The latest statistics from the Florida Center for Nursing reveal that of the more than 345,000 active nurses in the State of Florida licensed by the Florida Board of Nursing, 79 percent are RNs. Statistics from the American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN) revealed that as of 2013, there were more than 10,200 students enrolled in baccalaureate nursing programs, many of which were completion programs for LPNs that facilitate RN licensure. This illustrates how today’s nurses are more often seeking an RN license through the completion of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
Florida’s LPNs interested in becoming BSN-prepared RNs are sure to enjoy a wealth of professional opportunities, as the Florida Center for Nursing reported that more than 4,100 new RN positions were created in 2014 alone.
LPN to BSN Programs in Florida
LPN to BSN programs, a new hybrid program available to practicing nurses, is designed specifically for Florida LPNs who want to pursue a BSN as an educational route to RN licensure.
Because LPN to BSN programs are designed specifically for the practicing LPN, coursework is often completed online. Further, many programs offer part-time study so as to cater to the needs of the busy LPN.
In addition to possessing a current and unencumbered LPN license, candidates may need to earn a minimum score on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) V exam (usually 70 percent) and successfully complete/transfer prerequisite courses (with a minimum GPA) to be eligible for admission into an LPN to BSN program in Florida. Typical prerequisite courses include:
- English composition
- S. history
- S. government
- Human anatomy
- Human physiology
- General chemistry
Core LPN to BSN Coursework Requirements
The core coursework requirements are quite similar among LPN to BSN programs, as they include study in:
- Concepts of professional nursing
- Human pathophysiology
- Community health nursing
- Nursing of adults
- Gerontological nursing
- Psychiatric/mental health nursing
- Nursing leadership and management
- Health assessment
- Health promotion
Florida LPN to BSN Clinical Requirements
Regardless of whether an LPN to BSN program is campus-based or online, clinical requirements are always satisfied through local healthcare institutions.
Students of an LPN to BSN program can expect to train in a wide variety of clinical settings, such as treatment centers, outpatient clinics, hospitals, and long-term care facilities, among others. Clinical experiences allow students to work with patient populations that are diverse in age, health status, gender, and socioeconomic status.
Some of the medical facilities in Florida where clinical experiences may be completed include:
- Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Orlando
- Baptist Hospital of Miami, Miami
- Florida Hospital Kissimmee, Kissimmee
- Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center, Daytona Beach
- HealthPark Medical Center, Ft. Myers
- Miami Children’s Hospital, Miami
- University Behavioral Center, Orlando
- Capital Regional Medical Center, Tallahassee
How to Migrate from LPN to RN Licensure in Florida
Upon the successful completion of an LPN to BSN program recognized by the Florida Board of Nursing, candidates are eligible for RN licensure.
To achieve an RN license in Florida, candidates must complete an online application through Medical Quality Assurance Services. Application specialists review applications and determine if all eligibility requirements have been satisfied.
Eligible candidates then receive an eligibility letter from the Board of Nursing, which includes instructions on how to register with Pearson Vue to take the NCLEX-RN. There is a number of Pearson Vue testing centers located throughout Florida in cities such as:
- Altamonte Springs
- Port Charlotte
After candidates have successfully completed the NCLEX-RN, the Board issues them a Florida RN license. Florida RNs must renew their licenses biennially.
Incentive Programs for Florida LPNs interested in LPN-BSN Programs
Many of Florida’s medical establishments encourage educational mobility for LPNs seeking a BSN and initial RN license. This means tuition assistance/reimbursement programs and other incentive programs are widespread.
Just a few of the healthcare institutions in Florida that offer tuition assistance to eligible employees pursing BSN degrees include:
- Florida Hospital (Kissimmee, Altamonte Springs, Apopka, Courtland, East Orlando, Winter Park, Orlando, Celebration, and Maitland)
- Florida Hospital Ormond Memorial (St. Augustine, Daytona Beach)
- Baptist Health South Florida (Miami, Homestead, South Miami)
- Tampa General Hospital, Tampa Bay