A variety of career paths and new openings in nursing make a career as an LPN a wise choice for anyone considering the healthcare field in Florida. According to the Florida Center for Nursing, which is part of the College of Health and Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida, there were 157 vacancies for LPNs in hospitals and 1,513 openings in home health care services in 2013. Demand for qualified LPNs remains strong in Florida and practical nurses can find work in several other areas, such as public health organizations, hospices, or psychiatric hospitals. Those ready to take the first step towards this rewarding career should read on to learn more about LPN programs in Florida, licensing and renewal requirements, and employment and salary trends across the state.
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Explore Florida LPN Programs
Only those who have completed an accredited practical nursing program approved by the Florida Board can sit for the NCLEX exam to obtain a license. Fortunately, there are several options across the state for both Florida residents and those looking to eventually relocate into the state. A report from the Florida Center for Nursing, shows that the number of LPN programs in Florida increased steadily between 2007 and 2013. These programs are available at various Florida community colleges, private colleges, and training centers. The search tool below makes it easier to find LPN programs in Florida based on tuition, student population, type of school, and number of programs available. Prospective students can also select several top choices for a side-by-side comparison.
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Initial Licensure Requirements in FL
Every state has different mandates for practical nursing licensure and renewal. Before enrolling in a nursing program, review the requirements for licensing in the state you eventually wish to work in to make sure you fulfill all the necessary steps. The Florida Board of Nursing is the governmental body that oversees the state’s licensure process and also ensures that the field follows all rules and regulations. This section explains the licensing process specifically for LPNs in Florida and requirements for keeping an active license.
- Proof of graduation from a Florida approved program or program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or Commission on College Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Submission of electronic fingerprints to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) using a Livescan service provider
Education & Training Requirements
The Florida Board of Nursing has strict requirements on acceptable preparatory courses for licensure. A 3-week NCSBN course fulfills all criteria for preparing for the NCLEX and the full list of licensure examination preparatory courses from the Florida Department of Health are listed online. Candidates who complete a one-year LPN training program or associate degree from an accredited or Florida-approved nursing program should also be well prepared for the NCLEX exam.
Those who have graduated from a nursing education program in the jurisdiction they are practicing in or a military nursing program and has been issued an NCLEX code must submit this code along with their application for licensure.
Once licensed, practical nurses in Florida can only work under the direction of a registered nurse or other licensed health care provider.
Additional Requirements for Licensure
- Submit an application with $110 Application and Licensing Fee to the Board of Nursing and a $200 fee to Pearson VUE, the testing vendor
- Schedule an appointment with Livescan for electronic fingerprinting
- Pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensing Examination (NCLEX-PN)
- Once eligibility is approved, you will receive instructions for registration with Pearson VUE
Maintaining a Florida LPN License
The Florida Department of Health will send a renewal postcard in the mail at least 90 days before a license expires. LPNs have until midnight, Eastern Time, on the day their license expires to renew without being placed in delinquent status. The expiration date for current licenses is July 31, 2017. Licenses can be renewed online or by mail. Renewal licensing fees range between $55 and $195 if renewed before the license expires, and depends on Active or Inactive status; higher fees apply if the license is already expired or has become delinquent.
Unless certified by a health care specialty program that has been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies or the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification, renewal applicants are required to complete 27 continuing education hours. All hours must be board approved. A new two CE requirement for Recognizing Impairment in the Workplace goes into effect starting August 1, 2017 and will be required every four years thereafter. LPNs who were issued a license by examination during the current biennium do not need to complete any CEs for renewal. CEs can be fulfilled in person or through home study.
Salary Potential for Florida LPNs
Wages for licensed practical nurses range significantly by area and type of facility — those working in hospitals in larger cities such as Orlando, Miami, or Jacksonville may earn a higher than average salary than those who work in private clinics in a smaller Florida town. Take a look at how Florida LPNs stack up:
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Top Paying Metropolitan Areas
A Look at LPN Employment in FL
The Florida Center for Nursing reports more than 78,000 LPN licenses were issued in 2013 with more than 50,500 LPNs in the workforce. More than 40 percent of LPNs worked in a long term care setting and 17 percent worked in home health care services. Job growth is expected to remain steady through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports a 16 percent increase in jobs for LPNs across the nation.
Top Locations for Employment
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach||10,470|
|Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall Metropolitan Division||4,510|
|West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach Metropolitan||3,270|
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach Metropolitan||2,690|
|Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach||1,490|
Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Employment of LPNs in Florida
Average Annual Openings 2,210
Sources: Projections Central
A professional organization for school nurses, provides career opportunities and membership information. Also provides information about the latest industry news, School Health Advocacy Day, and advocacy and legislative information for school nurses.
Resources for LPNs in Florida, including license application and renewal information, an online license verification tool, and education and training program information.
Only resource for nursing professionals and Florida residents who want learn more about the state of the workforce. Includes information about the Florida Action Coalition.
Designed for nursing professionals who specialize in pediatric care, this site features a career center, meeting minutes, and scholarship information.
Comprehensive website listing all licensing and regulation information for LPNs and RNs, programs and services available to Florida residents, and certification information. Also provides a list of county health departments.
LPNs who wish to work in emergency care can get involved with this organization to network with emergency nursing professionals and stay up-to-date on news relevant to the industry.
Represents all areas of practice and also maintains a database of latest nursing jobs. Members can join special interest groups in their area of specialty, such as nursing research, ethics, faith community nursing, and nurse entrepreneurship.
Serves as a networking organization for nursing professionals throughout the state of Florida. The site lists upcoming events and meeting minutes of recent meetings, as well as job opportunities.
This organization is comprised of nursing student association chapters around the State of Florida. The website includes membership information and details about upcoming conventions and committees. Also sponsors Student Nurses Week each year.
LPNs who wish to renew their license online can work directly with the Florida Department of Health. This section of the site features a link to the renewal and contact information for renewal specialist if the LPN needs additional assistance.