Nurses who want to take their careers to a new level often consider becoming nurse practitioners (NP). It is easy to see why: NPs enjoy higher salaries, greater job opportunities and increased independence.
Nurses in Florida who are ready to take this step will find an NP program at St. Thomas University (STU) designed with working professionals in mind. STU offers a Master of Science – Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN – FNP) program in a convenient online format — perfect for nurses who need to balance coursework with their careers and personal lives.
STU's MSN – FNP program prepares graduates for the FNP national certification examination.
How Strong Is the Job Outlook for NPs in Florida?
Burning Glass Technologies puts the increase in employment for NPs at close to 45 percent from 2016 through 2026. This compares with an average of 7 percent for all occupations.
For NPs in Florida, the news gets even better. The Sunshine State ranks among the top five states with the highest level of employment for NPs. According to Burning Glass, the following areas in Florida have the highest demand:
- Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach
- Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater
- Orlando, Kissimmee, Sanford
- Deltona, Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach
How Do NP Salaries Compare?
Along with high marks for job growth, Florida also offers some of the best salaries for NPs. As of May 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a median annual salary for NPs of $110,930. And, NPs in some of Florida's metropolitan areas enjoy a significant salary bump.
- The Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville area ranks #1 in the nation for top-paying metropolitan areas, with an average NP salary of $164,180.
- Panama City is among the top 10 highest-paying metropolitan areas. Here, NPs have an average salary of $139,780, well above the national average.
As with any occupation, various factors influence salary, including years of experience, education level and geographic location. Salaries may also vary by employer. For example, hospitals are among the largest employers of NPs and offer the highest salaries.
Who Are Some Top NP Employers in Florida?
NPs in Florida can look forward to excellent job options. According to Burning Glass Technologies, the largest employers of NPs include:
- Baptist Health
- UnitedHealth Group
- State of Florida
- S. Air Force
- CVS Health
- MHM Services, Inc.
- Orlando Regional Healthcare
- Hospital Corporation of America
- Tenet Health System
- Department of Veterans Affairs
Becoming an NP means earning a master's or post-master's degree, which may seem cost-prohibitive. But the benefits often outweigh the investment. In addition to above-average salaries, abundant job opportunities and job security, NPs find satisfaction in making a difference in their patients' lives, which may be the most important reason to take this step.
STU's MSN – FNP program can help working nurses in Florida prepare for a career as an NP. Students can graduate in just 18 months without putting their careers on hold, ready to pursue this rewarding career path.
Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight Real-Time Labor Market Information ToolU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners
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