursing program or approved nursing program are eligible to apply to the Florida Board of Nursing for licensure by examination.

Licensing and Job Placement for Professional Nurses

Think beyond nursing school to the day you’re ready to begin your career as a professional nurse. What can you expect? Students who graduate from an accredited Florida nursing school with an ADN are prepared to take on the role of direct caregiver and work as part of the medical team with other healthcare professionals. But first, prospective nurses must sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, or NCLEX-RN – the exam required to qualify for a nursing license. With a nursing license in hand, you’ll be ready to work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, home health care agencies, nursing homes, physicians’ offices and more.

What about nursing job placement? As previously mentioned, BLS projections indicate that the nursing job outlook will continue to be strong in years to come. Furthermore, BLS data indicates that Florida has the fourth highest Registered Nurse (RN) employment levels in the United States, with more than 158,000 RNs statewide.2 Of the 433,280 professionals employed as healthcare practitioners and in healthcare technical occupations throughout Florida, RNs account for more than one-third of those positions.3 When choosing a nursing school in Florida, look for a program that offers job placement services, which can help you to identify appropriate entry-level opportunities. Once you graduate, you’ll want the advantage of a dedicated job placement professional to help you prepare to land your first nursing position.

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Benefits of UMA’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Program

If you are seeking Florida nursing programs in the Tampa Bay area, you may wish to consider the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program from Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA). Recognized as an accredited Florida nursing school – with national accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) – UMA offers an approved two-year nursing degree program. This career-focused program meets the established Florida nursing program requirements set by the Florida Board of Nursing.

In addition to classroom and laboratory work, UMA students enrolled in the ADN program have the opportunity to acquire hands-on experience through in clinical rotations. The curriculum is intended to help students develop proficiency in a variety of areas, including:

  • Contributing as a member of a medical team
  • Educating patients on making appropriate health-related decisions
  • Providing quality patient care and respecting individual needs
  • Upholding standards of professional behavior
  • Communicating effectively with physicians, fellow nurses, support staff and patients
  • Assessing patient health and contributing to appropriate care

With coursework in subjects such as Microbiology, Human Nutrition, Fundamentals of Nursing, Pharmacology, Sociology, Anatomy and Physiology, UMA’s Associate Degree in nursing program offers a well-rounded foundation that is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and clinical skills necessary to qualify for entry-level nursing positions. Students also receive instruction in clinical decision-making, managing care, professional behavior and other advanced components of nursing, as required by many potential employers.

Take Your First Step to Become a Nurse in Florida: Enroll in an ADN Program

If your goal is to become a nurse in Florida, you can prepare for a nursing career in as few as two years when you enroll in UMA’s Associate Degree in Nursing program. The ADN program is offered on campus in Tampa, Florida, and includes clinical rotations working with patients and alongside healthcare professionals. Students have an opportunity to gain real-world experience that can offer an advantage when seeking entry-level nursing positions.

When you're researching Florida nursing program requirements, you'll find that UMA's curriculum covers subject areas that professional nurses are expected to know. This approved ADN program can put you on track to become a professional nurse and give you the confidence to launch a rewarding healthcare career. To learn more, contact UMA today.

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition. “Registered Nurses.” <http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos083.htm>
2 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010. “29-1111 Registered Nurses.” <http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291111.htm#st>
3 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2010 Edition. “State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Florida, Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations, Registered Nurses.” <http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_FL.htm#29-0000>

For information on student graduation rates, retention and placement rates, and student financial obligations, visit www.ultimatemedical.edu/consumerinfo.

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