Florida State Nursing Profile
Although Florida’s nurse licensure requirements vary for different types of nurses, the licensure process is the same. Graduates of both approved and accredited nursing education programs may apply to the Florida Board of Nursing for licensure. Once a prospective nurse has earned the required college degree and certification, he or she must take a NCLEX examination. This examination is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Nursing candidates must also complete a board-certified course in the Prevention of Medical Errors. When these requirements are satisfied, a licensure application can be completed online at the Florida Board of Nursing web site. A response typically takes between 10 and 15 business days.
Florida Nurse Government Oversight
Nurses in Florida are governed by Chapter 464 of the Florida Statutes (also known as the Nurse Practice Act). The Florida Board of Nursing recommends that all nurses and nursing candidates in the state be familiar with the laws pertaining to nursing.
Demand for Nurses in Florida
There is a growing demand for nursing professionals in Florida, especially registered nurses (RNs). The long-term drivers of the demand for nurses in Florida are an aging population in need of more care and an aging nursing workforce that is entering retirement. The Florida Center for Nursing (FCN) was established by the Florida Legislature in 2001 to address the issues of supply and demand for nursing professionals in the state. According to the FCN, a shortage of about 5,900 RNs in 2010 will grow to a shortage of about 56,000 by 2025. The severe nursing shortage that had been predicted for Florida was temporarily delayed by the recent economic recession, but key provisions of health care reform that are due to come into effect in 2014 are expected to cause the demand for RNs to increase rapidly.
Florida Nurse Demographics
The FCN also supplies information about Florida statewide nurse workforce demographics. In 2010, there were approximately 187,000 RNs in the Florida workforce. About 90 percent of these RNs were female, and the average RN age was 48 years. There were also about 12,600 Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists and 57,800 Licensed Practical Nurses. The majority of RNs (about 64 percent) are employed by hospitals. RNs who work outside of hospitals are split between home health, ambulatory care, long-term care, physician and heath provider offices and other locations. In 2010, about 80 percent of all working nurses in Florida were employed full time.
Florida Nursing Salaries
Florida nursing salaries can vary widely depending on level of education, area of specialization and geographical location. According to compensation information provided by PayScale, the average salary for RNs in Florida is between $34,989 and $73,041. This is comparable to nursing salaries in Texas and New York. Exact figures for Advanced Nurse Practitioner salaries in Florida are not available, but national figures indicate that they earn an average salary of $92,000. In addition to salary, nursing benefit packages in Florida generally include health insurance, paid vacation time, holiday pay and reimbursement for continuing education.
Florida Nursing Associations
Several Florida nursing associations provide support services and advocacy for professional nurses and nursing students. The Florida Nurses Association (FNA) is a statewide advocacy organization that serves all nursing specialties and practice settings. The FNA web site provides information about Florida nursing career paths, nursing programs and nursing degrees. The FNA also sponsors conferences and other networking opportunities for nursing professionals. The Florida Nurses Foundation (FNF) is a non-profit foundation that was established by the Florida Nursing Association to encourage nursing research and education. The FNF awards research grants and scholarships to registered nurses and nursing students. The Florida Nursing Students Association (FNSA) supports nursing students as they prepare to assume professional responsibilities. The FNSA web site provides access to a nursing career network.