Maybe your first degree turned out to be not quite as profitable as you'd hoped, or maybe you just realized that it wasn't the career path for you. Whatever brought you to this point, if you're now considering a career in nursing, you have several options. One of the benefits of starting a nursing career is that you don't have to take a step back on your educational path or spend tons of time earning your degree. In response for the call to train more nurses in less time, including those from another career field, many Florida nursing schools offer accelerated or direct entry Master’s programs.
Direct entry MSN programs in Florida combine Bachelor's-level nursing education and Master's-level nursing education to provide you with a range of career opportunities. To learn more about program specifics, contact the schools on this page for more information.
The first part of your nursing program may put you through a range of undergraduate nursing courses. These classes are required for RN licensure in Florida. In addition, many schools specifically schedule these courses so you can test for your RN license and get work experience while completing your MSN classes. Some of the courses you may take at this stage of your education include Basics of Nursing Care, Nursing Care for Childbearing Families, Pharmacology and Pathophysiology, and Ethics in Nursing Care.
While completing your lower-level classes, you will likely need to choose a nursing concentration for your MSN courses. The concentrations available vary between colleges, but you may be able to choose from fields like nurse education, nurse administration, nurse practitioner, and nurse midwifery. In specialties like nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, and nurse anesthesia, you may complete over 700 hours of clinical experience in this part of your degree. In other specialties, your clinical requirements may be considerably less.
Master's degree courses can deepen your understanding of the ethical issues in nursing, how to provide evidence-based care, and what nurses contribute to the field of health care. Courses at this level include Nursing Teaching Strategies, Evidence-Based Practice, Nursing Leadership, and Nursing Informatics.
Financial aid may be a significant part of preparing for your college education, particularly if you are still carrying debt from your first Bachelor's degree. However, there are quite a few options for financial aid for nursing students. Florida has a significant nursing shortage, motivating local organizations to support advanced nursing students. The Florida Nurses Association funds dozens of scholarships, including the Ruth Finamore Scholarship Fund, the Great 100 Nursing Scholarship, and the Edna Hicks Fund Scholarship. The Florida Health Care Association provides the Bruce Taylor Scholarship and the Career Climb Scholarship. At Baptist Health South Florida, there are lots of programs for student nurses. This employer has an RN residency program and a professional RN advancement program.
Job growth rates vary across advanced nursing professions, so you may want to learn more about expected job growth in Florida before settling on a career choice. In general, all advanced nursing professions are expected to grow faster than average when compared to other professions. One of the slower-growing careers in this state is nurse education, which O*Net expects to grow by 16 percent between 2012 and 2022. By far, the fastest-growing career in this state is nurse anesthesia. O*Net predicts a 41% increase in jobs through 2022.
Typically speaking, salary ranges for Florida nurses are fairly close to nationally reported salaries. O*Net indicates that the average salary for a nurse instructor is $69,100 per year. In 2013, nurse anesthetists were the highest-paid nursing professionals, claiming a median salary of $137,200 per year (O*Net, 2013).
The Florida Board of Nursing will oversee your career and licensing throughout the course of your time as a nurse. You will need a registered nursing license to apply for any advanced license. They administer licenses for Clinical Nurse Specialists and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners.
If you want to reach as many people as possible and start a career in one of the most stable industries in the state of Florida, nursing can be a great career move for you. The nursing industry relies on lots of people to advance health care, including researchers, practitioners, and educators. With an MSN, you can take on several different roles within nursing, including those noted above.