Florida nursing salaries - seriously???? - page 2

I'm considering switching careers to nursing. The two things I'm taking into consideration, of equal importance, are: Would I like this job most of the time? And what is the salary? Now, someone I... Read More

  1. by   centralflorida
    MM37, I live in Lakeland, but I could commute in the direction of either Orlando or Tampa for school. St. Pete would probably be pushing it.
    I have a bachelor's degree in an unrelated field, from 20 years ago - I'm in my early 40s - so I have a few credits that I could use, but I would still have to take my pre-reqs. The private nursing schools that charge an arm and a leg include the pre-requisites, but they usually aren't transferable to "real" colleges. But they work just fine for getting me an R.N. and getting me a job.

    Yes, after I get my R.N. and after my kids are done with school - six more years till graduated from high school - I could imagine leaving Florida for a higher salary, although I really do love it here. I'd have to find somewhere that I love as much.

    And A21chdchc, yes, I agree completely, salaries do tend to get exaggerated. I was hearing really high estimates on what beginning nurses make in Florida -and even though I still want to do it, I'm glad I checked into it and got a more realistic picture. Otherwise I would have been really let down and resentful when I graduated and found out the truth.
  2. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from teeituptom
    but look at all the free beaches, and all the golf courses, and the lower cost of living you have there.
    Many beaches are not that "free" and Florida certainly is not that cheap.
  3. by   Tweety
    I've heard from someone who worked in Orlando that they pay is lower in Central Florida than elsewhere. Here starting salaries are in the $23/hr range. I'm currently making over $30/hr so it's not unreasonable that you can make that kind of salary in nursing.

    Good luck!
  4. by   centralflorida
    Thank you, Tweety...what part of the state are you in?
    It surprises me that Orlando doesn't pay more, it's a big city, it has so many visitors that you would think there'd be a ton of demand for nurses...But in general, I think Central Florida pays less then other areas of the state. Then again, housing is cheaper here (well, at least in Lakeland!) than in other cities.
  5. by   luv4nursing
    Centralflorida,

    I lived in Orlando and just moved to Tampa this past weekend. I worked in peds home health and was paid $17/hr on average as an LPN, but I know many of my classmates make $20/hr+ in the nursing homes. Mainly trachsand g-tubes. They have vent patients but I didnt take the training bc I knew they would try to force me on the more complex cases. I worked an average of 44-48 hrs a week, but those were the easiest 48 hrs Ive ever put in anywhere. I would have worked 60 if they let me because it was so easy, but Ive cut back to 36 hrs a week since Im in school again. 48 hrs a week (and still having 3 days a week off) was easier than my part time job at Starbucks that I worked during LPN school. 12 hr homecare shifts are usually easy, at least in my experience...once u get to know a family that you fit in with, they usually dont care what you do all day as long as their loved one gets the proper care. There is so much downtime Im often bored. I usually bring my laptop and surf the net or do my homework. I also watch a lot of tv, especially if Im on nights.

    If you do decide to become an LPN, keep in mind that Valencia Comm. College in Orlando now offers the LPN to RN transition program online (Im in it right now and its great). Becoming an RN was always my main goal, but I didnt want to wait 2 years to get in a program (thats how long the waiting lists were back then, not sure about now)....so I took my version of a shortcut and got my LPN and decided to take the bridge/transition program to RN. I got in with no problems the first try at both schools I applied too (DBCC and VCC). I was working as an LPN and halfway to my RN before I would have even STARTED the generic RN program and then would have had 2 years of school after that. It was the best choice for me because I needed to work and make a living ASAP.
  6. by   pepperann35
    Quote from teeituptom
    but look at all the free beaches, and all the golf courses, and the lower cost of living you have there.
    Lower cost of living? Not if you take into consideration the cost of housing, insurance and property taxes.
  7. by   centralflorida
    luv4nursing, I am so with you on that one! When I talked to them at PCC a couple of years ago it was at LEAST a two year wait, if I even got accepted - and I couldn't even apply until AFTER I take all my prerequisites! And there are something like 500 people applying for 75 slots - I think they have since increased it to 150 slots, but still...no wonder there's a nurse shortage!

    Mind you, I'm not complaining - a nurse shortage creates job security for us all. All hail the shortage.

    But I am also considering getting my LPN and then going on to my RN. So for Valencia, do you have to have your prerequisites - A&P, speech, etc. - completed before you can take the online course? An online LPN to RN sounds fantastic - how will you do your clinicals and practicum, however?
  8. by   luv4nursing
    Quote from centralflorida
    luv4nursing, I am so with you on that one! When I talked to them at PCC a couple of years ago it was at LEAST a two year wait, if I even got accepted - and I couldn't even apply until AFTER I take all my prerequisites! And there are something like 500 people applying for 75 slots - I think they have since increased it to 150 slots, but still...no wonder there's a nurse shortage!

    Mind you, I'm not complaining - a nurse shortage creates job security for us all. All hail the shortage.

    But I am also considering getting my LPN and then going on to my RN. So for Valencia, do you have to have your prerequisites - A&P, speech, etc. - completed before you can take the online course? An online LPN to RN sounds fantastic - how will you do your clinicals and practicum, however?
    CF,
    yeah you have to have your pre reqs done before applying to the bridge, but as long as u have decent NET scores,etc u will get in right away. Im sure once word gets out about the transition being online it will become more competitive, but I applied with barely the minimum gpa (I have a million credits from my younger days when I blew off school) and got in first try. They take 50 or 60 a year. If your gpa isnt top notch, just try to do great on the net and make sure u do well in LPN school...I think that was what helped me bc even though my college gpa was low, I made straight A's in LPN school so I think I showed a positive change and they took that into consideration.

    I suggest starting on the pre reqs now and u may be able to finish them before u even started LPN school. The first semester of LPN school is easy so u could swing a class during that time too. Keep in mind u can do many classes online now, and if u do summer school u can knock out some classes in 6 weeks. It depends on the time of year u would start and finish LPN school. The deadline to apply to Valencia for the bridge is Oct 1 of each year to start in January. You would need to be licensed by then. I just graduated in September 2005 and I didnt have my license yet in October, so I had to wait till the next year to apply...but it gave me more time to finish my pre reqs.

    As far as clinicals/practicum...u have one day a week that you do clinicals...when we get to practicum we will have to follow another nurses schedule 2-3 days a week for 14 shifts. Its not too bad though, they have kissimmee/osceola and celebration clinical sites so its not too too far. Plus its not for long.

    sorry this is so long but another FYI u may want to consider is u can get a grant thru One-Stop Central FL career center to go to Orlando Tech for free. I didnt pay anything for LPN school and they also paid for my state boards. They went by my income at the time, which went to part time when I started school and I was allowed to use that instead of my previous years taxes. Im not sure if they have it for other schools like TECO but u may want to check. There are tons of LPN programs around Tampa just check the FL BON site. HTH!
  9. by   centralflorida
    This is all great advice. Right now I am brushing up on my rusty math skills so that when I take the NET or whatever I have to take, I can pass it. I'm still debating the LPN program, because I'd have to go through all the trauma and stress of studying for THAT license, then go through it again for the RN - but my alternative seems to be, spending $46,000 to go to Keiser to get an RN degree, spending $36,000 and commuting an hour and a half each way to get to St. Petersburg to get an RN degree from Galen, spending $35,000 (I think) to get an RN degree from Florida Metropolitan University...or waiting until I get old and die before a community college accepts me into their RN! Or doing it the LPN to RN route. Now that I think of it, I guess I would have to hope that it's easier to get into an LPN program than an RN program.
  10. by   caroladybelle
    I graduated from PCC in the 90s. There were 500+ applicants for 60 slots then.

    I could be wrong, but I don't think that they have the facilities yet for 150 slots. They just recently got grants for funding expansion there. Unless they are including other programs (the USF/PCC RN to BSN, or a possible LPN bridge). It was only a few years ago that they increased to 72-84 slots.
  11. by   luv4nursing
    Quote from centralflorida
    This is all great advice. Right now I am brushing up on my rusty math skills so that when I take the NET or whatever I have to take, I can pass it. I'm still debating the LPN program, because I'd have to go through all the trauma and stress of studying for THAT license, then go through it again for the RN - but my alternative seems to be, spending $46,000 to go to Keiser to get an RN degree, spending $36,000 and commuting an hour and a half each way to get to St. Petersburg to get an RN degree from Galen, spending $35,000 (I think) to get an RN degree from Florida Metropolitan University...or waiting until I get old and die before a community college accepts me into their RN! Or doing it the LPN to RN route. Now that I think of it, I guess I would have to hope that it's easier to get into an LPN program than an RN program.
    ha! Too funny! Well good luck in whatever you decide. I have a friend that went to Galen for the LPN to RN bridge and just graduated. If I could have gone to a private school that included pre reqs in the program, personally I think it may have been worth it! It saves u a lot of time! Plus there are lots of employers/programs out there that help with student loan payback, etc. so you may be ale to get at least some of that debt knocked out. My fiance is going to a private school to do Aviation Maintenance and it costs something like 22K for a 14 month program! But he just got out of the Air Force and cant find a decent job bc his AF job doesnt transfer into the real world well. I dont think they need many people to load missiles out here So basically we are taking on the debt bc its a short term solution to him being able to make a decent living without spending several years in college. We are ready to move ahead with our lives! Luckily he gets the GI bill so that helps...but we are going to end up using it more as income than paying for school. Maybe once I get finished in December and start working more, we can use his GI bill to pay off some of his tuition and I can carry the slack till he finishes up next fall. Anyway, I went off on a tangent but my point is for some people private school isnt a bad choice if it means you can get it over with instead of waiting......and waiting.......and waiting to move forward with your life!
    Last edit by luv4nursing on Jun 5, '07 : Reason: typo
  12. by   MB37
    CF - you pretty much have to do similar prereqs everywhere, even if they're "included" in the cost or even in the nursing program. I go to USF, and the entire accelerated BSN will cost me about $12,000 tuition, including a year of prereqs. I have a previous degree too, but I took the bare minimum science courses. Also, most of their prereqs are available online. That's how I took both semesters of A&P, and I know that micro and nutrition at least are also available that way. You may have to go to campus every few weeks for proctored exams, but that's it. I don't know as much about HCC's program, except that it's cheaper than mine and that my coworker who attends takes most of her classes online around her 2 jobs and 2 kids. Even if you just do prereqs at a public school they'll transfer anywhere and cost you a lot less. If you decide to do LPN, you can take the RN prereqs online while you're working and then bridge over in a couple years. I agree that nursing school is a good investment, but since the Tampa area doesn't do wait lists, I don't know why anyone would pay so much more to go to a private school. But hey, whatever gets you to your goal and works for your family is a good choice.
  13. by   pkapple
    Quote from teeituptom
    but look at all the free beaches, and all the golf courses, and the lower cost of living you have there.

    The cheaper coa used to be true, but it keeps getting repeated ad nauseum and keeps the wages low! Don't know any bank that reduces your car payment, credit cards or mortgage rate cause you're in sunnyFL!!
    And speaking of mortgages.....houses are not cheap here, apartments are getting outrageous and insurance is going thru the roof, if you can get it!
    And hey--CA and TX have some beaches and golf courses, too, oh and wages are well um quite a bit higher.

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