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Registered Nursing


The nursing program at Palm Beach State College focuses on nursing as a caring and humanistic discipline. Nursing encompasses evidenced based practice, the use of critical thinking and commitment to life-long learning. The goals are to improve the overall health and wellness, to enhance the quality of life, and to meet the needs of our diverse community.  Core values of the art and science of nursing encompass caring, compassion, diversity, ethics, excellence, holism, integrity, and patient-centeredness. The nursing faculty at Palm Beach State College believe in a culture of excellence that provides individualized, safe care for patients, families and communities.  The instructional process is designed to guide the student to achieve mastery of the course learning outcomes through active engagement utilizing a variety of methods. The program time is divided among learning activities that include clinical, didactic, skills, and simulation.

Upon graduation, the student is awarded an associate in science degree (A.S.) and is eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam (NCLEX) to become a registered nurse (RN).

Mission Statement

The Palm Beach State Nursing Program mission is to create a learning environment which integrates innovative technology and evidence based educational practices. Graduates, upon licensure, will be collaborative, integral members of a dynamic health care system. Their uniqueness will be evidenced by leadership in the profession as they provide and coordinate ethical and holistic care to our diverse community.

Where You Study Matters

Based on Palm Beach State's Lake Worth campus, this A.S. degree program provides high-quality education in  nursing at an affordable cost. As a state college, our tuition is a fraction of what private schools cost. When you also consider our experienced and credentialed faculty, small class sizes and modern skills and simulation lab, you'll see why Palm Beach State is the smart place to start your nursing career.

A licensed nurse (RN) is a former student who has successfully completed a nursing program, and has passed the NCLEX-RN, the state licensing exam. Registered nurses are currently the largest healthcare occupation. They work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, home healthcare services, and nursing care facilities. Others work in schools, outpatient clinics, or serve in the military.

Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

Registered nurses typically do the following:

  • Record patients’ medical histories and symptoms
  • Administer patients’ medicines and treatments
  • Set up plans for patients’ care or contribute to existing plans
  • Observe patients and record the observations
  • Consult and collaborate with doctors and other healthcare professionals
  • Operate and monitor medical equipment
  • Help perform diagnostic tests and analyze the results
  • Teach patients and their families how to manage illnesses or injuries
  • Explain what to do at home after treatment

Most registered nurses work as part of a team with physicians and other healthcare specialists. Some registered nurses oversee licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants, and home health aides.

Registered nurses’ duties and titles often depend on where they work and the patients they work with. For example, an oncology nurse may work with cancer patients or a geriatric nurse may work with elderly patients. Some registered nurses combine one or more areas of practice. For example, a pediatric oncology nurse works with children and teens who have cancer.

Many possibilities for working with specific patient groups exist. The following list includes just a few examples:

  • Addiction nurses care for patients who need help to overcome addictions to alcohol, drugs, and other substances.
  • Cardiovascular nurses care for patients with heart disease and people who have had heart surgery.
  • Critical care nurses work in intensive-care units in hospitals, providing care to patients with serious, complex, and acute illnesses and injuries that need very close monitoring and treatment.
  • Genetics nurses provide screening, counseling, and treatment for patients with genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis.
  • Neonatology nurses take care of newborn babies.
  • Nephrology nurses care for patients who have kidney-related health issues stemming from diabetes, high blood pressure, substance abuse, or other causes.
  • Rehabilitation nurses care for patients with temporary or permanent disabilities.

Registered nurses may work to promote public health, by educating people on warning signs and symptoms of disease or managing chronic health conditions. They may also run health screenings, immunization clinics, blood drives, or other community outreach programs. Other nurses staff the health clinics in schools.

Some nurses do not work directly with patients, but they must still have an active registered nurse license. For example, they may work as nurse educators, healthcare consultants, public policy advisors, researchers, hospital administrators, salespeople for pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, or as medical writers and editors.

Work Environment
Registered nurses held about 2.8 million jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most registered nurses were as follows:

  • Hospitals; state, local, and private
  • Nursing and residential care facilities
  • Offices of physicians
  • Home healthcare services
  • Government

Registered nurses are the largest healthcare occupation. They work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, home healthcare services, and nursing care facilities. Others work in schools or outpatient clinics, or serve in the military. Home health and public health nurses travel to patients’ homes, schools, community centers, and other sites.

Some nurses move frequently, traveling in the United States and throughout the world to help care for patients in places where there are not enough healthcare workers.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Registered Nurses.

All students applying to the Registered Nursing program are required to view the Electronic Information Session within 12 months of their desired application deadline date.

Fall 2020 Nursing Application
The application deadline is May 15, 2020.

Your application will not be complete unless you:

  • Submit the online College application if you are a first-time Palm Beach State student.
  • Arrange for the submission of official transcripts from your high school, GED or validated foreign equivalent, as well as college transcript(s), if applicable.
  • Attend an nursing information session within 12 months of application deadline.
  • Complete the necessary general education pre-requisites as outlined in the RN information session.
  • Arrange to take the HESI A2 Exam with the Testing Center at Palm Beach State.
  • Submit the Registered Nursing Limited Access Application. (Must be received by Admissions Office no later than the application deadline date.)

After submitting your application: To monitor your Limited Access Program Application Status:

  1. Go to
  2. Log on using your Palm Beach State student ID number and pin.
  3. This takes you to your student Panther Web page.
  4. Click on "Limited Access Application status."

Acceptance/Registration Applicants who are selected will be notified approximately three weeks after the deadline date. If an applicant is selected and does not complete the registration process, the applicant must reapply and is not guaranteed acceptance in any subsequent selection process.

The provisional acceptance notice will include:

  • Registration information
  • Medical exam form
  • American Heart Association CPR Card (BLS Healthcare Provider)
  • Criminal Background Check (includes Social Security number verification)
  • Drug screen form
  • Level 2 FDLE Fingerprinting Form
  • Date of Mandatory Orientation

After admission, the above documentation must be on file with the Registered Nursing Program Office. All students are conditionally accepted and will be required to obtain Criminal Background Checks Drug Screenings, and Fingerprinting (at their own expense) prior to the start of class. Further information will be provided when admitted into the Registered Nursing Program. Failure to provide such documentation will result in termination of application.

To apply, please download and read the Registered Nursing Limited Access Application, or view the required RN Electronic Information Session. The RN information session covers:

  • Full details on entry requirements and steps for meeting requirements
  • Instructions on completing necessary applications for both the college and program
  • Review of applicant point system for selection
  • Information regarding program requirements and student expectations

Please note: All students meeting minimum program application requirements are encouraged to apply. However, meeting criteria for selection does not guarantee admission and not all applicants will be accepted. Final selection will be based on the applicant pool.

What is the Employment Outlook for an RN?
Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. This is due to an increased emphasis on preventive care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and demand for healthcare services from the baby-boom population. Nurses held about 3 million jobs in 2016. About 61 percent of RNs worked in hospitals, 18 percent in ambulatory healthcare services, 7 percent in nursing care facilities, and 7 percent in offices of physicians. Nurses in the hospital setting usually work in shifts, covering all 24 hours. They may work nights, weekends, and holidays. Nurses who work in offices, schools, and other places that do not provide 24-hour care are more likely to work regular business hours. In 2016, about 1 out of 6 registered nurses worked part time.

What is the Average Salary of an RN?
The median annual wage for registered nurses was $70,000 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,690, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $104,100.

For more information regarding salary and job outlook for RNs, please visit the Department of Labor and Statistics website.


Program Accreditation

This program is approved by the Florida Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). Program data is annually updated with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Ga 30326, phone: 404-975-5000 fax: 404-975-5020.

Success Indicators

The NCLEX-RN exam pass rate at Palm Beach State College for the 2017-2018 academic year at the Lake Worth campus is 87.33% (3-year mean: 83%), and at the Belle Glade campus, it is 100% (3-year mean: 75%). The nursing program completion rate for the 2017-2018 academic year is 90.3% (3-year mean: 90.8%). The nursing program's overall estimated job placement rate for 2016-2017 for all nursing graduates is 97% (3-year mean: 96%)

Office & Contact Info

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:00am to 4:30pm  |  Closed Fri. (Summer ONLY), Sat. & Sun. 

Location: Lake Worth campus - Allied Health (AH) building on the first floor, room AH 110

Contact: Please feel free to call the Nursing Department during business hours at 561-868-3412 with any questions you may have.

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