Known as the “Sunshine State”, Florida is the 4th most populous state. Tallahassee is the state capital with Jacksonville being its largest city. Florida’s culture is a beautiful amalgamation of Native American, European American, Hispanic and African American influences, which can be seen in its architecture and cuisine. The state offers a number of postsecondary educational opportunities through its many colleges and universities. Students who wish be a part of the healthcare workforce can also find programs that can help them acquire skills and knowledge essential to get into the healthcare sector.
An Overview of Florida’s Healthcare Sector
In 2008, Florida’s healthcare industry had employed 696,416 professionals. The occupations with the most employment were: registered nurses, medical assistants, nursing aides, orderlies and attendants, receptionists and information clerks and secretaries.
Registered nurses (RNs) are healthcare workers who provide basic nursing care in clinics, hospitals and other settings.
RN Programs in Florida
There are many institutes of higher learning offering various nursing programs in the state. Students can enroll in the associate or bachelor’s degree programs in nursing that enable them to study nursing practices and acquire knowledge to assist patients in need of medical care.
The curriculum teaches concepts of caring and human science as the basis of nursing practice. Students focus on the nursing care of individuals, families and groups. Besides, they also complete a practicum to gain hands-on training in the field.
Ranging from pharmacology to nursing administration, students in the RN programs are provided with instruction in a variety of topics. Some of the courses of study may include:
Adult and family health
Anatomy and physiology
Besides, RN programs such as the bachelor’s degree also provide instruction in courses that are essential to take up leadership roles. Students may study topics such as leadership in nursing, healthcare management and nursing research.
Licensure Requirements for RNs in Florida
RNs in Florida must hold a license to practice. The Florida Board of Nursing grants licenses. To obtain a license, students need to complete an RN program such as the associate degree in nursing, bachelors in nursing or a diploma in nursing. They must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and periodically renew license after entering the workforce.
Are there any financial aid programs for Florida nursing students?
Students who want to pursue an RN program in Florida but do not have financial means to manage the cost of their education can apply for financial aid. A number of grants, scholarships as well as student loans are available for eligible candidates that may help them pay for their educational expenses. Some of the financial aid options include:
The Janet Cauliflower Keys Nursing Scholarship Program
The Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program
Florida Student Assistance Grant
Florida Resident Access Grant
Where RNs in Florida work and how much do they earn?
Florida RNs generally work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and skilled nursing facilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2013, the median annual wage for RNs in Florida was $61,780.