Florida is the state with the fourth highest level of employment for registered nurses in the U.S., with over 164,000 RNs. Additionally, the Gainesville metropolitan area has the second highest concentration of nursing jobs of any metro area, with 45 of every 1,000 jobs being a registered nurse position. Booming growth in the nursing field and all across the health industry makes seeking nursing employment in a big city one of the easier job searches around, and Florida is as good a place as any to start.
The Florida State Department of Health controls all licensure and endorsement for nurse practitioners and nurse’s aides in Florida, and anyone who wants to work as a nurse in the state must be approved. The state board offers licenses for the following types of nursing careers:
- Registered Nurses
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, such as Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, and Clinical Nursing Specialists.
- Licensed Vocational or Practical Nurses
- Certified Nurse’s Assistants and Aides
Nursing Licensure in Florida
Online applications for nursing licensure in the state of Florida are available, though nurse practitioners applying to renew their application must submit a paper copy. Other requirements for nursing licensure in Florida, as stated on the department of health’s website, include:
- Complete the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
- Submit an online or paper application, depending on the type you are applying for.
- Submit your fingerprints for verification (you may or may not be required to do this, depending on the type of license you apply for and whether it is your first time applying.)
- Prove you have met the 24-contact-hour continuing education requirements, if you are renewing your license, or present proof of completion of nursing education, if this is your first time.
- Await approval.
Average Nursing Salaries in Florida
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the mean annual salary of RNs in Florida at $64,020, which is a bit lower than the national mean salary for RNs. Though the salaries may only be middling, the availability of jobs, and the density of nursing jobs, especially in the Gainesville metropolitan area, still make Florida an attractive place to be a nurse.
Florida is also the state with the fourth highest number of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, with 42,710 jobs, according to The BLS. The wages for this career are lower than those for RNs, but the required amount of initial and continuing education to achieve licensure is also lower. LVNs and LPNs in Florida earn a mean wage of $40,770.
The table below compares the mean annual salary of RNs in the state of Florida and in several metropolitan areas within the state.
|Area||Registered Nurses||Average Salary|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||26,290||$66,140|