The numbers tell the story: Now is a great time to consider a career in nursing in Florida and it may also be a perfect moment for current nurses to boost their education.
The Florida Center for Nursing estimated there were 9,000 RN vacancies statewide in 2011 and growth projections call for an additional 6,700 RN positions to be created in 2012.
Among the most difficult positions to fill, according to the center, are those requiring RNs with advanced educational qualifications.
A 2011 report by the Institute of Medicine called for the percentage of nurses with bachelor’s degrees to rise to 80% nationally by 2020. The report pointed to RN to BSN degree programs and online learning as among the ways to meet that goal.
Nationwide, the employment rate for RNs is expected to increase 26% between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition.
The job growth is expected to be faster in traditional hospital settings, as well as in settings such as physicians’ offices, home healthcare services and outpatient care centers.
Overall, the healthcare industry in Florida largely has been immune from the state’s recent unemployment woes.
In 2011, the average salary for nurses in the Sunshine State was $64,611, up almost $10,000 over the statewide average in 2010, according to a survey by Advance for Nurses.
Nationally, the median annual wage of registered nurses was $64,690 in 2010, according to the BLS.
In order to become a licensed RN in the state of Florida, applicants must have completed an approved Registered Nurse program and passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
In addition, RNs who are licensed in another state can apply for licensure in Florida through endorsement.
RNs must renew their license every two years and are required to complete a total of 24 hours of continuing education (CE), including two hours of CE relating to prevention of medical errors, during each renewal period.
A one-time, one-hour CE requirement on HIV/AIDS must be completed before the first renewal.
During every third renewal, RNs also must complete two hours of CE in domestic violence, for a total of 26 hours.
It’s important to note that nursing licensure requirements and fees can change. For the most up-to-date information contact the Florida Board of Nursing at:
Mailing address:4052 Bald Cypress Way, BIN C02, Tallahassee, FL 32399-3252
Phone: (850) 245-4125