Florida is a state where health care plays a very significant part of day-to-day life, thanks to the state's aging population. Not only do Florida residents need regular access to registered nurses, they need the care and medical advances provided by advanced practice nurses, nurse researchers, and nurse leaders. If you have a BSN and you're looking into furthering your education with an MSN, read on to learn more about this degree path. You can also contact the schools you find on our site to learn more.
Legislators and advanced care providers are beginning to realize the benefits of hiring more advanced nurse practitioners. Though the American Association of Nurse Practitioners claims that Florida NPs have a limited scope of practice, that may change in coming years as advocacy groups try to bring freedom of practice to nurse practitioners.
With new health risks cropping up every day, nurses with an advanced education may be at the helm with new safety protocols and research. WFTV notes that the recent Ebola outbreak has led to many Florida hospitals developing procedures for containment, should the need arise. Going into a field like nursing leadership or nursing research can give you the skills needed to combat new health risks, keep patients safe, and protect medical personnel from diseases.
Be prepared for a challenging educational experience if you pursue an MSN. This is a higher-level degree, so it requires a lot of classroom and clinical training. While you should graduate with a general understanding of all MSN specialties, you'll choose one to focus on once you complete your core classes. Options that may be available at Florida nursing schools include nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, nurse educator, nurse leader, and nurse researcher. These options range from 30 to 45 credits, so plan accordingly.
Clinical practice is an important part of your education, no matter which area of concentration you decide to pursue. Going into a clinical specialty—such as nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist—may require you to complete over 600 clinical hours. Other specialties may have less rigorous clinical requirements, since more of the curriculum centers on theory.
Of course, building on your theoretical understanding is a crucial part of advanced education. When you take courses like Theoretical Basis of Advanced Nursing Practice, Fundamentals of Nursing Informatics, Health Care Policy, and Foundational Concepts of Advanced Nursing, you enhance your knowledge of nursing topics and issues.
If you want to avoid student debt, it's important to take advantage of the many financial aid options provided by Florida employers, government agencies, and nursing organizations. The Florida Nurses Association offers many foundational grants for nurses at different stages of their education. Scholarships available through local schools include Dixie V. Bayer Nursing Fund, the Lois Malasanos Fellowship, the Iona M. Pettengill Nursing Scholarship, and the Wilder Sisters Scholarship.
In Florida, job growth rates appear promising for graduate-level nursing professionals. Per O*Net, the slowest-growing field is nurse education, which still boasts an anticipated growth rate of 16 percent through 2022. The fastest-growing specialty is nurse anesthesia (O*Net, 2012). Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net expects a 41% increase in job openings (O*Net, 2012).
The average salary for nurse instructors in Florida is$69,100 per year (O*Net, 2013). The highest salaries in the state often go to nurse anesthetists, who earn an average of $137,200 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Florida residents rely on advanced practice nurses for the best in care, research, and leadership. Provide these services by earning your MSN in Florida, demonstrating your dedication to your profession.