If you’re looking for a way to start working in one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, this is a great time to learn more about Bachelor of Science in nursing colleges in Florida.
Nurses are the backbone of any clinic, hospital, or nursing home in Florida, where care needs continue to grow rapidly as the state’s population grows. Given Florida’s expanding population of retirees, the demand for long-term care has also increased substantially.
With a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, you may harness the skills and advanced knowledge needed to take on leadership roles in medical facilities across the state.
Start to create your own list of top nursing schools by exploring the different types of degrees below.
- Traditional BSN Degree
- Accelerated/Second Degree BSN
- RN to BSN Bridge Programs
- LPN to BSN Bridge Programs
Looking to Become an RN in Florida?
A Bachelor’s Degree May Be the Best Nursing Program for You
While healthcare is an industry that’s known for constant change, the last decade has seen unprecedented amounts of change in medical facilities and standards. As Florida’s clinics and hospitals have evolved to adapt to new standards and requirements, many facilities have started to prioritize the hiring of baccalaureate nurses.
At colleges for nursing, those who earn Bachelor’s degrees receive advanced training in clinical specialties, nursing leadership, and care management. This has impacted healthcare in a major way; one research study found that a 10% increase in the proportion of baccalaureate nurses on staff led to a 6% decrease in 30-day inpatient mortality (Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2017).
Many other studies have also linked improvements in patient outcomes to higher levels of nursing education. As you compare all nursing schools in Florida, you may want to focus on those that offer Bachelor’s-level education.
What Should I Look for in BSN Nursing Schools in Florida?
Everyone has different educational needs. By thinking about your unique learning style and career goals, you may be able to choose the best nursing program for you.
However, you may want to start by looking into schools that are accredited by the ACEN or CCNE. These are the two largest accrediting agencies in the United States, and they hold nursing schools to very high standards.
Graduating from an accredited school may help you on the NCLEX, and it can also speed up the process of getting your license from the Florida Board of Nursing. Since the NCLEX is required for licensure in every state, you certainly want to attend a school that offers its students plenty of practice in NCLEX-tested skills and theories.
Look for a program with a high NCLEX pass rate. From there, you may want to look into each school’s average class size, specialized training opportunities, and clinical rotation options.
Applying to Florida Bachelor of Science in Nursing Colleges
At BSN nursing schools in Florida, the application process is fairly straightforward. First, you have to meet academic requirements. Most schools require a graduating GPA of 3.0 for high school seniors. Those that are tailored for Associate’s-level nurses or students earning a second Bachelor’s degree may have more extensive postsecondary GPA and coursework requirements.
Second, you have to demonstrate that you have the determination for a career in nursing. Proof of your interest in this field may come from a strong essay or references. Once you’ve selected a school, you need to meet their health requirements before you can begin your education. This typically means supplying vaccination records, passing a drug screen, and passing a physical that tests your ability to carry out common nursing tasks.
What Are BSN Programs in Florida Like?
While there are many differences that separate nursing programs in Florida, all nursing schools have similar requirements for Bachelor’s degree applicants. At minimum, you need 120 credits to graduate. Some Florida programs require close 130 credits.
Those who have an Associate’s degree in nursing may transfer many of their nursing credits from their Associate’s degree, while students in accelerated nursing programs may be able to transfer credits from their prerequisite courses and general education classes.
Clinical work is the foundation of any nursing program; Florida colleges for nursing generally expect students to complete several hundred hours of clinical experience prior to graduation.
Florida BSN Degree Basic Requirements
Your 120 to 130 credits come from a combination of nursing classes and general education courses. In many cases, you earn about half of your credits from each of these categories, with some Florida accelerated nurse programs requiring a few more nursing credits than general education credits.
Whether you’re entering a program as an Associate’s-level nurse, a Bachelor’s degree holder, or a new student, you should be well-versed in topics like health assessment, pharmacology, and medical terminology by the time you graduate.
Courses Required at Colleges for Nursing
- Pathophysiology and Psychopathology
- Health Assessment
- Wellness Promotion and Illness Prevention
- Pharmacology for Nursing
RN to BSN Programs in Florida
These bridge programs are an excellent solution for the ADN graduate who wants to move to the next level in their career. An RN to BSN bridge program tends to be slightly accelerated, so you may graduate in less than two years if you attend courses full-time.
Since you already have nursing experience, you may have the opportunity to attend many of your classes online.
Class Options at RN to BSN Programs in Florida
- Dimensions of Professional Nursing
- Nursing Research
- Pharmacology and Clinical Decision Making
- Health Promotion
Florida Accelerated BSN Programs
If you have already finished a Bachelor’s degree, your general education credits may help you save time on your nursing degree. These programs are designed to last 12 to 24 months, depending on which nursing school you choose. They focus heavily on clinical work and experience to bring you up to the level of an ADN graduate before you start your advanced coursework.
Coursework in Accelerated Nurse Programs
- Genetics and Genomics in Nursing Practice
- Population Focused Care
- Healthcare Policy, Finance, and Regulatory Environments
LPN to RN Programs in Florida
With an LPN diploma, you may be able to transfer up to 30 credits to a BSN program at Florida colleges for nursing. On average, these programs last between two and three years.
Classes Offered in LPN to RN Programs
- Medical-Surgical Nursing for Adults and Children
- Nursing Assessment Skills Lab
- Nursing Care of Parents and Infants
- Nursing Care for Community and Mental Health
All Nursing Schools Are Not Created Equal…
How to Make a List of Top Nursing Schools in Florida
Now, it’s time to figure out what the best nursing program is for your needs. With your list of all nursing schools that interest you, start requesting more information from each school.
You should begin to receive information in the mail quickly. Keep these brochures and printouts well-organized to streamline the school selection process. It’s easiest if you set up a binder for your list of top nursing schools and keep information sorted by school. From there, create a list of questions that outline what’s important to you in your school choice and be ready to reach out to schools over the phone.
As you get answers to your questions, you may be able to decide which programs you want to apply to.
Questions to Ask Conventional and Accelerated Nurse Programs
- How many students are accepted to your BSN program each year, and what’s the acceptance rate?
- How many clinical hours does each student get by graduation?
- Do students have the opportunity to get clinical experience in specialized care settings?
- What’s the NCLEX pass rate?
- Are there any NCLEX preparation programs offered at the end of the program?
- How much support is offered by nursing instructors?
The research you put into your school choice may impact the rest of your education and your career, so take charge of your future and find the best nursing program for you.