How to become a registered nurse in Florida – RN in Florida

The Florida Board of Nursing plays an integral role in health care regulation as the board members and staff interact regularly with other nursing affiliated groups in Florida, as well as the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

The Florida Board of Nursing licenses, monitors, disciplines, educates and, when appropriate, rehabilitates its licensees to assure their fitness and competence in providing health care services for the people of Florida. The sole legislative purpose in enacting the Nurse Practice Act is to ensure that every nurse practicing in Florida meets minimum requirements for safe practice. It is the legislative intent that nurses who fall below minimum competency or who otherwise present a danger to the public shall be prohibited from practicing in the State of Florida.

Official website:

Steps to Become a Registered Nurse in Florida

1. Take college prep classes in high school:

In addition to a U.S. high school education or the equivalent, to become a registered nurse (RN) in Florida you should take the following classes in high school and you will have a head start on your nursing class prerequisites at college:
– English – 4 years
– Math – 3-4 years (including algebra and geometry)
– Science – 2-4 years (including biology and chemistry; physics and computer science are recommended)
– Social Studies – 3-4 years
– Foreign Language – 2 years

Check out nursing prerequisites at colleges you are considering. Individual nursing schools vary in their nursing course prerequisites. Talk to your high school guidance counselor and check out the nursing schools you are considering.

2. Choose the type of nursing school you want to attend

Usually there are three types of pre-licensure nursing programs:

– Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) – Takes 2-3 years. Offered at many community colleges. Prepares you to provide registered nursing care in numerous settings.
– Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) – Takes 4 years. Also referred to as Baccalaureate degree. Offered at many State Universities and some private colleges. Prepares you to provide registered nursing care in numerous settings and to move to administrative and leadership positions.
– Entry Level Masters Program in Nursing (ELM) – Designed for adults who have a baccalaureate degree in another field and wish to become registered nurses. Takes 1-2 years depending on how many nursing course prerequisites you have already completed. Graduate receives a masters degree.

3. Select a college and apply for admission

Visit the website’s and campuses of the colleges in the geographic areas of interest to you. Find out which entry exams are required at the colleges you are considering. Apply at more than one college to give yourself options. Many colleges have limited space for nursing students.

Approved RN Programs list in Florida:

4. Apply for financial aid

Opportunities abound for scholarships, loans and loan forgiveness programs.

5. Obtain an RN license

To practice as an RN in Florida, you must be licensed by the Florida Board of Nursing. You must meet educational requirements, pass a criminal background check and pass the national licensing examination.

To apply for licensure:

To register for the NCLEX exam please visit: