Accelerated Campus Nursing Programs in Florida

A caring profession committed to core values such as altruism, autonomy, integrity, and social justice, nursing offers many rewarding career paths. Florida's accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) programs give aspiring nurses the medical skills to serve in areas such as intensive or emergency care, community health, mental health, and neonatal care.

Students who complete a bachelor's degree in another field can pursue a second-degree BSN program. These programs typically entail 50-60 credits and take 12-15 months to complete. Accelerated nursing programs in Florida often include courses during fall, winter, spring, and summer months. Applicants must demonstrate successful academic performance (usually 3.0 minimum GPA) in a prior bachelor's program and in several nursing prerequisite courses.

Nursing Programs

Nursing salaries and job prospects often vary by role, employer, and sector, but registered nurses (RNs) consistently earn higher salaries and enjoy higher growth projections for all occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RNs earned a median annual salary of $73,300 in 2019. The BLS projects jobs for RNs to grow 7% between 2019 and 2029.

What Can I Do With a Degree in Nursing?

Top nursing schools in Florida focus on foundational nursing skills, including critical thinking, decision-making, communication, and attention to detail. BSN programs meet educational requirements for RN licensure and prepare nurses to care for diverse populations, including children and mothers, aging adults, mentally ill and chronically ill adults, and people from various backgrounds.

Depending on their specializations, interests, and aptitudes, nursing degree graduates choose from dozens of nursing-related careers in multiple fields and contexts. BSN graduates interested in fast-paced nursing work often pursue jobs as emergency room nurses, paramedics, or transplant or surgery nurses. Graduates interested in public health often work in community health clinics or participate in public health research. Some nurses work in niche fields such as pediatrics, cosmetology, home health, and hospice.

Nurses interested in travel can find high-paying, temporary contracts in various locations around the world. Some BSN graduates pursue master's or doctoral degrees that qualify them for nursing management, research, and teaching careers.

Graduate Degree Options for a Career in Nursing

Some BSN graduates pursue more advanced degrees that can prepare them for promotion, salary advancement, or career transition. Unlike the accelerated BSN, the master of science in nursing (MSN) allows nurses to specialize in fields such as gerontology, midwifery, or anesthesiology.

BSN graduates seeking master's degrees often enroll in two-year BSN-to-MSN programs that include core skills in advanced patient care, evidence-based practice, and health assessment. These programs often require 200-600 clinical practice hours. Many MSN graduates use this degree to obtain leadership roles, research careers, or access to doctor of nursing practice or Ph.D. in nursing programs.

Many BSN-holders seeking specialization and career advancement use professional certification programs and professional organizations rather than pursuing an advanced degree.

Accreditation for a Degree in Nursing

As you research the best nursing schools and programs in Florida, pay close attention to accreditation. You can use the Department of Education's searchable Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to verify schools' and programs' academic quality. Only enrollees at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid.

Students should note that only degrees and credits from regionally accredited schools transfer to other regionally accredited schools. This is because regionally accredited schools meet the higher academic standards applied by regional accrediting agencies. National accrediting agencies serve many professional or religious schools, while regional accreditors evaluate academic colleges and universities.

The best nursing schools in Florida may also feature programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

What is required to be an RN in Florida? Florida's board of nursing requires RNs to demonstrate successful performance in an accredited nursing education program. RNs must also pass the NCLEX-RN examination.
Is Florida a good state for nurses? Ranked the nation's third-highest nurse-employing state, Florida holds many opportunities for nursing professionals. Given the state's high geriatric population, gerontology or hospice specializations may prove particularly useful to job-seekers.
What is the yearly salary for RNs? Ranked the nation's third-highest nurse-employing state, Florida holds many opportunities for nursing professionals. Given the state's high geriatric population, gerontology or hospice specializations may prove particularly useful to job-seekers.
How much do nurses earn in Florida? The BLS indicates that Florida's RNs earn a median annual salary of $67,610. However, salary figures depend on various factors.

What Are the Requirements for a Degree in Nursing?

Accelerated second-degree nursing programs in Florida typically require enrollees to possess a prior bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field, a 2.5-3.2 minimum GPA, successful performance in prerequisite coursework and sometimes on the Test of Essential Academic Skills or other standardized tests.

Accelerated BSN programs typically follow a designated, sequential curriculum that meets Florida RN educational requirements. Enrollees complete about 60 credits of core coursework that surveys major types of nursing care, such as acute nursing, mental health nursing, and family nursing. Enrollees must complete supervised practicums or internships to graduate.

Courses in a Nursing Program

Accelerated BSN programs at the best nursing schools in Florida do not feature elective or concentration options because these programs follow a set curriculum aligned with Florida nursing education guidelines. The accelerated BSN curriculum covers core topic areas including family health, chronic and aging patient care, mental health care, and public and community health.

Enrollees explore nurses' roles in various situations, contexts, and systems. The best nursing schools in Florida also cultivate scientific understanding of health and nursing by including courses on nursing research. Many nursing courses feature lab, clinical, and practicum components that allow students to develop and hone clinical skills under supervision from experienced nurses.

Patient-Centered Care: Essentials of Nursing Practice
One of the first courses taken in many nursing programs in Florida, this course emphasizes clinical skills for wellness promotion and illness prevention. A standard requirement in pre-licensure nursing programs, this course highlights best practices and techniques used for nursing processes, therapeutic communication, and health promotion. Learners gain skills in nursing safety, health education, and care quality. Students learn how to adapt care techniques based on patients' cultural membership.
Nursing Care of Women, Children, and Family
Another core requirement in pre-licensure programs, this course covers family care through phases such as childbirth, child development, and parenting. Integrating community, social, and cultural perspectives on the family, this course helps students understand how to encourage health and treat injury or illness within families. Enrollees typically complete a clinical course that includes practicing nursing care in various clinical settings.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
This essential course prepares participants to provide nursing care for acutely and chronically mentally ill patients. Course topics include psychopharmacology and psychopathology treatment across the lifespan. Enrollees learn the role that nurses play in mental health care, including collaboration, communication, and referral to community resources. This required course helps BSN students meet educational requirements for RN licensure.
Public Health Nursing
This course introduces students to public health nursing issues, strategies, and practices. Focal points include health management, promotion, and prevention. Enrollees learn public health strategies for reducing health risks and supporting health and wellness. Participants also gain clinical experience in diverse communities. Most BSN programs require public health nursing coursework. This subject proves particularly essential for aspiring public health, community service, and clinic managers.
Practicum/Internship
A core component throughout or at the end of nursing programs in Florida, nursing practicums or internships consist of supervised practice at providing care in approved settings. Faculty, students, and approved agencies work together to set up these practicums that encourage learners to integrate nursing theory with clinical skills and practices.

Certifications and Licensure for Nursing Majors

Nursing majors can enhance their employability and career options by obtaining professional credentials, such as RN licensure. Many nursing positions require official licensure from the state board. Nursing majors can also earn various other nursing-related credentials that demonstrate specialized knowledge and skills. See below for three credential options for nursing majors.

Licensed Practical Nurse Aspiring LPNs must complete a state board-approved practical nursing program or meet alternative pathway requirements specified by their state board. All LPNs in the United States must pass the NCLEX-PN examination. Additional requirements vary by state. Many states allow LPNs to transfer their license from another state with similar requirements. As nurses, medical assistants, or aides, LPNs often provide direct care to patients in medical facilities or at patients' homes.
Registered Nurse Aspiring RNs must meet state board-stipulated education requirements, which entail successfully completing a board-approved RN program. All U.S. RNs must pass the NCLEX-RN. Other requirements differ by state, and RN licensure may transfer across state lines. RNs may work as nurses, case managers, legal nurse consultants, or nurse informatics specialists.
Certified Health Education Specialist This certification requires successful performance on the CHES examination. Applicants need a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited school and a degree in health education or sufficient credits in seven topic areas. Career paths associated with this certification include community health educators, organizers, and coordinators; education program or case managers; health education programmers; and family services specialists.

Professional Organizations for Nursing Students

Professional organizations offer many benefits to nursing students, including scholarships, career guidance, and networking opportunities. These organizations run conferences, publish resources, and provide continuing education and professional certifications. See below for a sampling of the many nursing-related professional organizations available.

National Student Nurses' Association A nonprofit offering career development and licensure guidance and support, NSNA emphasizes mentorship and professional standards and ethics guidelines. NSNA also runs conferences, provides resource guides and publications, and advocates for accessible high-quality healthcare and nursing education.
American Nurses Association Since 1896, ANA has worked to advance the profession through advocacy, career development, and promotion of nurse health and safety. ANA also establishes professional standards and maintains the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the American Academy of Nursing, and the American Nurses Foundation. ANA supports networking through various events and an online mentorship program.
Emergency Nursing Association This professional organization for emergency department nurses serves over 42,000 members worldwide. The ENA provides a diverse array of continuing education, networking, and employment opportunities for nursing students and professionals, plus a large body of clinical resources useful to working emergency nurses.
National League for Nursing The nation's oldest professional nurse organization, NLN promotes public policy initiatives, professional networking and development, research grants, and testing for nursing students and professionals. NLN offers many career resources, including a job board, resume posting, networking tools, and interviewing and career advancement tips.

Scholarships for Nursing Students

Nursing students can apply for scholarships awarded based on financial need, academic performance, or group membership. Granted by various public or private funders, these scholarships vary widely in award amount and do not require repayment. Nursing students should consider applying to the scholarships below.

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program Who Can Apply: Awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, this scholarship goes to U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents pursuing professional nursing degrees at accredited U.S. nursing schools. Recipients agree to work at a Critical Shortage Facility after graduation. Application requirements include two recommendation letters, a resume or C.V., three short essays, and various required documentation forms. Amount: Varies, but typically covers tuition, fees, books and supplies, and a monthly living stipend More Information
American Nephrology Nurses Association Career Mobility Scholarships Who Can Apply: ANNA provides six different scholarship types to bachelor's or graduate students in nursing. Applicants need two years of ANNA membership and must be actively involved in nephrology-related healthcare. Some scholarships require additional criteria, such as professional certification from the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission. Amount: $1,000-$4,000 More Information
National Association of Hispanic Nurses Nursing Scholarships Who Can Apply: NAHN offers various scholarships and awards to NAHN members enrolled in full-time, accredited nursing programs. Eligible applicants demonstrate good standing for six months prior. The United Health Foundation Diverse Scholars Initiative scholarship requires candidates to hold a 3.0 minimum GPA. The award pays for recipients to attend the NAHN Annual Conference Gala and the United Health Foundation Diverse Scholar Initiative Forum. Amount: Varies More Information
National Black Nurses Association, Inc. Who Can Apply: Eligible applicants hold both NBNA and NBNA local chapter memberships, demonstrate good academic standing in a nursing program, and have at least one year of enrollment remaining. Applicants submit two recommendation letters, a written essay, and official transcripts, plus a professional headshot and documented evidence of involvement in student nurse activities in the African American community. Amount: $1,000-$5,000 More Information
Catching the Dream Scholarships Who Can Apply: Candidates must prove at least 25% American Indian heritage and enrollment in a U.S. tribe. Eligible candidates must be enrolled full time in an accredited, academic, on-campus, U.S. bachelor's or graduate program. Applicants must submit three recommendation letters, an essay, a financial needs analysis, and standardized test scores. Amount: $500-$5,000 annually More Information

Accelerated Campus Nursing Programs in Florida 2020

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