If you've ever had to wait a week or more for an appointment with your primary doctor, you likely know how important nurse practitioners are in Florida. Nurse practitioners can fulfill many of the same roles as doctors when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of common conditions. When a state has higher numbers of nurse practitioners, patients may see wait times go down, which ultimately results in higher satisfaction and efficiency.
Are you looking for a way to advance your nursing career and have more of a hand in caring for patients? Consider attending a nurse practitioner school in Florida. You can find a full listing of schools offering Nurse Practitioner degrees in Florida on our site, and requesting information is easy.
Florida has a significant aging population, making the state's need for medical professionals even greater than some other states. 10 News in Sarasota reports that Governor Scott hopes to open more nursing homes in Florida to care for the elderly. Nurse practitioners may provide a significant amount of care in this setting, especially those nurses that choose to follow a gerontology route.
Florida's primary care gap is growing, and unless the number of care providers increases significantly, the state's residents will likely suffer. The Daytona Beach News-Journal notes that nurse practitioners are an affordable solution to this problem. According to Fierce Healthcare, Florida's primary care physician shortage is the worst in the entire nation.
As a working NP or nurse practitioner student, you may be able to take advantage of several professional opportunities in Florida. The Florida Nurse Practitioner Network serves people in this field, as does the Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners. Learn more about becoming an NP to find out if this is the right career path for you.
Unless you're looking to attend an RN-to-MSN program in Florida, you do likely need a Bachelor's degree in nursing to apply for an MSN program that prepares you to become a nurse practitioner. Furthermore, you should have performed fairly well in that program—a GPA of at least 3.0 is typically required. Many schools also have experience requirements that include one to two years of full-time nursing experience.
The curriculum of your NP program may include theory courses that take place in the classroom and clinical courses that take place in health care settings. Core direct care courses include Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Pathophysiology, and Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics. More advanced courses that focus on the care of specific populations include Nursing Situations in Advanced Practice, Primary Care, and Advanced Nursing Situations. Clinical experience is a core aspect of this degree program. Requirements vary from school to school, although on average, NP programs in Florida require about 600 hours of experience.
Part of your school selection and application process should include financial aid. In Florida, there are many scholarships, grants, and loan repayment programs that are intended for graduate-level nursing students. Northside Hospital awards scholarships to nursing students that agree to work for the hospital. At a federal level, you may wish to consider applying for the Florida Nurses Association.
After you get your Master's degree in nursing, you can apply for your nurse practitioner license through the Florida Board of Nursing. This simply involves upgrading your registered nursing license to an advanced practice license. You must pass a test and fill out another application to upgrade your license.
The job outlook for Florida nurse practitioners is extremely positive. In the decade from 2012 to 2022, O*Net anticipates a 37 percent increase in nurse practitioner jobs. Stepping up to the level of NP may also help you increase your earning potential. The average salary for a Florida NP is $88,100 per year (O*Net, 2013).
If it's time for you to advance your nursing degree, it may be time to learn more about becoming a nurse practitioner. Use our school listings to contact NP schools in Florida to start.