How To Become a Nurse in Florida: Educational and Licensing Requirements

A Florida nursing license is an official document granting individuals the legal authority to practice nursing within Florida.

Pursuing a nursing career in Florida can be a fulfilling choice, especially if you’re passionate about healthcare and want to make a difference in people’s lives. Becoming a nurse in Florida requires completing specific educational requirements, obtaining licensure, and meeting state regulations. This guide will explore the necessary steps and qualifications to embark on a successful nursing journey in the Sunshine State. From education options to licensing procedures, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of how to become a nurse in Florida.



Becoming a nurse is like constructing a sturdy bridge. With each step of education, training, and licensure, you lay down solid foundations that connect you to a fulfilling career and provide a pathway for compassionate care.

How To Become a Nurse in Florida

If you are interested in pursuing a career in nursing and practicing your profession in the state of Florida, here are the steps you need to take to achieve your goal:

Decide which program to pursue

The first crucial step towards becoming a nurse in Florida is determining which educational program to pursue. Options include:

Consider your career goals, educational preferences, and the requirements of the nursing profession to choose the program that aligns with your aspirations. Remember to check all the best nursing schools in Florida that will set you on the path to a successful nursing career in this state. 

Earn your license

Once you have completed the necessary nursing program, the next step is to obtain your nursing license in the state of Florida. This involves applying to the Florida Board of Nursing, which requires providing documentation such as your educational transcripts, background checks, and proof of passing the required exams. It is essential to carefully follow the application process and meet all the requirements set by the board. Once approved, you will receive your nursing license, granting you the legal authority to practice nursing in the state of Florida.

If you aspire to work as a nurse in a different country but wish to avoid the burdensome process of applying for a license each time you seek employment in various states, the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) offers an excellent solution. 

Florida’s inclusion to become one of the Compact Nursing States makes the process remarkably straightforward. By obtaining an eNLC license, you can enjoy the privilege of practicing in multiple states without needing to go through individual licensing procedures for each.

Pass the NCLEX exam

A critical step in becoming a nurse in Florida is successfully passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). This comprehensive exam evaluates your knowledge and competency in various aspects of nursing practice. It is essential to dedicate ample time to study, review relevant materials, and take practice tests to increase your chances of success. Preparing for the NCLEX exam with a structured study plan and utilizing resources such as review courses or study guides can help you feel confident and well-prepared for this important milestone in your nursing journey.

Gain experience

Building practical experience is another crucial step toward becoming a nurse in Florida. Seek opportunities to gain hands-on experience in healthcare settings through internships, clinical placements, or entry-level nursing positions. These experiences provide valuable opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge, develop essential skills, and gain insight into the complexities of patient care. Additionally, consider pursuing specialized certifications or advanced training programs to further enhance your expertise and broaden your career prospects. The more experience you accumulate, the more prepared and competitive you will be as you embark on your nursing career in the dynamic healthcare landscape of Florida.

Getting Your Nursing License in Florida

Obtaining a nursing license in Florida is a critical step for individuals pursuing a career in nursing within the state. The process involves submitting an application to the Florida Board of Nursing, which requires providing educational transcripts, passing a criminal background check, and meeting specific eligibility criteria. 

Additionally, applicants must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to demonstrate their competence in nursing practice. Once the application is approved and the exam is successfully completed, the Florida Board of Nursing issues the nursing license, granting individuals the legal authority to practice nursing in the state. It is important to carefully follow the licensing requirements and stay updated with any changes or additional documentation that may be required.

Renewing Your Nursing License in Florida

Maintaining an active and valid nursing license in Florida requires timely renewal to ensure continuous eligibility for practice. The Florida Board of Nursing mandates that nurses renew their licenses every two years. Renewal requirements typically include completing several continuing education units (CEUs) to demonstrate ongoing professional development. Nurses must also submit a renewal application, pay the required fees, and meet any additional state-specific requirements. 

It is essential to stay informed about the renewal process and deadlines to avoid any lapse in licensure. By promptly fulfilling the renewal requirements and staying up-to-date with any changes or updates from the Florida Board of Nursing, nurses can ensure uninterrupted nursing practice and continued compliance with state regulations.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Nurse in Florida?

The amount of time it takes to become a nurse in Florida depends on several factors, including the chosen educational path and individual circumstances. For individuals pursuing an Associate Degree in Nursing, the program typically takes two to three years to complete. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs generally require four years of study. However, accelerated BSN programs are available for individuals with prior degrees and can be completed in a shorter time frame, typically around 12 to 18 months. 

After completing the required education, aspiring nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to obtain their nursing license. The journey to becoming a nurse in Florida can vary in duration, ranging from a few years for ADN programs to several years for BSN programs, depending on the chosen educational path and individual circumstances.

Job Outlook and Salary for Nurses in Florida


The job outlook for nurses in Florida is promising, with strong demand and growth opportunities. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. This growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for healthcare services, driven by the aging population and the need for specialized care for chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity. 

Regarding salary, data from Indeed indicates that the average annual salaries for nurses in Florida vary based on experience. Nurses with less than one year of experience earn an average salary of $72,580, while those with one to two years earn around $78,017. Nurses with three to five years of experience earn approximately $81,888, and those with six to nine years earn an average of $84,841. Nurses with over ten years of experience have the highest average salary, reaching $94,861.

Florida remains among the states with the highest employment levels for registered nurses, reflecting the strong demand for healthcare professionals. Job growth can be expected across various healthcare settings, including hospitals, outpatient care centers, and residential care facilities. With the aging population and the need for quality healthcare services, nurses in Florida can anticipate favorable employment prospects and competitive salaries in the coming years.


In conclusion, pursuing a nursing career in Florida requires careful consideration, dedication, and adherence to specific steps and requirements. From deciding on the educational program that suits your goals to earning your nursing license and passing the NCLEX exam, each stage of the journey plays a vital role in shaping your nursing career. Gaining experience and continuously updating your knowledge and skills are essential for professional growth and success. 

With the projected growth in the healthcare industry and the high demand for nurses, Florida offers a promising landscape for aspiring nurses. By following the necessary steps, staying informed about licensing and renewal procedures, and embracing opportunities for professional development, you can embark on a rewarding and impactful nursing career in the Sunshine State.

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