Florida Nursing: 3 Reasons Why It’s Great to Be an RN in the Sunshine State

illustrated nurse in front of florida outline

Not all jobs make a positive impact on the world. It’s even rarer to find a job that allows you to see that positive impact up close, but nursing is one of those special professions.

If you’ve got the nursing itch, now is a great time to pursue it. As you’ll see in our research below, nursing is in demand on average nationwide, especially in Florida. With its steady influx of retirees from out of state and the ongoing retirement of the baby boomer generation of nurses, the Sunshine State is a strong contender for being one of the top states to start a nursing career in. But that’s just scratching the surface—let’s take a closer look at some of the top reasons Florida is a great state for nurses.

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3 Big reasons why you should pursue a nursing career in Florida

We’ve got good news for anyone considering launching a nursing career in Florida. Keep reading for some compelling things to consider.

1. Florida nursing is growing

One thing is certain: Florida needs nurses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 178,000 registered nurses and over 47,000 licensed practical nurses working in the state.1 This is likely to grow even more considering the demand for registered nurses is projected by the BLS to increase by 15 percent nationwide.1

There are several reasons for this sunny outlook. First, Florida has over 5.3 million residents aged 60 years or older—that’s 26.1 percent of the entire state population.2 This is partially due to the state’s popularity as a retirement destination. Even if shuffleboard and gated retirement communities don’t quite speak to you at this moment, the reality is that this concentration of older individuals makes for a busy local healthcare industry.

Even when the weather’s nice, time waits for no one. Older populations deal with a higher frequency of health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, all types of cancer, and various falls and accidents. The care of these and other conditions requires nurses in all kinds of settings: emergency, long-term, memory and primary care.

It’s not just the influx of retirees from out of state, either. Florida’s nurses are getting older as well. Forty percent of Florida’s nurses are approaching retirement age in the next 10 years, according to the Florida Center for Nursing.3 While it’s hard to drive definitive conclusions about the future of the Florida nursing workforce from this, these factors appear to be a strong indicator for the job market to remain steady.

2. Florida is home to many impressive healthcare organizations

In addition to increased scheduling flexibility, Florida nurses have a wide variety of healthcare facilities they can apply to. For instance, Gainesville, Florida, has one of the highest concentrations of nurses in the U.S., according to the BLS.1 Much of that is due to large healthcare employers like the North Florida Regional Medical Center and the system of healthcare facilities affiliated with University of Florida Health.

Additionally, Florida boasts many impressive healthcare institutions including Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, Tampa General Hospital, UF Health Shands Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Florida are all nationally ranked in various specialties by the U.S. News & World Report.4

Impressive hospitals and medical centers are great, but they don’t run without nurses! We analyzed over 54,000 Florida registered nursing job postings to find out which healthcare companies are hiring the most nurses. Here’s what we found, in order of quantity of listings.5

  1. Hospital Corporation of America
  2. Baptist Health
  3. Florida Hospital (AdventHealth)
  4. Healthtrust Workforce Solutions
  5. Adventist Health
  6. Consulate Health Care
  7. Tenet Health System
  8. Orlando Regional Healthcare
  9. Health First
  10. Ascension Health

3. Quality of life in Florida is high 

The health of the nursing job market in Florida appears strong, but there’s more to consider. The good news is that life in the Sunshine State is, in fact, sunny.

Florida can also be a wonderful place to raise kids. According to the U.S. News & World Report’s Best High School Rankings, which measures standardized test performance and college preparedness, 12 schools hailing for the state of Florida made the top 100 nationwide.6 It’s not just those standout schools providing a sunny outlook—Florida is becoming more educated overall. Jacksonville and Orlando have shown recent 50+ percent gains in their college-educated population, earning spots among Forbes’ list of the top 10 U.S cities getting smarter the fastest.7

Already thinking about life after a nursing career? Three cities in Florida were ranked in the top 10 for the best cities to retire to in 2019, according to the U.S. News & World Report: Fort Myers, Sarasota and Lakeland.8

Another factor you might find appealing is the fact that the state of Florida doesn’t collect personal income tax, increasing the amount of income its residents get to take home. Florida also boasts a ton of beautiful state parks and outstanding beaches so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get out there and enjoy the sunshine—and maybe spend a little more of that take-home pay.

Join Florida nursing professionals in the Sunshine State

Between the strong environment for nursing professionals, top-notch medical centers and Florida’s quality of life, there are plenty of reasons to launch or restart your nursing career in Florida. Now that you know how great it is to be a nurse in Florida, are you ready to experience it? By becoming a nurse in Florida, you’ll join a growing field, fill a huge need and have the opportunity to make a difference in patients’ lives—all while living in the Sunshine State.

If you’re interested in becoming a nurse, check out the Rasmussen College Florida campuses page to learn more about the Nursing programs at a campus near you.

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, [accessed March 1, 2019] www.bls.gov/oes. Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and include workers at all levels of education and experience. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
2Department of Elder Affairs, State of Florida, 2017 Profile of Older Floridians, [information accessed March 1, 2019] http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/pubs/stats/County_2017_projections/Counties/Florida.pdf
3Florida Center for Nursing, Forecasts & Strategies, [information accessed March 1, 2019] https://www.flcenterfornursing.org/ForecastsStrategies/AboutourForecastsStrategies.aspx
4U.S. News & World Report, Best Hospitals in Florida, [information accessed March 1, 2019] https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/fl
5Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 54,863 registered nursing job postings, Feb. 1, 2018 – Jan. 31, 2019)
6U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News Best High Schools Rankings, [information accessed March 1, 2019] https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/rankings-overview
7Forbes, The U.S. Cities Getting Smarter the Fastest, [information accessed March 1, 2019] https://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2012/08/09/the-u-s-cities-getting-smarter-the-fastest/#22ae14002211
8U.S. News & World Report, 100 Best Places to Retire in the USA, [information accessed March 1, 2019] https://realestate.usnews.com/places/rankings/best-places-to-retire

Kirsten Slyter

Kirsten is a Content Writer at Collegis Education where she enjoys researching and writing on behalf of Rasmussen University. She understands the difference that education can make and hopes to inspire readers at every stage of their education journey.


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