LPN Programs in Florida
Because of the increasing elderly population in the United States, nursing homes and home health care services are constantly searching for licensed practical nurses to employ. Healthcare workers in Florida especially feel the impact since many people choose to retire in the state. Qualified applicants for LPN positions will have earned a certificate or diploma from a state-approved program, which typically takes around one year to complete. Offering coursework in biology, anatomy, nutrition, specific areas of nursing, and supervised clinical hours, there are nearly 100 LPN programs in Florida.
Schools with LPN Programs in Florida
- Sarasota County Technical Institute offers a Practical Nursing program that is 1350 hours in length; and takes most students one year to complete. Initial day classes are held Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with senior level instruction taking place from Monday to Thursday with varied hours due to clinicals. Eligible applicants for the program will have completed a Health Science Application; attained a clear and complete criminal background check; fulfilled minimum requirements for TABE scores in reading, math and a language; and taken the HESI entrance exam.
- The Academy for Nursing & Health Occupations, located in West Palm Beach, offers a Practical Nursing program that also includes Critical Thinking and IV Certification. Forty-five weeks out of the 51-week program are devoted to 1350 clock hours of coursework, which includes 600 theory hours, 41 ½ lab hours, and 708 ½ clinical hours. Graduates earn an Occupational Associate Degree upon satisfactory completion of the program, and are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN Examination.
- With a curriculum that concentrates on nursing theory and clinical experience regarding medical, surgical, obstetric, pediatric, and geriatric care, Locklin Technical Center offers an LPN program that requires the completion of 1350 hours, which are broken down equally into two semesters. Drug testing and a criminal background check are also required in order for students to participate in clinical practicums.
Classes for the LPN program at Orlando Tech are filled on a first-come basis, and offer studies for both part-time and full-time learners. Depending on the chosen educational pathway, the required 1350 hours of coursework for graduation typically takes approximately 12 to 18 months to complete. Some of the subjects touched upon regarding class instruction and clinicals include Nursing Fundamentals, Vocational Adjustments, Pharmacology, Medical Surgical Nursing, Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Geriatrics.
- In Tampa, Brewster Technical Center has a Practical Nursing program that involves the completion of 1350 hours over the course of a 14-month program. While theory classes are scheduled between 7:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m., Monday through Thursday, clinical hours will vary. Students are also expected to fulfill specific requirements before entering the program, such as passing a background check and drug test. Fifty percent of the training received at BTC includes clinical specialties related to maternal and newborn care, pediatrics, medical/surgical care, as well as experience in extended care facilities.
- Students can gain LPN training and become eligible to take the NCLEX-PN in as little as 12 months when pursuing an education at Rasmussen College. With no pre-nursing course requirements to fulfill or the threat of waiting lists, the program is a desirable option for many. Every course that a student encounters delivers valuable NCLEX exam prep work. Students are also expected to pay a $150 fee for course materials, uniform, and the NCLEX-PN testing fee. In Florida, students may choose to attend classes at Rasmussen from one of the following campus locations: Fort Myers, Land O’ Lakes/East Pasco, New Port Richey/West Pasco, Ocala, and Tampa/Brandon.
- Santa Fe College offers a Practical Nursing program for students in the Gainesville, Florida region that leads to the receipt of a vocational certificate after completing 1350 contact hours over the course of 10 ½ months. Nearly half of the program is spent developing clinical experiences, while the remaining hours are spent in classroom and lab instruction. Some of the courses in the program include Introduction to Health Care; Medication and Communication Skills; Human Anatomy and Physiology; and Pediatric Nursing. The College’s curriculum is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), and approved by the Florida Board of Nursing.
- The LPN program at Virginia College culminates with a diploma in Practical Nursing, and qualifies a graduate for taking the NCLEX-PN exam to gain licensure. The small class sizes and encouraging faculty prepare students to enter the workforce with the skills and knowledge needed to give direct patient care to individuals. When taken on a full-time enrollment basis, the program takes 50 weeks to complete.
- There are no fully online LPN programs in Florida, but Pinellas Technical Education Center in St. Petersburg does offer a partially online course of study for their Practical Nursing program. The majority of the 675-hour academic theory part of the program is delivered via computer (with the exception of a few campus-based activities to complete). The remaining 675 clinical hours of the program are scheduled mostly on the weekends and evenings at various locations throughout the region. The majority of the clinical and lab hours occur towards the second half of the program, which takes 15 months to complete.
Florida LPN Checklist
- Earn a certificate or diploma for Nursing Practice from an LPN program approved by the state.
- After getting a certificate in Practical Nursing, pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN) exam in Florida.
- Gain licensure as an LPN by submitting an application to the Florida Board of Nursing, and paying the initial ~$175 fee.
- Renew LPN license every two years.
- Fulfill continuing education requirements for the state of Florida, which start with completing 24 hours of appropriate continuing education during each renewal period – one hour per month of a calendar year. LPNs must include two hours on Prevention of Medical Errors. Prior to an LPN’s first renewal, there is a one-time, 1-hour CE requirement centered on HIV/AIDS to complete. Every third renewal involves the completion of a 2-hour CE requirement for Domestic Violence.
The job outlook is quite positive for LPN program graduates, as employment levels for the position are expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is faster than the average rate for all other occupations in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary paid to licensed practical nurses employed in Florida is $41,050. The state is also identified as one of the top five in the nation with the highest employment level for the LPN field.