You may have struck pay dirt if you’re considering a getting a nursing degree in Miami or Southern Florida. With not only a lot of educational options in the state, but plenty of retirees who will be needing the assistance of qualified health care professionals, the Miami area, and Florida as a whole, could be a great spot to get into the health care field.

However, before we start considering potential job numbers and career paths, we might want to take a look at the nursing field, the education involved, as well as how a nursing program can prepare you for those jobs.

More About Nursing

So let’s talk a little more about nursing and the nursing field. If you’re looking to dive right in and enter the industry as quickly as possible, you might want to consider a shorter-term certification program or associate’s degree to become a licensed practical or vocational nurse. However, if you’re more set on becoming a registered nurse or have longer-term goals that might include going back to school eventually to get a master’s degree or you would like to further your career in an administrative or managerial role within the health care field, a bachelor’s degree might be the way to go.

Depending upon your role once you enter the nursing field, job descriptions can be varied. A nursing assistant or licensed practical nurse might be employed handling lesser, yet still important duties in caring for patients to enable registered nurses the time to take on more critical tasks or duties that a assistant or practical nurse might not be qualified to handle. Items such as monitoring vital signs, providing bedside care, recording patient information and statistics, taking samples, and similar tasks might be handled by a nursing assistant, in order to allow a registered nurse to focus on things like creating care plans, giving shots, identifying symptoms, communicating with the families of patients, educating patients, and similar duties.

Finding the Right Nursing Program for You

Not every nursing program is created equal, and this means that with the increased availability of educational programs and options out there, it’s important that you find the one that fits you best. With options being opened to more and more people by way of online degree programs, it can make the selection of a single program with which to pursue your nursing degree even more difficult. And with the proximity and availability of both online and campus-based programs around southern Florida, Florida, and the southeast region as a whole, educational options are prolific. However, by utilizing the tools our site provides, you can begin the search here by sorting our over 500 accredited schools and certificate programs by location, program type, and online or campus-based program.

You can also learn more about nursing and nursing degrees by visiting our Nursing Resource Guide or even by contacting a particular program of interest directly.

State of the Job Market in Nursing

If you’re thinking about exploring the nursing field in Florida, you may be pleased to discover that the job market appears quite healthy. According to the May 2011 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida ranks as the fourth highest state in employment level for registered nurses, with a mean annual wage of $64,020, as well as the fourth highest state in employment level for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, with a mean annual wage of $40,770.

For a look at national numbers, in their Occupational Outlook Handbook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites the job growth outlook for registered nurses at 26 percent for 2010-20, which is faster than average compared to other jobs, and 22 percent for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, which is also faster than average compared to other jobs.