Nursing Schools in Florida – FL
Nursing Jobs in Florida
Florida is one of the best places in the country to become a nurse. Senior citizens, who currently account for 17% of Florida’s population, are expected to make up one in four residents by 2030. As the elderly population grows, demand for nurses, particularly at nursing homes and geriatric care centers, is likely to increase accordingly.
Furthermore, it is estimated that 40% of Florida’s nurses are nearing retirement age, creating the prospect for a severe shortage of nurses in the near future if not enough younger nurses fill their places. When combined with projected population growth and growth in Florida’s elderly population, these factors suggest that the demand for nurses in Florida will be booming in years to come.
Some types of jobs are likely to be in greater demand than others. Jobs are expected to grow more slowly in hospitals, but due to high turnover rates, hospitals like Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville, Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida Hospital Orlando, and Memorial Regional Hospital are likely to be excellent sources of jobs.
On the other hand, although jobs are projected to grow more quickly in physicians’ offices and outpatient care centers, these jobs are likely to be more competitive. To be a more competitive candidate, you’ll want to get the best education and training possible—it’s never to soon to start looking.
Nursing Programs in Florida
Nursing is one of the most standardized professions in the country, with an educational curriculum to match. This means that you can apply what you’ve learned in nursing programs in Florida to practice in other parts of the country, and vice versa. Wherever you are, all nursing programs include a mix of classroom instruction and clinical experience. You’ll take courses in anatomy, chemistry, nutrition, and other core medical sciences, in addition to learning how to navigate the complicated situations that frequently arise in the field.
Although nursing education is quite universally standardized, different types of nursing jobs often have different requirements. So it’s essential that you know what your goals are before you choose a program. Licensed practical nurses, for example, are required to undergo less education than registered nurses; while emergency room nurses will need a different set of skills from home healthcare nurses.
In an attempt to address the nursing shortage in Florida, many schools have begun to offer accelerated bachelor’s degrees in nursing (BSN), which allow licensed nurses or students with a bachelor’s degree in another subject to acquire a BSN and become qualified for more advanced positions within just 12-18 months. Nurses hoping to enter advanced careers can also seek an accelerated master’s degree in nursing (MSN), which typically takes 2 years.
Nursing Salaries in Florida
Nursing can be a very emotionally satisfying career: each day nurses go to work knowing that they are helping others. Yet there are less altruistic benefits as well. Nursing offers excellent salaries, benefits, and job prospects to qualified candidates.
An ongoing nursing shortage in Florida has put nurses in particularly high demand, so finding employment shouldn’t be a problem. The average salary for a nurse in Florida, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ranges from $43,350 in Punta Gorda to $66,920 in Miami.
In response to high turnover rates, many hospitals offer excellent salaries and benefits to attract and retain qualified nurses. Salaries at doctor’s offices and outpatient clinics may be lower, but you are likely to have more regular working hours and a less stressful working environment.
Nursing also offers many opportunities for advancement to Florida’s hardest-working and most ambitious nurses. Many nurses begin as entry-level staff members in large hospitals and gradually make their way up to head nurse or administrative positions. Others decide to return to school and enter advanced nursing professions like nurse-midwifery.
Qualifications also play a major role in determining your salary in Florida. Nurses with a bachelor’s degree or more advanced degree are likely to make more than those with an associate’s degree or diploma. Furthermore, though not required, certification in a specialized area by an organization like the National League for Nursing can signal to employers that you are willing to go above and beyond and make you a more desirable job candidate.