Florida Nursing Education and Job Outlook


Professional nurses often find job opportunities in states with large elderly/retiree populations, such as Florida. Nursing education is the first step to a career in this field, as candidates must graduate from an approved nursing program before they qualify to sit for the national licensing exam.

An Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program can be completed in fewer than two years, and provides the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge required to pursue entry-level nursing jobs.

Entry-Level Positions for Graduates with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

Nursing school graduates who complete the appropriate training and licensing requirements can pursue a professional nursing career; however, actual job titles may vary according to employer and role. An ADN may qualify graduates for a variety of entry-level positions, such as staff nurse, public health nurse, change nurse, correctional nurse, geriatric nurse, school nurse, hospice nurse, home health care nurse, cardiac nurse and clinical nurse.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the majority of Registered Nurses (RNs) – some 60% – work in hospitals.1 Other employers include nursing care facilities, physicians’ offices, home healthcare services, outpatient care centers, correctional facilities, and psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals. Social assistance agencies and local, state and federal government agencies also hire a number of nurses. Some find jobs in educational services, while others may serve as consultants for pharmaceutical or medical equipment manufacturers.2

Entry-level nursing positions require specific skills and knowledge, which may be obtained through an ADN program at an accredited nursing school. Employers may also look for candidates with certain personal qualities, such as caring, empathy, professionalism and responsibility.

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Florida Nursing Education Requirements and Training

Individuals who aspire to become nurses may choose one of several pathways into the field. In Florida, many prospective nurses opt to earn an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN). This type of degree program can typically be completed within two years and provides access to the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for entry-level nursing positions.

An approved Florida ADN program will provide training in a variety of subject areas; courses might include topics such as:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Psychology
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Pharmacology/Drug Administration
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Adult Health Nursing
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

In addition to completing required coursework, ADN students are expected to demonstrate professional and responsible behavior, and to be competent in the ethical, legal and regulatory standards of the nursing profession.

Prospective nurses in the United States must graduate from an approved nursing program and pass a national licensing exam to qualify for a nursing license. If you wish to practice as a Registered Nurse in Florida, nursing education and a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) are required before you can apply for licensure through the State Department of Health.

Florida Nursing Job Outlook

BLS data reveals that nursing is the largest occupation in the healthcare industry, accounting for some 2.6 million jobs.1 Geographically, Florida is among the top five states in terms of nursing employment, with approximately 158,390 RNs employed statewide as of May 2010.2 The Florida nursing job outlook is likely to follow national trends, and BLS projections indicate that job opportunities for RNs will be “excellent” in coming years, with employment levels expected to increase 22% nationwide from 2008 through 2018.1

The BLS attributes this employment growth to an increased need for healthcare by a growing U.S. population – especially by elderly individuals, who typically require more healthcare, and whose numbers are projected to rise more rapidly. The state of Florida is particularly affected by this trend, as many retirees either relocate to Florida or take up seasonal residency in the winter months.

Additional factors that may contribute to the Florida nursing job outlook include expanding technological advances in healthcare that will allow more medical conditions to be treated, as well as a greater emphasis on preventative care. Licensed RNs with relevant training should be in a good position to compete for entry-level jobs.

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UMA's ADN Program and Career Services

If you'd like to pursue a career as a nurse, you can start on your path by seeking professional nurse training. A Florida ADN program can give you access to the skills and knowledge today's employers need, and opportunities to enter the healthcare field as a licensed nurse.

Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) offers an Associate Degree in Nursing program that is designed to prepare students to pursue entry-level nursing jobs. UMA’s career-focused nursing education program can be completed in fewer than two years and is offered on campus in Tampa, Florida.

Through UMA's Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program, students receive training that is designed to prepare them to:

  • Assess patient health and plan appropriate care
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to determine the right course of treatment for each patient
  • Make effective clinical decisions to ensure safe and accurate treatment
  • Educate patients on how to make informed health decisions
  • Help patients manage their health by implementing prescribed treatment plans
  • Honor patients’ cultural and religious needs, and protect patient dignity

To complement students’ nursing education, UMA’s ADN program includes several clinical rotations, such as obstetrics/pediatrics, medical-surgical, community nursing and psychiatry. This provides the opportunity for hands-on practice of skills learned in the classroom and laboratory. Nursing students work alongside experienced healthcare professionals and with actual patients, for the real-world experience that many employers prefer.

Upon graduation, nursing students qualify to sit for the NCLEX-RN. In the weeks leading up to the exam, UMA offers test preparation. Students will also have access to the Career Services team, who can help them identify job openings that fit their goals and abilities.

Earn Your ADN Degree and Prepare for a Career as a Professional Nurse

If you'd like to prepare for a career as a professional nurse, you can begin by enrolling in UMA's Associate Degree in Nursing program. With a comprehensive curriculum that encompasses classroom, laboratory and clinical instruction, UMA's Florida-based ADN program can help you qualify for entry-level nursing jobs and embark on a career in the healthcare industry. For more information, 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>

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

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