If you’re looking to jumpstart your career transition into nursing in the Sunshine State, no doubt you’ve come across several licensed nursing schools in Florida. But how do you know you’re finding the nursing program most worthy of your time and financial investment?
Clear markers of a nursing school’s quality are the accreditations and licensure statuses it upholds. At Utica College, we’re especially proud of the facts that Utica College is accredited at the regional level, the baccalaureate degree in nursing is accredited at the national level and our top-notch ABSN program meets operating standards in two states.
In fact, the Florida Commission for Independent Education, which provides programmatic licensure for nursing programs, trusts the Utica ABSN program so much that it licensed two locations to operate in the state in the past five years: One in St. Petersburg in 2014 and another in Miramar in 2018. Why does that matter? Besides giving prospective students more access to a quality nursing education, it also means you can feel confident you’ll receive an excellent nursing education when applying to either of our ABSN programs in Florida.
Floridians trust and respect our ABSN program because:
A nonprofit institution with accreditations at the university level, Utica College has been graduating highly qualified nurses at its main campus in Utica, New York, since 1946. That legacy continues today with its ABSN programs, the first of which launched at a satellite campus in Syracuse, New York, in 2013.
The expansion of our 16-month ABSN program in Florida continues the college’s longstanding tradition of graduating confident, capable and caring nurse leaders. In fact, in 2017, Utica College’s St. Petersburg graduates had an ABSN NCLEX-RN first-time pass rate of 91%, which exceeds the national average. (Note: NCLEX data is not available for our South Florida site because it has not yet had a graduating cohort.)
As a resident of New York who relocated to enroll in our newest program site in Miramar, Jessica, ABSN Class of December 2019, is well aware of Utica’s stellar reputation and says it factored heavily into her decision to pursue her nursing education there.
“If you went to Utica for your bachelor’s (or a second bachelor’s), you were known for always getting good grades and finding a job right after college,” she says. “…Utica is well-known and (the Miramar program site) is in a great location.”
Utica College is proud of the fact that not only is the university regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), its baccalaureate degree in nursing is nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The state of Florida has also taken notice of the excellent education our ABSN program provides aspiring nursing students: both our St. Petersburg and Miramar ABSN programs are licensed by the Commission for Independent Education.
The Florida Center for Nursing projects a shortage of more than 50,000 registered nurses in the state by 2025, a shortfall that has the ability to reduce access to care for residents of the Sunshine State.
That fact is one of the primary reasons Utica ABSN expanded in Central and South Florida. With Utica ABSN program sites in Miramar and St. Petersburg, we make our quality ABSN curriculum more accessible to more qualified students, thus increasing the number of practice-ready nurses with the skills healthcare employers desire.
Not to mention our three start dates per year and accredited 16-month accelerated nursing curriculum means students who meet our admissions requirements can complete their nursing education and enter Florida’s healthcare workforce sooner.
Since launching our first site in Florida in 2014, we’ve seen firsthand the benefits of our ABSN program’s presence in Florida and for our students. Our graduates have secured employment in some of Florida’s most prestigious hospitals, including Tampa General Hospital, BayCare’s Mease Countryside Hospital, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Florida Hospital and Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
Utica ABSN students and faculty have always remained committed to the Florida community and its underserved populations. There’s likely no better example of that commitment to the community than the efforts of Utica College’s Student Nurses’ Association (UCSNA) in St. Petersburg, the school’s first National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) chapter.
A sister organization of the American Nurses Association, NSNA’s mission is “to mentor students preparing for initial licensure as registered nurses, and to convey the standards, ethics, and skills that students will need as responsible and accountable leaders and members of the profession.”
Founded in November 2016, UCSNA quickly grew to 23 members. By the end of 2018, the number of student members had mushroomed to 51.
“From day one, UCSNA has been actively involved in the community of St. Petersburg and even the communities in the surrounding area,” says Lori Blount, MSN-Ed, RN, former UCSNA faculty advisor.
ABSN student Elizabeth Kiemde enjoyed volunteering with the organization. She says some of her favorite outreach projects included serving lunch to 95 people at a local church and assembling bags for mothers of neonatal intensive care patients for High Risk Hope, an organization that provides support and resources to women and families experiencing high-risk pregnancies.
“My favorite aspect of volunteering was getting to see the community and what needs to be given back on a nurses’ basis,” she says. “It’s really rewarding to be able to serve the underserved in the community, some of whom we saw as patients during clinicals.”
Since UCSNA began, members have also:
Earning a B.S. in Nursing through the Utica College ABSN program is a great place to transition into the field. Ready to get moving on your nursing future? Reach out to one of our dedicated admission counselors to get started.
Our ABSN has three start dates a year, so you can begin nursing school whenever you're ready.