How to Become a LPN in Florida

Licensed Practical Nurse is a great starting point in the medical field. It offers challenging work responsibilities, good earnings, and plenty of room for advancement.

Education and Training

    Florida State College at Jacksonville
    The Practical Nursing Career Certificate (C.C.) Program combines classroom lectures, laboratory work, and clinical education to teach essential nursing skills, medical terminology, and medication administration. Upon completion, graduates can take the NCLEX to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), with career opportunities in hospitals, physicians' offices, nursing homes, and home care. This 12-month program (15 months at Nassau Campus starting Fall 2024) requires passing the HESI A2 Admission Exam and offers pathways to further education, including an RN Bridge Program leading to a BSN degree. The program is approved by the Florida State Board of Nursing and boasts high completion and NCLEX-PN passage rates.

    • Jacksonville


    Fort Myers Tech
    Competitive full time or part time Practical Nursing program that prepares students to pass the NCLEX exam for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse, with training in pharmacology, legal aspects, and patient care, aligned with challenging academic and technical standards.

    • Fort Myers


    FORTIS College
    Practical nursing classes in small class settings designed to prepare students for entry level positions.

    • Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Pensacola, Port St. Lucie


    Herzing University
    LPN programs at Herzing University aim to prepare students to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam and become licensed practical nurses.

    • Orlando, Tampa


    Pinellas Technical College
    CNA & LPN certified programs in hybrid or traditional format.

    • Clearwater, St. Petersburg


    Rasmussen University
    Practical nursing programs in small class sizes design to prepare you for entry level nursing positions.

    • New Port Richey, Ocala, Tampa, Overland


    South College
    Certificate in Licensed Practical Nursing approved by the Florida Board of Nursing.

    • Orlando


    West Coast University
    The LVN/LPN to BSN program allows licensed vocational or practical nurses to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in as little as 34 months through 10-week terms. This program grants 9 units of advanced placement credit for previous nursing licensure and prepares students to become registered nurses with access to simulation labs, no-cost tutoring, and innovative learning tools. Graduates are equipped to take the NCLEX-RN exam and pursue diverse career opportunities in healthcare settings.

    • Doral


Those wishing to pursue a career as an LPN must graduate from a Florida approved or accredited nursing education program.

How Long Does it Take?

A practical nursing program requires 1 year of courses as well as hands-on practice in a clinical setting to receive a certificate or diploma.

Those pursing an associate degree will need to finish 2 years of schooling at a community college.

How Much Does It Cost?

A 1 year certification program can cost as little as $2,000, while you may need to pay more than $20,000 to get an associate degree as an LPN.

What Do You Study?

Coursework will include human anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, clinical pharmacology, nutrition, CPR and first aid.

You will also get an overview of practice areas including medical-surgical nursing, pediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics, and geriatrics.

Hands on Training

The clinical portion of training is conducted in settings that routinely employ LPNs. Here students will be able to provide direct patient care under the supervision of RNs.

This practical application of skills learned in the classroom also gives students the opportunity to determine the environment that they would like to work in upon graduation and identify possible employment opportunities.

Salary Range

Below are some average salaries and hourly wages for LPNs in areas of the state.

State Hourly Annual
Cape Coral-Fort Myers $27.65 $57,510.00
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin $26.58 $55,290.00
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach $26.32 $54,740.00
Gainesville $26.35 $54,800.00
Homosassa Springs $26.46 $55,030.00
Jacksonville $27.10 $56,360.00
Lakeland-Winter Haven $25.33 $52,690.00
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach $28.05 $58,350.00
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island $28.10 $58,450.00
North Florida nonmetropolitan area(1200006) $25.98 $54,030.00
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton $27.41 $57,010.00
Ocala $25.72 $53,500.00
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford $28.28 $58,830.00
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville $26.66 $55,460.00
Panama City $24.14 $50,210.00
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent $25.55 $53,150.00
Port St. Lucie $27.04 $56,250.00
Punta Gorda $26.02 $54,120.00
Sebastian-Vero Beach $26.62 $55,370.00
Sebring $24.27 $50,490.00
South Florida nonmetropolitan area(1200003) $26.46 $55,040.00
Tallahassee $24.68 $51,340.00
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater $27.16 $56,490.00
The Villages $26.13 $54,350.00

Occupation: Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses (SOC Code292061)
source: data.bls.gov

Florida Requirements

There are several steps you must take to work as an LPN in the state of Florida. A quick overview of requirements are:

  • Complete an accredited LPN program
  • Pass the NCLEX-PN exam
  • Become licensed through the Florida Board of Nursing

The Florida Board of Nursing offers a list of training and education programs in Florida. It includes an extensive list of both accredited as well as approved programs from which to choose from.

Getting Licensed

Once you have graduated from a LPN program, you must then apply for licensure with the Florida Board of Nursing and register for the National Licensing Exam for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN).

nclex-logo

Once these two steps have been completed, you will be granted Authorization to Test (ATT).

The goal of the NCLEX-PN is to evaluate the skill set and knowledge of candidates to determine whether they meet the minimum professional standards to work successfully in the field.

Because the role of LPNs focuses on the direct care of patients, the exam is practical rather than theoretical in nature. I

t is a computer based multiple choice exam that is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCBSN).

Once you have passed the NCLEX-PN exam and received your license, you must renew it every two years. Renewal will require completion of 24 hours of continuing education courses.

Career Overview

What Do They Do?

Working under the supervision of doctors and registered nurses, LPNs provide basic medical care to patients.

This may include teaching family members how to care for a relative; helping to deliver, care for, and feed infants; collecting samples for testing; and monitoring a patient’s health.

There are job opportunities for LPNs in nursing homes and extended care facilities, hospitals, physicians’ offices, as well as private homes.

Job Description

Although the duties of an LPN will vary depending on where they work, LPNs typically do the following:

  • Attain and record medical history of patients
  • Monitor patient vitals like blood pressure and temperature
  • Administer basic nursing care, including changing bandages and inserting catheters
  • Educate patient and patient’s family on preventative health care and medication management
  • Dispense doctor prescribed medication, begin and keep track of intravenous fluids for blockages, and monitor patients on breathing equipment such as ventilators
  • Assist patients with bathing, dressing, grooming, personal hygiene, walking and sitting
  • Report patients status to registered nurses and doctors

An exciting and rewarding career, the job of an LPN requires compassion, good communication and listening skills, mental stability, the ability to remain calm and handle stress.

What is often a starting or entry point in the field of nursing, LPNs can advance with additional schooling to become Charge Nurses, Registered Nurses (RN), and hold administrative positions.

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a growth rate of 6% for LPNs through 2031. This is a much faster rate than is the case with most other career sectors. Two main factors will contribute to the demand;

  • the aging population and their increased need for health care services due to acute and chronic illness, as well as accidents
  • procedures that previously could only be done in hospitals are now being done outside hospitals creating demand in other settings, such as outpatient centers

There are also a large number of LPNs that are expected to retire over the coming decade – opening up a greater number of opportunities for those entering the field. Employment prospects will be best in facilities that cater to the elderly, including assisted living and nursing facilities, adult day programs, and home health care providers.