Becoming a licensed practical nurse was a great first step into the nursing profession. It let you get a solid job fast, taught you critical nursing fundamentals, and gave you the chance to gain valuable patient care experience and make a difference. But now you’re ready for the next stage of your nursing career by becoming a registered nurse – ready for more responsibility, higher pay, and better job opportunities.
One of the best (and quickest) ways to go from LPN to RN in Florida is through an online bridge program that awards an associate degree and prepares you to take the NCLEX-RN exam. Online LPN to RN programs in Florida are designed for working LPNs like you, allowing you to take many classes remotely and at times that fit your busy schedule.
This guide will give you everything you need to start your move from LPN to RN in Florida. You’ll learn more about how online LPN to RN programs in Florida work, see how much more you can make as an RN in Florida, and find a list of quality accredited programs that can help get you there.
FAQs About Online LPN to RN Programs in Florida
What should I expect from an online LPN to RN program in Florida?
Most online LPN to RN programs in Florida are offered in a hybrid format. This means students should expect to take most of their core classwork online while completing their hands-on clinical training on-campus or at a participating nearby healthcare facility (possibly where students already work).
Programs often let students complete their online coursework at flexible times. This is especially beneficial to practicing LPNs considering that they often have rotating schedules or work varying shifts. Given that, online programs are often the top choice for working professionals who want to complete their classwork at a time that is most convenient for them.
It’s important to remember that even in some online programs, students might have to occasionally make a visit to campus for a seminar, orientation, intensive workshop, or the like. If you live far away from the school you hope to attend, it’s important to check for this particular requirement before enrolling.
To learn more about what it’s like upgrade to an RN degree online, take a look at EduMed’s main online LPN to RN program page.
How long does it take to finish an LPN to RN online Florida degree program?
The time to complete an online LPN to RN program in Florida depends upon the same factors that might come into play in any other state. Perhaps the most important factor boils down to how much time a student has. Some programs allow for part-time study, which means the program can take anywhere from 18 to 24 months. Others allow for accelerated study, which means the program can be completed in a year, sometimes a bit less. Another factor is how many of the credits used to earn your LPN will transfer to your RN program; this can mean the difference of up to an extra year or so added onto the program.
What are the admissions requirements for online LPN to RN bridge programs in Florida?
When trying to gain admission to an online LPN to RN bridge program in Florida, each school will have their own requirements. However, some of those will be the same across the board. You can expect to see some of all of the following requested on an application:
- Transcripts from previous schools attended
- Standardized test scores, such as SAT or ACT
- Minimum GPA standards met in all previous work
- Certain prerequisites already completed, such as basic science or anatomy
- An LPN license in force and in good standing at the time of application
- Documentation of required clinical experience
Some schools might want to administer a TEAS test. This Test of Essential Academic Skills helps the school program determine if you need to meet further prerequisites before admission.
LPN to RN Online Florida School Spotlights
When you’re looking for the best online LPN to RN programs in Florida, you want to make sure you’re making a good investment. That’s why it’s so important to look for a program that combines flexibility for working professionals, student support for all students in the program, affordability that doesn’t break the bank, and proper accreditation. All the schools we’ve spotlighted below have earned accreditation through ACEN or CCNE, or have been approved Florida Board of Nursing. Read on to learn about three high-quality programs in the state in 2020.
Looking for an accelerated program you can complete in as little as 18 months? Rasmussen College offers the Professional Nursing Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN/RN) program, a hybrid approach that allows students to take their courses online and complete hands-on requirements in simulated medical settings. Those who already have more experience and education can take 12 to 18 months to learn what they need to sit for the NCLEX-RN. There are four start dates each year, no waitlist, 24 courses to complete that cover a total of 102 credit hours, and the ultimate goal of helping you pass the NCLEX-RN exam and begin your work as a registered nurse in Florida.
This 13-month hybrid program through Eastern Florida University is for LPNs who are ready to take the next step into the world of being an RN. The Transition to Associate Degree Nursing / RN Program is a hybrid program designed for those who already hold an LPN license, work as a paramedic, or are a registered/certified respiratory therapist in the state of Florida. The curriculum includes some general education courses but mostly focuses on core courses such as Clinical Judgment and Critical Care, Advanced Medical-Surgical Nursing, and Leadership and Management Nursing Capstone. Completion of these 72 credits hours prepares you to sit for the NCLEX-RN to begin your work as an RN in Florida.
When you enroll in the Nursing: LPN Bridge to ASN program at St John’s River, you will receive 10 credits for your in-good-standing license, which gives you a boost on your way to the RN credential. The program can be completed within four semesters, completed as a hybrid program with core classes held online on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and 12-hour clinicals held one day per week at healthcare areas around the St. Augustine tri-county area. The straightforward application process gives first-ranking in the selection process to students from Clay, Putnam, and St. John’s counties. The 72-credit hours will prepare you for the NCLEX-RN exam; upon passing, you’ll be eligible to work as a registered nurse in the state of Florida.
Florida LPN vs. RN: Salary and Job Outlook Comparison
When it comes to going back to school to get more education, you want to be sure the investment will pay off in the long run. Let’s take a look at the job outlook and salary you might expect when you make the move from LPN to RN in the state of Florida.
How much more can I earn moving from an LPN to RN in Florida?
In the United States as a whole, the average difference between the income of LPNs and RNs is $28,960 – a quite significant increase. The average difference in Florida is a bit lower between LPNs and RNs, as you can see below in the chart of a few metro areas in the state. However, there’s no doubt that the RN provides a significant boost to income, on average, over what you’ll make as an LPN.
|LPN Annual Mean Wage||RN Annual Mean Wage||Annual Earnings Increase|
|Miami – Fort Lauderdale – West Palm Beach||$47,810||$69,920||$22,100|
|Orlando – Kissimmee – Sanford||$45,260||$64,990||$19,730|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019
How’s the job market for RNs in Florida vs. LPNs?
Though licensed practical nurses are in demand in Florida with an estimated 5,890 estimated new job openings in the state between 2018 and 2028, the odds are much better to find a job as a registered nurse, where the growth rate is expected to be over 16% during that same time period – with a whopping 30,530 new jobs available. The chart below holds more information on the growing trends.
|Employment (2018)||New Jobs (2018-2028)||Job Growth Rate (2018-2028)||Average Annual Openings (2018-2028)|
|LPNs in Florida||49,320||5,890||11.9%||14,000|
|RNs in Florida||189,820||30,530||16.1%||4,570|