Florida RN to BSN Programs
RNs considering earning a BSN often wonder more than anything else what the reason is to earn a BSN. After all, once you start working as a RN, a BSN does not move you up as far as your registration goes. A RN only needs a diploma or associate’s degree to take and pass the NCLEX-RN and a BSN doesn’t automatically make you a RN (you still need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam). So why would a working RN go back to school to earn a BSN?
There are a number of answers to this question. The first is that a BSN puts you in a more favorable light in employer’s eyes. This will enable you to earn a higher income in most cases and give you more job opportunities. In addition, a BSN will give you a more complete education and make it easier to continue your education if you decide you want to move into a PA or NP position later in your career. Finally, even though the field is in constant need of RNs, having a BSN gives you an edge when it comes to landing a job in a highly competitive field. You shouldn’t have trouble finding work quickly once you become a RN, but to find the exact position you want, a BSN will give you a significant edge.
Florida ranks about average in the country for the number of RNs per population. With 865 RNs per 100,000 people in the state, Florida is just short of the national average of 874 per 100,000. This means that the state is still seeing a significant need for RNs, but the job market will be slightly more competitive than other lesser represented states. With an average income of $62,000 a year for RNs with and without a BSN, you can increase that number with an additional education. Your BSN won’t guarantee a higher wage, but you are much more likely to earn one from the start if you hold this degree.
As you start to consider where you may want to work, keep a few things in mind. In relation to the highest percentage of RNs relative to the population, Gainesville, Punta Gorda and Sebastian rank at the top of the chart, while Orlando, Fort Walton Beach and For Lauderdale bring up the bottom. You are most likely to earn the highest income from employers in Miami, Cape Coral and Naples. Employers worth considering include Florida Hospital Orlando in Orlando, Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville, and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, which all rank within the top 20 employers regardless of industry throughout the state. There are plenty of other employers in the state worth looking at, but if you find yourself struggling, these employers are great places to start.
Many employers will help cover the cost of your education in minor and major ways. As you start to look at employers, try to get as much information about their tuition assistance as possible. Additionally, individual colleges will have specific grants, scholarships and loans for students attending their campus, so make sure to ask questions about these specifics as you tour their campus. You should also look to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for plenty of nursing specific information about loans, loan repayment and forgiveness, grants and scholarships. The HRSA is dedicated to keeping the medical field from struggling due to underrepresentation of medical professionals and will offer many ways for you to cover some of the costs for your education.
As the premier educational institution for nursing in Florida, UF College of Nursing also enjoys national leadership in the field. The highest caliber nursing students and faculty are constantly attracted to this elite and accessible college. Graduates quickly become leaders in hospitals, universities and health care agencies, all while promoting quality patient care over all else. Graduates also see their education playing a big part in their ability to influence health policy in national, local and international levels.
UF produces the largest number of graduate-level prepared nurses in the state of Florida, with 75% of their baccalaureate alumni pursuing a graduate program within five years of graduation. The BSN graduates are well above a 90% passing rate on their nursing exams as well. There are few things left that need to be said to make this college an obvious strong consideration in your educational institute search.
Located in Fort Myers, FGCU is a premier school of nursing that believes that the practice of professional nursing relies upon a sound arts and science foundation. This will give you the ability to react to a rapidly changing and technologically oriented society. Faculty members are guides, mentors, role models and facilitators for students to synthesize the roles and responsibilities of their nursing practice. Critical Thinking, cultural-connectedness, ethical standard of practice, health promotion and communication are just a few of the key educational principles the school focuses on.