How to Become an LPN in Florida – A Simple Guide

How to Become an LPN in Florida – A Simple Guide

Are you interested in helping people who are sick and need medical attention? 

Then becoming an LPN might just be the thing for you! 

And becoming an LPN in Florida is a great idea, too! 

Many people like to retire in Florida because of its pleasant weather all year round and its many beaches and golf courses. 

The cost of living there is also cheaper and more affordable. 

Because of the influx of older or retired people, there is a high demand for nursing services in the area. 

This is one of the reasons Florida ranks #4 in the country with the highest employment level of LPNs! 

Although employment opportunities are wide, the main concern is… How do you become an LPN in Florida?

This can sometimes get confusing because becoming an LPN in one state is not the same process as becoming an LPN in another state. 

You need specific guidelines for Florida!

And that’s exactly what we’ll give you. 

We’ll give you a simple guide on how to become an LPN in Florida using 4 main steps.

We’ll also address other frequently asked questions, such as:

  • What does an LPN do? 
  • What is the difference between an LPN and an LVN? 
  • What is the difference between an LPN and RN? 
  • What is the average salary of an LPN in Florida?
  • Are LPNs still in demand?

So, if you’re ready, let’s dive into it! 

How to Become an LPN in Florida - 4 Simple Steps

The process of becoming an LPN can be summarized in four simple steps:

  1. Get the Necessary Training to Become an LPN
  2. Register for Your LPN License in Florida
  3. Find Your First Job as an LPN and Consider Further Education
  4. Keep Your LPN License Active 

Step #1: Get the Necessary Training to Become an LPN

As an LPN, you will be handling and caring for patients with various health concerns. 

You will be dealing with the sick and those who need medical attention.

Not just anyone is equipped for a job like this. You need to get the necessary knowledge and skills. 

This is why you need to enroll in an LPN program that ensures you get the proper training. 

State-Accredited LPN Programs

Make sure that you enroll in an approved or accredited LPN program! 

Programs that are not approved by the Florida Board of Nursing will not qualify you to apply for an LPN license. You will just be wasting time and money.

You can use this website to check the status of the LPN program you are interested in. 

The good news is that there are a LOT of approved programs in Florida to choose from. 

These programs are usually offered in community colleges, technical or vocational schools, and private career schools. 

Aside from looking at its accreditation status, you should also look for a program that has a high NCLEX-PN passing rate and good-quality faculty and facilities. 

Program Length or Duration

LPN programs in Florida take about 1-2 years to complete. 

This depends on the curriculum of your specific LPN program. 

It can also depend on the pace of your studies, whether you are a part-time or full-time student. 

Program Content

LPN programs are usually composed of lectures, laboratory work, lots of readings, and clinical studies and experience. 

Some subjects you can expect to take include:

  • Practical Nursing Foundations
  • Medical-Surgical Nursing
  • Comprehensive Nursing and Transitional Skills
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Nutrition
  • Human Growth & Development
  • Patient Care
  • Nursing Ethics
  • Nursing Skills
  • Emergency Care
  • Pharmacology for Nursing

The clinical experience or hands-on training allows you to apply the theories you learn in the classroom in a real-life setting. 

It also allows you to evaluate and determine what healthcare setting you want to work in after graduation. 

Requirements for Enrollment  

Different schools have different enrollment requirements, so it’s always best to check their website or contact them directly. 

But, as a general guide, these are some of the common requirements: 

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Minimum age of 18
  • Current CPR card
  • Drug test
  • Criminal background check
  • A passing score on ATI TEAS
  • Competency in Math, Reading, and English

Step #2: Register for Your LPN License in Florida

After you graduate from your LPN nursing program, you need to apply for an LPN license in Florida.

General Requirements 

For you to be able to apply for an LPN license, you have to:

  • graduate from an approved LPN program or its equivalent;
  • take and pass the NCLEX-PN; and
  • apply for a license from the Florida Board of Nursing (BON).

Depending on where you are in your nursing journey, there are different ways to apply for an LPN license from the Florida BON. 

Licensure by Examination

If you have not yet taken the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for Practical Nurses, then you need to apply by this route. 

All aspiring LPNs must take and pass the NCLEX-PN to be licensed in Florida. 


You can qualify for licensure by examination if you: 

  • graduated from a Florida-approved nursing education program 
  • graduated from a nursing program that has been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 
  • graduated from a nursing program in another state that is approved by that state’s board of nursing 
  • graduated from a military nursing education program 
  • graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree or a higher degree 
  • graduated from an international nursing education program that the Florida Board determines is equivalent to an approved program 
  • are a registered nurse from Canada who passed the Canadian Nurses Association Testing Service (CNATS) Examination after August 8, 1995. 


To apply for a license by examination, you must:

  • submit an application and pay an application fee of $110.00 to the Florida Board of Nursing
  • begin registration with Pearson VUE (the testing vendor) and pay the examination fee of $200.00
  • schedule an electronic fingerprinting appointment with a Livescan service provider (fees may vary)

Once you have submitted your application, someone will review them. You may be asked to submit additional information and documents.

If your application is approved, then you will receive an eligibility letter and you can schedule your exam with Pearson VUE. 

Once you pass the exam, you will receive your initial license within 7-10 days. 

If you do not pass on your first try, then you can retake the exam. 

Licensure by Endorsement

This is for those who already passed the NCLEX-PN or its equivalent in another state (that is not part of the Nursing Licensure Compact). 


You can qualify for licensure by endorsement if you:  

  • have a valid license as an LPN from another state or U.S. territory;
  • don’t have a valid license yet, but have already completed an approved or accredited nursing education program and have passed the State Board of Test Pool Examination (SBTPE) or the NCLEX-PN
  • have actively practiced nursing in another state or U.S. territory for 2 of the preceding 3 years 
  • have not actively practiced nursing within the past 5 years, but will take a remedial course to qualify 


To apply for a license by endorsement, you must:

  1. submit an application form and pay an application fee of $110.00 to the Florida Board of Nursing
  2. schedule an electronic fingerprinting appointment with a Livescan service provider (fees may vary)
  3. contact the licensing board where you got your initial and active license and request them to send a verification to the Florida Board of Nursing

After submitting all the documents and requirements, your application will be reviewed. You may also be asked for additional information, if necessary. 

If your application is accepted, you will be issued a Florida LPN license. 

Multistate Licensure 

Florida is part of the Nursing Licensure Compact. 

This means that LPNs and RNs licensed in Florida may apply for multi-state licenses. This will allow them to practice in any other compact state without having to apply for individual licenses in those states. 


To qualify for a multistate LPN license from Florida, you must:

  • hold an active, unencumbered Florida license
  • declare Florida as your primary state of residence and submit proof of residency
  • submit Livescan results no more than 90 days before the submission of your application
  • not be convicted of a felony
  • not have any misdemeanor related to your nursing practice
  • not be enrolled with IPN or any other treatment program for the impaired
  • have a social security number
  • have passed the NCLEX-PN


To apply for a multi-state license, you must:

  1. submit an application and pay an application fee of $100.00 to the Florida Board of Nursing
  2. schedule an electronic fingerprinting appointment with a Livescan service provider (fees may vary)

Your application will be reviewed within 30 days after the submission of the requirements. 

If your application is accepted, your current Florida license will be upgraded to a multi-state LPN license.

Step #3: Find Your First Job as an LPN and Consider Further Education


Once you reach this step in your LPN journey, you will be a full-fledged LPN!

You can practice your profession and find your first job. 

But where should you start?

Most LPNs tend to work in nursing homes and hospices, but they can also work in private homes, hospitals, physician’s offices, or government and military facilities. 

The clinical experience you had in your nursing education program will already give you some idea as to which of these healthcare settings you want to work in. 

If there is a specific field or population group you want to specialize in, you should try to gain more experience in that area.

But you can also gain more general clinical experience if you’re still trying to find your niche. 

It is also good to remember that your nursing journey does not have to stop with becoming an LPN. 

You can also advance your career by gaining specialized certifications, such as:

  • Patient counseling certification
  • Intravenous (IV) therapy certification
  • Advanced life support certification
  • Long-term and hospice care certification
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training
  • Certified Hemodialysis LPN
  • Certified Peritoneal Dialysis LPN
  • Developmental Disabilities LPN
  • Transplant Coordinator LPN
  • Urology LPN
  • Wound Care LPN 

Certifications will give you an edge over the other LPNs, and can potentially increase your salary. 

Aside from certifications, you should consider becoming an RN in the future.

Many schools offer LPN to RN bridge programs which will make the transition easier and more seamless for you. 

Becoming an RN will open even more doors of opportunity for you in terms of employment, salary increase, promotions, and career advancement. 

Step #4: Keep Your LPN License Active 

It’s also important to remember that you need to keep your LPN license active if you want to keep practicing as an LPN.

You can do this by renewing your license every two years. 

If you fail to renew your license, it will become inactive and eventually retired.

If you decide to go back into the LPN practice with an inactive or retired license, you will have to pay additional fees and comply with extra requirements. 

To renew your license, you must:

  1. complete the CE requirements 
  2. complete a renewal application
  3. pay the required fees

Complete the CE Requirements

The Florida Board of Nursing requires you to complete 27 hours of continuing education. 

Out of these 27 hours, there should be:

  • 16 general hours
  • 2 hours for prevention of medical errors
  • 2 hours for Florida laws and rules
  • 2 hours for recognizing impairment in the workplace
  • 2 hours for human trafficking
  • 2 hours for domestic violence
  • 1 hour for HIV/AIDs

The general hours must be from a provider that is approved by an organization that can accredit nursing CEs. 

The rest of the mandated hours (except for the 2 hours on human trafficking) should be from providers that are approved by the Florida Board of Nursing. 

You can be exempt from the CE requirements if you gain certification for a healthcare specialty program that is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies or the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification. 

The exemption does not apply to the human trafficking CE requirement, however. 

Complete the Renewal Application 

To fill up the renewal application form, you can go to and click the “Renew A License” button.

You will be asked to enter your PIN and other details. 

Pay the Required Fees 

The renewal fees depend on the status of your license (active, inactive, or retired), and whether you are renewing BEFORE your license expires or AFTER. 

You can check all the fees for renewal on the Florida Board of Nursing website

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming an LPN in Florida

We’ve already covered the steps to becoming an LPN in Florida. 

But you may still have some questions about what being an LPN entails and what it’s like for LPNs in Florida. 

What does an LPN do?

LPNs offer basic medical care to patients of various ages and with various health conditions. They also educate patients and their families about their conditions. They act as a bridge between the patients and the RNs or doctors.

Some general tasks that LPNs do, according to the BLS, include:

  • Monitor patients’ health (through vital signs and other indicators) 
  • Administer basic patient care (such as changing bandages)
  • Provide for the basic comfort of patients (such as helping with bathing or dressing)
  • Discuss the care they are providing to patients and listen to their concerns
  • Report the patients’ status and concerns to RNs and doctors
  • Keep records of the patients’ health

The exact job description of an LPN, however, ultimately depends on where they are working. 

What is the difference between an LPN and an LVN?

You may have heard of the term LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) before and are wondering how it differs from LPN. 

Well, the thing is, aside from the words, they are the same! 

They both take the same national examination (NCLEX-PN) and have the same job descriptions.

California and Texas just prefer to use the term LVN. 

What is the difference between an LPN and an RN?

LPNs and RNs are both licensed nurses that need to go through an accredited nursing education program and have to take national examinations before they can be licensed.

However, they differ in the length and intensity of their training, the type of NCLEX exams, and the scope of their practices.

The nursing education program of LPNs usually takes about 1-2 years, while the nursing education program of RNs takes about 2-4 years (depending on whether they take an Associate’s Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree). 

Since the training of RNs is longer and more rigorous, they are also assigned more complex nursing tasks compared to LPNs. 

RNs can usually create patient care plans and administer specialized care. They can also be given administrative positions.  

In fact, LPNs are usually supervised by experienced RNs. 

The NCLEX-RN exam also reflects a wider scope of topics and more diverse nursing responsibilities compared to the NCLEX-PN.

What is the average salary of an LPN in Florida?

According to the BLS, the mean annual wage of LPNs in the country is $51,850. 

In Florida, the mean annual wage of LPNs is $47,860. This is lower than the mean annual wage of the country. 

However, the cost of living in Florida is usually cheaper than in other states. The demand for LPNs in Florida is also increasing, which may entail higher salaries in the long run.

You can also improve how much you earn by gaining certifications and experience. 

The BLS also lists the top-paying industries for LPNs which are personal care services, office administrative services, insurance carriers, health and personal care stores, and junior colleges. 

Are LPNs still in demand?

Yes! The employment of LPNs and LVNs is expected to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The increase in demand is especially true in Florida because of its high elderly population who need more healthcare services.

Florida ranks 4th among the states with the highest employment levels of LPNs.

States with the highest employment level in Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses:



Employment per thousnad jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage













New York











And so, we’ve covered everything you need to know about how to become an LPN in Florida! 

We’ve discussed the 4 important steps in the process as well as the different things to keep in mind for each step. 

We’ve also answered important questions about what exactly an LPN does, what the difference is between LPNs and LVNs, what the difference is between LPNs and RNs, and what the salary and job outlook for LPNs in Florida is like. 

Working as an LPN is certainly a meaningful and important job… and more and more people need these services! 

You can help a lot of people by becoming one. 

We hope you found all the information you need in this article. But feel free to leave a comment if you have any more questions!

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