LPN Programs in Florida

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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.

Top LPN Programs in Florida

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Rank School Name Score Tuition Student/Teacher ratio Graduation Rate
1 Charlotte Technical Center 96 $$$$$ 8:1 74%
2 Erwin Technical Center 94.67 $$$$$ 9:1 63%
3 Santa Fe College 94.33 $$$$$ 22:1 61%
4 Traviss Career Center 94 $$$$$ 8:1 75%
5 Florida Gateway College 93 $$$$$ 14:1 48%
6 North Florida Community College 92.67 $$$$$ 16:1 42%
7 College of Central Florida 91 $$$$$ 28:1 41%
8 Indian River State College 90.67 $$$$$ 26:1 39%
9 South Florida State College 90.33 $$$$$ 17:1 39%
10 Florida State College at Jacksonville 90.33 $$$$$ 22:1 36%
11 Pensacola State College 90.33 $$$$$ 21:1 33%
12 Gulf Coast State College 90 $$$$$ 19:1 33%
13 Ridge Career Center 89.33 $$$$$ 24:1 91%
14 Palm Beach State College 89 $$$$$ 30:1 34%
15 Daytona State College 88.33 $$$$$ 18:1 36%
16 Pasco-Hernando State College 86 $$$$$ 27:1 34%
17 Seminole State College of Florida 86.67 $$$$$ 29:1 38%
18 Miami Dade College 85 $$$$$ 23:1 33%

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.

Basic Eligibility

  • 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:

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