Last Updated/Verified: June 23, 2021
With a growth rate that’s double the US average in the last decade, Florida is poised to have a huge demand for nurses in the near future. As a result, now is a good time for anyone interested in getting into healthcare without spending several years in college. After all, it’s possible to get entry-level nursing jobs as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Fortunately, there are several LPN programs to choose from in this state.
LPNs in Florida Quick Facts
- LPN school in Florida can take about 1 to 2 years to finish
- The outlook for jobs in this field is positive, with a 9% increase predicted by 2029
- LPNs in this state earn an average of $23.89 per hour and an annual salary of $42,892
- There are more than 47,400 LPNs employed in Florida
- LPNs must renew their license every two years after taking 26 hours of continuing education
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Overview of LPN Schools in Florida
Florida features about 150 LPN programs at various schools across the state. Considering the sheer number of choices when it comes to schools, applicants can narrow down their options by considering the location and ratings of the schools they’re looking at. Regardless, they’ll likely be exposed to the same curriculum at just about every school, with a combination of labs, clinical studies, lectures, and lots of reading.
LPN programs in this state typically include the following subjects:
- Human growth & development
- Patient care
- Nursing ethics
- Nursing skills
- Emergency care
- Pharmacology for nursing
Reputable LPN programs are accredited by one of a handful of accrediting organizations. For example, they should be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). It’s also considered best to choose a program that’s been approved by the Florida Board of Nursing.
LPN Admissions Requirements
Every program has slightly different requirements for admissions, so it’s best to consult with the website of each school for the exact details. But in general, many programs in this state require applicants to meet or exceed the following qualifications:
- High school diploma or GED
- Minimum age of 18
- Current CPR card
- Ability to pass a drug test
- Ability to pass a background test
- Passing score on ATI TEAS
- Show competency in Math, Reading, and English
- Get 3 professional references
LPN Tuition & Costs
The price to get the education necessary to become a licensed practical nurse can vary quite a bit depending on the school. For instance, the program at Lake Technical College near Orlando costs about $3,888, not including books and additional fees. On the other hand, the Galen College of Nursing in Tampa Bay costs just under $22,000, which includes books, uniforms, clinical supplies, immunizations, and CPR certification. No matter which school students choose, they’ll have to factor in the cost of housing, food, and school supplies before determining if they can afford to go—keeping in mind that grants, scholarships, or student loans can help with tuition and other costs if necessary.
LPN Licensing Requirements in Florida
Becoming a licensed practical nurse in this state starts with completing an accredited nursing program. Once that’s done, it’s necessary to pass the NLCEX-PN test to continue on the way to become this type of nurse. The last step is to pay the required fees to the Florida Board of Nursing to get the nursing license and start looking for jobs.
Checklist to become a Florida LPN:
1. Complete an accredited LPN program
2. Pass the NCLEX-PN test
3. Apply for a license with the Florida Board of Nursing
LPNs in Florida have to renew their license every two years. To renew, they have to complete 24 hours of continuing education courses, as well as two hours of education on the prevention of medical errors.
To apply for an LPN license in Florida, applicants first have to pass the NCLEX-PN test. About 80% of test-takers nationwide pass the NCLEX-PN the first time. But they can take it up to three times if necessary.
Since Florida is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), nurses who have a license in other NLC states can get a license to practice in Florida. Over 30 states are part of the NLC. As long as the nurse has actively practiced nursing in a different state for two of the last three years—without a criminal history or having the license revoked—he or she can easily get an LPN license in Florida.
LPN Salaries in Florida
The average income for licensed practical nurses in Florida is $42,892 per year or $23.90 per hour. This is slightly lower than the national average income for LPNs, which is $48,820. But the pay ranges by city in Florida, as it could be slightly lower in smaller suburbs, or higher than the state’s average in bigger cities.
These are the average salaries for LPN jobs in Florida’s major cities:
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach: $40,839
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater: $42,957
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford: $41,055
- Jacksonville: $42,206
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton: $43,819
Location isn’t the only factor that affects salary. The work setting and field a nurse focuses on can also have an impact on income. For instance, working in a hospital typically leads to a higher salary than working in a doctor’s office or clinic. Additionally, working in a specialty that’s higher in demand—such as geriatric care—can lead to higher salaries in the state of Florida. Working overtime, nights, or weekends can bring in extra income, as well.
Job Outlook for LPNs in Florida
Healthcare, in general, has a bright outlook since more medical care will be needed as the population ages and grows. So it should come as no surprise that LPN jobs are expected to grow by 9% by 2029, which is quite a bit faster than the average growth for all jobs.
Demand for this type of nurse will be especially high in residential care facilities and home health care programs. This is due to the high number of senior citizens needing more nursing care than usual. Another reason for the high demand for those with a nursing education is the fact that more procedures are being done in outpatient clinics rather than in hospitals. Note that nurses with flexible schedules—who can work nights and weekends—are especially in demand right now.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that getting an LPN may be just the start of a rewarding career in nursing for many people. Once someone has completed a practical nursing program and has gone through the steps for licensure, they can look into additional programs to expand their job opportunities. For example, they can attend a program to become a registered nurse (RN), or go into a medical specialty that’s in demand and pays very well, such as anesthesiology.
Clearly, people who are interested in entering the healthcare field within the next couple of years will have plenty of job opportunities once they complete a training program for LPNs. So anyone who values job security and the chance to help people should look into LPN programs in the state of Florida.
Top LPN Schools in Florida
Atlantic Technical College
1701 NW 23rd Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
This Broward County college features a practical nursing program that’s accredited by ACEN. It takes a full-time student about 12 months—or 1350 hours—to complete. During that time, he or she will learn how to plan, implement, and evaluate nursing care in both long-term care facilities and hospitals. After this program, students will get a certificate and can then take the NCLEX-PN exam.
Fort Myers Technical College
3800 Michigan Ave.
Fort Myers, FL 33916
Students can choose between two practical nursing programs here. The full-time program takes 12 months to complete, with classes five days per week. The part-time program takes 24 months to complete, with classes two days per week. Either way, this school will provide students with the nursing education they need to find work in a doctor’s office, hospital, nursing home, or other care facilities.
Orange Technical College
301 W. Amelia St.
Orlando, FL 32801
Students who attend the practical nursing program at the Orlando campus will get both clinical experience and theoretical instruction in the classroom in a variety of subjects. They include medical, surgical, geriatric, pediatric, and obstetric nursing, as well as acute care and long-term care. At the end of this 12-month program, students should be prepared to take the NCLEX-PN to get their LPN license.
Cape Coral Technical College
360 Santa Barbara Blvd. N
Cape Coral, FL 33993
This school allows students to choose either the 13-month full-time program or the 24-month part-time program. Both options offer personal instruction in small classes, as well as hands-on training in which students work with doctors, nurses, and patients in healthcare facilities. The first semester offers classes in nursing foundations, nutrition, geriatric care, body structure, and more. The second semester focuses on medical-surgical nursing, pediatric care, maternity nursing, employability, and other subjects that teach students what they need to know for a career in nursing.
Marion Technical College
1014 SW 7th Rd.
Ocala, FL 34471
This program is accredited by ACEN and takes one year to complete. With classes that include human growth and development, nutrition, pharmacology, mental health, and more, students can expect to learn information that will prepare them for a career in practical nursing. Classes involve a combination of lectures, hands-on practice, and clinical externships at local healthcare facilities.
First Coast Technical College
2980 Collins Ave.
St. Augustine, FL 32084
Students at this school can take the standard day program in which they complete 1350 course hours in 56 weeks. If they want to finish a little sooner, they can choose the accelerated program, which consists of 1350 hours of coursework in 49 weeks. Either way, they’ll learn how to provide comprehensive patient care in various settings.
7775 W. Oakland Park Blvd.
Sunrise, FL 33351
This program works hard to get students prepared for the NCLEX exam through courses that range from lectures to hands-on practice caring for patients. Students can choose day or evening classes and can complete the program after 4 12-week terms of courses.
Pasco-Hernando State College
10230 Ridge Road
New Port Richey, FL 34654
Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC), this LPN program teaches students what they need to know about caring for senior citizens, newborns, mentally ill, or homebound patients. They’ll learn everything from checking vital signs to performing routine lab tests and even administering prescriptions for patients.
Withlacoochee Technical College
1201 W. Main Street
Inverness, FL 34450
This 1350-hour program is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Students who opt to complete the program will undergo a mixture of lectures, labs, and clinical sessions, resulting in a certificate of completion. They can then take the NCLEX exam to obtain licensure as an LPN.
Manatee Technical College
5520 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.
Bradenton, FL 34211
The program at this Florida technical college aims to provide students with a combination of clinical experience and theoretical instruction in the classroom. Future nurses who choose this program will learn how to provide care for pediatric, obstetric, surgical, and geriatric patients in several healthcare settings. They’ll also learn about nutrition, human growth and development, mental health, and more so they can properly treat patients after passing the NCLEX exam.
Use the following resources to learn more about becoming an LPN in Florida:
Florida Board of Nursing: The Florida Board of Nursing oversees the process of obtaining and renewing nursing licenses in this state.
Department of Health
Board of Nursing
4052 Bald Cypress Way Bin C-02
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3252
Florida Nurses Association: This group provides a voice for all registered nurses in Florida, as it hosts events, offers help with career advancement, and features scholarships for nursing education.
1235 E. Concord St.
Orlando, FL 32803