Florida Nursing License Requirements
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- In 2021, Florida licensed more new registered nurses than any other state
- If you’ve passed the NCLEX-RN, you can apply for a Florida RN license by endorsement.
- You can opt out of nearly all continuing education requirements if you earn a specialty certification.
Are you looking to get your registered nurse license in The Sunshine State? If you're a registered nurse (RN), Florida offers the benefits of a multi-state license. As a nursing license compact (NLC) state, Florida allows nurses to waive most of their continuing education (CE) requirements if they get certified in their specialty. Learn more about how to get, transfer, and renew your Florida nursing license.
Florida State Board of Nursing
The Florida State Board of Nursing regulates the standards for nursing practice, including the eligibility and renewal requirements for nursing licensure in Florida. It evaluates license applications, issues and renews licenses, and takes disciplinary action against nurses who violate the Nursing Practice Act.
Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Florida Nursing Education Requirements
Aspiring nurses in Florida can qualify to take the NCLEX-RN after they earn either an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). An ADN is quicker and cheaper, but a BSN can lead to higher pay and more opportunities.
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
Earning an ADN costs less than a BSN because it takes about half of the time. An ADN takes two years to complete and focuses on fundamental nursing skills to safely and ethically care for patients with a variety of health conditions. You’ll learn how to take vital signs, perform diagnostic tests, update patient records, give medication and treatment, and care for adults, children, and newborns.
Bachelor's in Nursing (BSN)
A BSN takes four years to complete, but it can give you more opportunities, autonomy, and pay. BSN graduates are also more likely to pass the NCLEX-RN for the first time. In Florida, the NCLEX first-time pass rate was 81.4% in 2021, more than 22 percentage points higher than the NCLEX first-time pass rate for ADN graduates that same year. A BSN teaches you the fundamental nursing skills you’d learn in an ADN but also covers nursing leadership and informatics.
Applying for a Nursing License in Florida
The Florida Board of Nursing offers RNs two pathways to licensure in Florida: licensure by examination and licensure by endorsement. If you need to take the NCLEX-RN in Florida, you must apply for your license by examination. If you have already passed the NCLEX-RN and completed an accredited nursing program, you should apply for licensure by endorsement, even if you do not have an RN license yet.
RN Licensure by Examination
If you need to register to take the NCLEX-RN in Florida, you should apply for your RN license by examination. To apply for your RN license by examination in Florida, you must:
- Complete an approved or accredited nursing program that has an NCLEX code with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing
- Submit an application
- Pay the $110 application fee
- Provide your electronic fingerprints for a background check
- Register to take the NCLEX-RN with Pearson VUE and pay the $200 registration fee
- Schedule to take the NCLEX-RN after you receive your Authorization to Test (ATT) email
- Pass the NCLEX-RN
Your application is valid for one NCLEX attempt. You can take the NCLEX three times before the Florida Board of Nursing requires you to pass a remedial nursing course before you can retake the test. After you pass the NCLEX-RN, the board takes 7-10 days to issue your nursing license.
RN Licensure by Endorsement
You can become eligible for a Florida RN license through endorsement in four ways:
- Declare Florida as your primary state of residence (PSOR) on your multi-state license
- Have practiced nursing in another state or U.S. territory for at least two of the last three years
- Pass the NCLEX-RN and graduate from an accredited RN program
- Hold an RN license in another state
To apply for your nursing license by endorsement, you’ll need to complete an application, pay the $110 fee, submit your electronic fingerprints for the criminal background check, and contact the nursing board that issued your initial and current nursing license and request license verification.
How to Maintain Your Nursing License in Florida
Your initial license is usually not active for two years before you renew it. In those cases, you’ll complete one CE credit each month your license was active. You’ll need to complete at least:
- One hour in HIV/AIDS
- Two hours in human trafficking
- Two hours in recognizing impairment in the workplace
- Two hours in Florida laws and rules
- Two hours in preventing medical errors
You’ll renew your license online with the “Renew My License” button on your account. This button will appear no later than 90 days before your license expires. It takes up to two weeks for Florida to issue you your new license after you renew.
After your first renewal, you’ll renew every 24 months. You’ll complete a renewal application online, pay $75, and complete and report 26 CE hours, including the two hours you completed to renew your license the first time.
If you hold a specialty certification accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification, report your certification to the Florida Board of Nursing’s CE tracking system, so you can opt out of most of your required continuing education. You’ll still have to complete and report two hours of continuing education in human trafficking each renewal cycle.
Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing in Florida
How long does it take to get a Florida RN license?
The Florida Board of Nursing takes 7-10 days after you pass the NCLEX-RN to issue your RN license by examination. It does not specify how long it takes to receive a license by endorsement. The board approves applications in the order that it receives them, so the sooner you apply and complete your application with all the required documents, the sooner you can get your Florida nursing license.
How do you transfer an RN license to Florida?
To transfer your nursing license to Florida, you must submit an application, pay the $110 application fee, and provide your electronic fingerprints for the criminal background check. You'll also need to verify your nursing license by contacting the board of nursing from where you received your initial and current license.
What is the average NCLEX-RN pass rate in Florida?
The NCLEX-RN first-time pass rate for nursing graduates in Florida was 64.8% in 2021. If you earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), the average first-time pass rate for BSN graduates was 81.4% that year — more than 16 percentage points higher than the state average.
How many times can you take the NCLEX-RN in Florida?
You can take the NCLEX-RN three times before the Florida Board of Nursing requires you to pass a remedial nursing course. You must ask your course provider to send a certificate of completion directly to the nursing board before you can apply to take NCLEX a fourth time.