With the goal of delivering high-quality, patient-centered care with optimal outcomes and fewer readmissions, the Nursing Action Coalition of Florida has made it a mission to increase the number of BSN-educated RNs statewide. And with the help of nursing schools offering fast-track RN-BSN programs online, the number of BSNs in the state has been increasing year over year.
Accelerated RN-BSN programs were developed as a solution to the barriers brought to light a decade ago by the Florida Center for Nursing, which showed that time and cost were the two biggest factors that stood between RNs and the BSN degrees they wanted to earn. At that time, the FCN’s report on Strategies to Successfully Provide Floridians an Adequate, Qualified Nurse Workforce, called for the development of fast and flexible educational pathways. Today, those pathways are widely available through nursing schools offering online RN-to-BSN options, including HBCU nursing programs like those offered through the Florida A&M University School of Nursing, which have a long-standing mission of making career-focused nursing programs more accessible.
Enrolling in RN to BSN Programs in Florida
Florida RN to BSN programs are designed to fit around any RN’s busy work and home schedule. To do this, many programs are offered entirely online with 24/7 access, allowing RNs to access course materials when time allows.
All Florida RN to BSN programs will maintain some variation nf these admissions requirements:
- Hold ADN from Accredited or Florida Board of Nursing-approved institution
- Minimum GPA in ADN program as determined by the college
- Hold current, active, unrestricted Florida RN license
Once RNs meet these requirements, they can look to apply at any of the Florida Board of Nursing-approved, ACEN-accredited, or CCNE-accredited BSN nursing programs throughout Florida, including, but not limited to, those found in the following counties:
- Alachua County
- Brevard County
- Broward County
- Duval County
- Lee County
- Leon County
- Palm Beach
Components of RN to BSN Programs in Florida
Because the RN to BSN program is created to complement an RN’s previous ADN education, Florida RNs may receive up to 82 credits upon enrollment. After that, RNs will complete liberal arts and baccalaureate-level nursing courses to fulfill the BSN requirements.
The following list contains the types of nursing courses RN-BSN programs will include:
- Advanced English Composition
- Health Assessment
- RN Information Systems in Healthcare
- Statistics for Decision Making
- Cultural Diversity in the Professions
- Evidence-Based Practice
- RN Community Health Nursing
- RN Collaborative Healthcare
- Principles of Economics
Any clinical credits an RN will need to complete may be completed at local hospitals close-to-home, including, but not limited to, the following:
- UF Health – Gainsville
- Florida Hospital – Orlando
After obtaining a BSN, RNs will be eligible to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing. Most Florida MSN programs are flexible, similar to RN to BSN programs, and many are available online.
Florida Hospitals that Help Support RNs entering RN-BSN Programs
Many Florida hospitals deem BSN-educated RNs as valuable assets to such an extent that they’re willing to pay to send them to school. The following list is just a few of the Florida hospitals offering some type of tuition-assistance to employed RNs.
UF Health Shands Hospital – Gainsville
The U.S. News&World Report consistently ranks UF Health Shands Hospital as one of the “Best Hospitals in America.” Along with this, it is one of the few Magnet Recognized Florida hospitals, demonstrating excellence in nursing. To encourage RNs to develop professionally, UF Health offers RN Leadership Fellowships, Nursing Leadership Fellowships, Education Grants, and a tuition assistance for affiliated RN to BSN programs.
Florida Hospital Orlando – Orlando
Ranked nationally in 10 adult specialties, Florida Hospital Orlando has made it onto the U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Hospitals in America,” list and was also recognized by the publication as the “Number 1 Hospital in Florida.” The Florida Hospital system has everything from small, family-oriented, 50-bed hospitals to large, 1,000-bed metro-area hospitals. RNs employed with the system enjoy career mobility and can take advantage of cross-training opportunities and tuition reimbursement.
Tampa General Hospital
U.S. News World and Report ranks Tampa General as the second best hospital in Florida. Holding Magnet status for three years in a row, this hospital believes nursing is the heart and soul of healthcare. To encourage nurses to perform at their peak, they provide tuition assistance of up to $4,000 per year for full-time employees. As a teaching hospital, they also provide organizational development education options including self-study programs, and further financial assistance for skills enhancement and certification.
For a quick glance at a few more hospitals that offer tuition assistance to RN employees, consider some of the following:
- Baptist Medical Center – Jacksonville
- Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Sarasota
- Bascom Palmer Eye Institute – Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital – Miami