Practical Nursing Schools in Florida

NursingMay 20, 2014

If you plan to get an associate nursing degree, the Sunshine State has plenty to offer. With nearly 100 nursing schools in Florida, the state has a little of something for everybody. Along with its beauty and recreational opportunities, attending a nursing program in Florida has advantages.

Practical Nursing Schools in Florida

Applicants to practical nursing programs invariably exceed openings, so they can get competitive. That means you need to stand out in the application process. Even though every school has differing admissions criteria, some elements are relatively common to all, and excelling in them improves your chances for admission. As an example, one school requires:

  • a high school diploma or GED
  • eight hours of prerequisite courses (English, mathematics, anatomy, psychology and biology) with a grade of C or better
  • three references
  • application materials and fees
  • passing the National League for Nursing (NLN) exam
  • a satisfactory physical and dental examination

Using the same school as an example, a typical practical nursing curriculum includes courses in:

  • pharmacology
  • diet and nutrition
  • nursing fundamentals
  • nursing care for several specific populations (pediatrics, geriatrics, etc.)
  • mental health
  • medical and surgical nursing
  • a comprehensive field practicum

Completing a practical nursing program allows you take, and should prepare you for, the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Passing this exam is necessary to find a nursing job in any state. A good program will also teach you the foundational skills necessary to launch you into a nursing career. Although you should have no problem finding employment, it may be at an entry-level position until you gain more experience.

Advantages of Nursing Schools in Florida

The state of Florida requires that candidates for the NCLEX be referred by their graduating schools. Nursing schools in Florida want all of their graduates to pass the exam, and one of the best ways they prepare students for that is through field practicum placements. Realizing that the NCLEX focuses on entry-level nursing skills and that many questions are posed in scenarios, these programs put their students into real-life, hands-on versions of those situations.

Florida schools do all they can to accommodate realistic schedules and take full advantage of the technologies that help make that happen. For example, many schools offer hybrid programs that combine on-campus and online study. These hybrid programs are beneficial in several ways:

  • Through emails and chat interfaces, faculty is able to provide more one-on-one time.
  • Similarly, these media create a rich environment for student interaction. You may not want to speak up in class about a certain issue, for example, but are more comfortable posting a message in a discussion thread.
  • Flexible scheduling is a huge advantage of hybrid programs. The coursework is still structured and deadlines remain, but you decide your school schedule that is more suited to your personal needs.
  • Online learning fosters a stronger sense of independence. Nursing frequently requires you to make major decisions independently and supervise others. To be a good nurse, self-confidence is critical.

Among other things, hybrid nursing programs offer scheduling flexibility and improve communication. Field practices based on NCLEX test scenarios also give students an edge on the exam. When you toss in Florida's recreational and employment possibilities, few states can rival what the Sunshine State has to offer prospective nursing students.

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