RN (Associate Degree)

An Associate Degree in Nursing is a two-year program and is offered by for-profit institutions, public community colleges, and some four year colleges.  Universities do not offer ADN programs.  Their lowest level of nursing education is Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN).  Educational track will include theoretical and clinical approach. The requirement for entry in an ADN program varies based on the school, however most nursing schools require a high school diploma or its equivalent to enter their programs.  Most nursing schools require an entrance and exit examination.  Enquire prior to registering.

RN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing)

A Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a four year degree and is offered at universities, and four year colleges. Educational track will include a theoretical and clinical approach. A BSN degree can be obtained in different ways:

  1. Complete all prerequites at a university or four year college then apply or matriculate into the nursing program.
  2. Complete two years at a community college (prerequitiste), then transfer to a university for another 2 years.


A RN to BSN program time varies based on the institution and can take approximately 1-year for full time and 2-years for part time.  RN to BSN programs are offered at some universities and four year colleges. While the RN to BSN includes a theoretical and clinical approach, the clinical approach is more based on leadership skills and community engagement.  The admission requirements also vary, however most institutions require the following:

  1. An Associate of Science in Nursing Degree
  2. An active license as a registered nurse (RN) in Florida
  3. Completion of certain core classes. For this reason knowing if credits are transferable is very important.


Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN)

Diploma or certificate program. Can be completed within 12 to 14 months. Entry requirements include high school diploma or general education certificate, and entrance exam.  Entrance examination varies based on the school. Some public schools use Teas or Tabe test for their entrance exam while some private schools may use Kaplan, Hesi, or ATI.  Most nursing programs will require you to take an exit exam after the completion of your nursing courses.  Please verify with the school regarding their exit policy.


LPN to Associate Science in Nursing can be completed in one or two years depending on the institution. Educational track will include theory and practical, where skills performed by the RN are taught. Requirement varies by institution, however most institutions require students to have Licensed practical nurse.  Some for profit institutions will bypass the licensure part and will accept students if they have successfully completed the PN program, or have a degree in another field. After completing the program you will be required to take the NCLEX-RN.  Most schools require students to pass an exit exam before allowing them to take the boards.  Enquire about exit exam policy.


There are no programs that bridge LPN to BSN.  If an LPN would like to obtain a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, the route will be the same as a person with no nursing background.  See BSN

Diploma RN or LPN

A hospital-based nursing program.  Basic requirements and educational track are usually the same as the programs outside the hospital.