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Steps to Becoming an APRN in Florida

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Get your Graduate Degree in Florida
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The Florida Board of Nursing (850-488-0595) licenses advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs).

Three general areas of specialization for advanced practice nurses are recognized in Florida: nurse practitioner (NP), certified nurse midwife (CNM), and certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA).

Clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is recognized as an upgrade to the basic RN license, but not as an advanced practice nursing general area of specialty.

Florida Job Statistics

  • 2015 mean salary for NPs in FL: $95,780
  • 2016 active RN licenses in FL: 306,191
  • NCLEX-RN 2015 pass rate for Florida: 83.13%
  • 91% of Florida’s ARNP workforce are actively employed
  • 2014 ARNPs in Florida: 20,034
    • NPs: 11,840
    • CNMs: 768
    • CRNAs: 3427
    • CNS: 141

You must have a current Florida RN license prior to licensure as an ARNP in Florida. You may apply for an RN license concurrently with your ARNP license application.

  • If you received your RN education in a foreign country, have your academic credentials evaluated by one of the agencies listed on this page, and have finding submitted to the Florida Board of Nursing
  • If your Florida RN license is currently inactive or expired, contact the Board of Nursing at (850) 488-0595 for information on having it reinstated.

As an actively licensed RN in Florida you may follow these steps to become licensed as an advanced registered nurse practitioner.


 

Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

If you graduated on or after October 1, 1998, you must have a master’s degree with a major in nursing, or a post-master’s certificate or doctorate with a concentration in an advanced practice nursing category (NP, CNM, CRNA), prior to ARNP licensure in Florida. (If you graduated prior to October 1, 1998, you are exempt from this requirement).

Qualified Graduate Programs

The Florida Board of Nursing does not regulate advanced nursing programs.

Under rules of the Florida Department of Education, a nursing education program must be accredited by one of two United States Department of Education– recognized nursing program accrediting agencies:

Course Requirements

As an aspiring ARNP you must complete an advanced pharmacology/pharmacotherapeutics course as part of your post-bachelor’s degree ARNP education. Your major must be in nursing or within your chosen general area of specialty (nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, or nurse midwife).

Prescriptive authority, or the authorization to write prescriptions and dispense medications, is automatically granted to Florida- licensed ARNPs who have met the core course requirements inclusive of pharmacology/pharmacotherapeutics.

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners in Florida do not have the authority to prescribe controlled substances.

Specialization

The Florida Board of Nursing does not list specialization areas on ARNP licenses. However, many ARNPs, particularly NPs, choose to specialize in a particular role or patient population such as women’s health, pediatric, neonatal, adult health, acute care, geriatrics, psychiatric/mental health, or family. Such specialization typically requires a graduate degree program specific to the population focus, as determined by the respective national certifying bodies.

Consult the national certifying body through which you intend to seek national certification to determine graduate program requirements for certification within a particular patient population focus:

Provisional Licensure

If you are seeking licensure as a CRNA or CNM in Florida and have not yet completed all licensure requirements, you may still be eligible for provisional licensure. To be eligible, you must have graduated from your advanced practice nursing graduate program within the past 12 months, but not yet be nationally certified.

Provisional licenses are valid for one year, during which time you must fulfill all licensure requirements by becoming nationally certified. Contact the Board for more details.


Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

National certification is required for each of the three types of ARNPs recognized by the Florida Board of Nursing. Independent national certification agencies set their own requirements specific to education, experience and examination.

Advanced Nursing General Areas of Specialization

The Florida Board of Nursing recognizes the following ARNP general areas of specialization:

  • Nurse practitioner (NP)
  • Certified nurse-midwife (CNM)
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)

Certification Programs

The Florida Board of Nursing recognizes national certification exams for ARNPs administered through the following nursing specialty certifying boards:

You must become nationally certified before pursuing full ARNP licensure in Florida. Get in touch with the appropriate national certifying body for details.


Step 3. Apply for Your License

You’ll be required to provide you social security number on the
RN/ARNP application for licensure in Florida. If you do not have a social security number, contact the Florida Board of Nursing at 850-488-0595. You must have a social security number prior to obtaining full ARNP licensure.

If your Florida RN license is up for renewal within 120 days of applying for ARNP certification, you must renew your Florida RN license before your ARNP license will be issued.

Complete the Application for Dual Registered Nurse and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner. (You must check the correct box indicating if you are applying for both RN and ARNP licensure or just ARNP licensure). Along with the application:

  • Submit the proper application fee ($148 for ARNP licensure, or $323 for RN and ARNP licensure) via cashier’s check or money order only, payable to the Florida Department of Health
  • Have your school mail an official transcript verifying completion of your graduate-level nursing program
  • If you are an aspiring CNM or CRNA who is not yet nationally certified and graduated within the past 12 months, have your school complete the Verification of Program Completion form (found in the application packet)
  • Have your national certification agency send verification of your national certification to the Board
  • Complete the Financial Responsibility form (included in application packet), which states your agreement to obtain and maintain professional liability (malpractice) insurance
  • Complete two sets of fingerprint cards (see below)
  • If applying for both RN and ARNP licensure, make sure your transcript shows completion of a 2 hour prevention of medical errors course
  • If you wish to sell medications to patients in the office, attach the Dispensing Practitioner Registration form and an additional $100 fee
  • If you answer “yes” to any question in the following application sections, attach additional documentation and explanation:
    • Criminal  history
    • Discipline history
    • Health history

Send the completed application and appropriate information to Department of Health, Medical Quality Assurance, Florida Board of Nursing, P.O. Box 6330, Tallahassee, FL 32314.

You may check the status of your application online at any time. When your application has been approved, the Board will mail you a physical hard copy of your license, along with a username and password so that you will be able to access the online renewal system when necessary.

ARNP Protocol

An ARNP is only licensed to diagnose, treat, and operate under a protocol between the ARNP and another medical professional. This medical professional must be a medical doctor, dentist, or osteopathic physician.

The degree of supervision and how it will be conducted must be completely detailed in a written protocol, which functions as a collaborative practice agreement. For an example of the correct format for a written protocol, click here.

This collaborative practice agreement must be submitted to the Board before you may legally practice as an ARNP in the state.

Criminal History Background Check

You must undergo a criminal history background check prior to ARNP licensure in Florida. Two fingerprint cards must be submitted if you are upgrading your RN license to ARNP or applying for dual RN/ARNP licensure.

These cards must be mailed to you, and may be ordered here. Take the cards to your local law enforcement agency where you will be fingerprinted. You must complete the online profile as instructed at the link, and mail the two completed fingerprint cards with your application for licensure.


Step 4. Renewing Your License

Advanced registered nurse practitioner licensure is considered to be an upgrade to your Florida RN license and comes due at the same time. Your Florida ARNP license may be renewed online at the time of its expiration once every two years. Your RN license is now considered to be incorporated into your ARNP license and need not be renewed separately.

Each biannual renewal will involve a renewal fee of $166.

License Renewal Notice

The Florida Board of Nursing mails renewal notices three to four months prior to your license’s expiration date. The renewal process may take up to three weeks, so plan accordingly. At the time of your online renewal, you will be informed in the event that you need to submit further supporting documentation.

Continuing Education

You are exempt from completing any continuing education requirement during your first two-year licensure period. Thereafter, you must complete 24 hours of appropriate continuing education during each two-year renewal cycle to maintain your RN/ARNP license.

Two hours must be in the prevention of medical errors. Every third renewal, you must also complete two hours in domestic violence. Board-approved courses can be found here.

In addition to fulfilling Florida’s CE requirement, you must meet the requirements set by your national certification agency. Contact the appropriate national certification agency for details:

Proof of active national certification must be submitted to the Board at the time of each license renewal.

Expired and Inactive License Reinstatement

If your ARNP license has been allowed to expire, you may still renew it online. Expired licenses will be subject to a reinstatement fee of $221.

If your license has been on inactive status and you wish to reactivate it, you must contact the board. If your inactive status has lasted for more than two years, you may need to take a special purpose examination to demonstrate competency.

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Associations in Florida

Now that you are a licensed Florida ARNP, consider joining one of the following professional organizations:


Florida Nurse Practitioner Salary

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners reported in their 2011 National NP Compensation Survey that NPs in the southeastern region of the country, including Florida, earned an average salary of $87,653 and an average total income of $96,916. Nurse Practitioners in the city of Miami boasted one of the highest average salaries in the state, at $93,611, according to Advance for NPs & PAs 2011 National Salary Survey.  NPs practicing in Tampa earned an average salary of $89,172 and Orlando-based NPs reported an average salary of $86,236.

Registered Nurse Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Cape Coral-Fort Myers FL
4800
63780
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin FL
1040
49630
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach FL
3370
54980
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach FL Metropolitan Division
13300
67410
Gainesville FL
5240
61600
Jacksonville FL
13010
64510
Lakeland-Winter Haven FL
4150
57650
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach FL
46990
67890
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall FL Metropolitan Division
22970
69070
Naples-Marco Island FL
2650
67670
North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota FL
5960
60830
Ocala FL
2310
58680
Orlando-Kissimmee FL
18350
56760
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville FL
4780
59320
Palm Coast FL
330
55200
Panama City-Lynn Haven FL
1540
60980
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent FL
4260
54340
Port St. Lucie FL
2430
62000
Punta Gorda FL
1310
49200
Sebastian-Vero Beach FL
1290
59550
Tallahassee FL
3090
56820
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater FL
25300
65720
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach FL Metropolitan Division
10720
65980
Northwest Florida nonmetropolitan area
930
55430
Northeast Florida nonmetropolitan area
2940
58790
South Florida nonmetropolitan area
1660
60540

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Cape Coral-Fort Myers FL
90
73250
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach FL
70
49040
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach FL Metropolitan Division
560
67660
Gainesville FL
210
75330
Jacksonville FL
210
63040
Lakeland-Winter Haven FL
70
67820
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach FL
1430
73670
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall FL Metropolitan Division
690
82190
Naples-Marco Island FL
60
59570
North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota FL
70
70100
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford FL
270
66660
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville FL
70
66050
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent FL
40
71050
Port St. Lucie FL
80
62100
Tallahassee FL
30
57450
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater FL
910
70960
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach FL Metropolitan Division
180
59900
Northeast Florida nonmetropolitan area
50
54930
South Florida nonmetropolitan area
30
56680

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual median wage
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach FL
70
55910
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach FL Metropolitan Division
150
74960
Jacksonville FL
210
71300
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach FL
680
78300
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall FL Metropolitan Division
350
83320
Orlando-Kissimmee FL
290
66700
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville FL
130
62850
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater FL
360
72760
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach FL Metropolitan Division
180
69320

Nurse Administrator Salary
(Includes Nurse Managers, Directors, and Chief Nursing Officers)

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Cape Coral-Fort Myers FL
250
107150
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin FL
60
85250
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach FL
190
97480
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach FL Metropolitan Division
910
120030
Gainesville FL
260
101220
Jacksonville FL
630
104330
Lakeland-Winter Haven FL
160
91420
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach FL
3020
108850
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall FL Metropolitan Division
1340
107330
Naples-Marco Island FL
170
116600
North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota FL
340
89320
Ocala FL
80
93890
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford FL
1050
91350
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville FL
190
114310
Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach FL
60
92110
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent FL
140
100470
Port St. Lucie FL
160
80450
Punta Gorda FL
100
96790
Sebastian-Vero Beach FL
60
136140
Tallahassee FL
180
92340
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater FL
1330
102380
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach FL Metropolitan Division
780
98450
Northwest Florida nonmetropolitan area
80
76660
Northeast Florida nonmetropolitan area
150
94480
South Florida nonmetropolitan area
100
108760

These tables provide salary and employment information compiled by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2011. The data contained herein does not include self-employed nurses in independent practice.

When responding to the salary survey, some advanced practice registered nurses identified themselves as RNs while others identified themselves as health diagnosing and treating practitioners. When available, both sets of data were included for comparative purposes.

* These figures represent earnings that are at or above $90.00 per hour or $187,199 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish earnings beyond $90.00 hourly or $187,199 yearly.

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