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Thread: Getting Florida license

  1. #1
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    Question Getting Florida license

    Hi All,
    Im a little confused! I'm a licensed optician in NJ, and I would like to move to Fla in the near future.
    Does anyone know exactly what I have to do to get my license in Fla?

    I've done some research, but I'm still confused Help!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyegirlmichele View Post
    Hi All,
    Im a little confused! I'm a licensed optician in NJ, and I would like to move to Fla in the near future.
    Does anyone know exactly what I have to do to get my license in Fla?

    I've done some research, but I'm still confused Help!
    It would behoove you to start your search within, Florida State Department of Health, if you haven't begun there yet.

  3. #3
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    I suggest contacting the FL Board of Opticianry at (850) 245-4474 and the Professional Opticians of Florida (POF) at (850) 201-2622 for more official information.
    Board of Opticianry website: http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensi...nry/index.html
    Professional Opticians of Florida website: POF.org

    The most recent requirements that I'm aware of are as follows:

    The department shall certify eligible for the licensure examination each applicant who:
    • Has completed the application form and remitted the required fees;
    • Is not less than 18 years of age;
    • Is a graduate of an accredited high school or possesses a certificate of equivalency of a high school education;
    • Successfully passed the National Opticianry Competency Examination within three years of application or has current ABO certification;
    • Successfully passed the Contact Lens Registry Examination within three years of application or has current NCLE certification; and
    • Has completed one of the following:
      • Received an associate degree, or equivalent, in opticianry from an accredited school; or
      • Is licensed to practice opticianry in another state and has actively practiced in such state for more than 3 of the last 5 years; or
      • Has actively practiced opticianry in a state in which licensure is not required for more than 5 of the last 7 years and provides tax records, business records, affidavits, etc. documenting such; or
      • Has registered as an apprentice with the department and completed 6,240 hours of training under their registered sponsor(s). These requirements must be met within 5 years after the date of registration



    The Florida Opticianry Licensure Examination consists of three parts:


    1. National Opticianry Competency Examination by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO)
    2. Contact Lens Registry Examination by the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE)
      Note: Proof of successful completion of the above two parts are required prior to taking the National Optician’s Practical Examination.
    3. National Optician’s Practical Examination by the National Commission of State Opticianry and Regulatory Boards (NCSORB) - this exam has 4 sub-sections; 2 regarding glasses (Rx transposition, using a virutal lensometer and pupillometer) and 2 regarding contact lenses (must know how to use a virtual manual keratometer, virutal slit lamp, evaluate fit of contact lenses, and identify ocular pathology associated with contact lens use)


    Fees
    Application Fee $100.00 (non-refundable)
    Examination Fee (Paid to NCSORB) $325.00
    Re-Examination Fee (Paid to NCSORB) $275.00 per part, when taken separately
    Initial Licensure Fees:
    If licensed in the first year of the biennium (Every odd numbered year) $155.00
    If licensed in the second year of the biennium (Beginning on 01/01 every even numbered year
    and your license expires 12/31 of the same year
    it was issued)
    $80.00


    After completing all paperwork, paying fees and passing the NCSORB, you are required to complete the following before being issued a license:

    • Original certificate documenting completion of a two-hour initial licensure laws and rules course from a board approved laws and rules course provider;
    • Copy of certificate documenting completion of a board approved two-hour continuing education course relating to the prevention of medical errors;
    • Copy of certificate documenting completion of a board approved hands-on two-hour course on frame fitting and adjusting (applies to just apprentices I believe);
    • Payment of initial licensure fee within one year of notification of successful passage of the licensure examination;


    Prepare to jump through some hoops, so try and be patient! The licensure procedures in Florida are a lot more detailed than most people would ever imagine. Do an Optiboard search for NCSORB and you will get more detailed information about what's on the practical portions of the exam.

    Hope this helps!!

  4. #4
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    Thank you so much for the info! And yes it does seem that there will be some hoop jumping!

  5. #5
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    I'm licensed in NJ as well and getting ready to sit for the Florida boards in 4 weeks. You need your Abo and NCLE before they will even let you take the board exam. Do you have either? I have taken and passed the florida exam twice before and let it go both times... STUPID!!!! I'm taking the new NCSORB exam and not feeling too confident. I am finding the website very vague in what exactly to study for and all the feed back I am getting is very vague too. I am studying everything I can get my hands on and hoping I am studying enough but hoping I am not overstudying. Here in NJ we don't deal with Cl's so I am clueless on what to study. Florida makes you jump through a million hops to take their test. Funny though... they do not have a lab portion to their exam and no actual dispensing either. Really??? Isn't that what we do everyday??? Anyone can be book smart but actual hands on knowledge is crucial.
    Quote Originally Posted by eyegirlmichele View Post
    Hi All,
    Im a little confused! I'm a licensed optician in NJ, and I would like to move to Fla in the near future.
    Does anyone know exactly what I have to do to get my license in Fla?

    I've done some research, but I'm still confused Help!

  6. #6
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    I have heard that's its a lot more complicated in Fla! So, their board exam has no dispensing, or shop job? That does seem a little strange. Do you have to actually take the test in Fla? I heard that you don't anymore. I've just come up with the idea to move to Florida , so I haven't taken the ABO/NCLE as of yet, so I guess that's the first thing I need to do. I am also worried about the CL portion, since I only had one CL class! Well... good luck to you!!

  7. #7
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    There is no direct dispensing included in the new FL state board exam (NCSORB). However, there are questions related to dispensing on the exam. In order to sit for the FL state board exam, you must first show that you have passed the ABO and the NCLE; and completed over 6,000 apprenticeship hours OR graduate from an accredited Opticianry program OR be a Licensed Optician from another state in good standing for 3+ years or have clear documentation showing you have practiced as an Optician in an unlicensed state for 5+ years. For the state board, you will need to know how to use a slit lamp, different illuminations, evaluate a contact lens fit, and know how to use a manual keratometer. If you can't do those things, you most likely will not pass. PM me if you have more specific questions. Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyegirlmichele View Post
    I have heard that's its a lot more complicated in Fla! So, their board exam has no dispensing, or shop job? That does seem a little strange. Do you have to actually take the test in Fla? I heard that you don't anymore. I've just come up with the idea to move to Florida , so I haven't taken the ABO/NCLE as of yet, so I guess that's the first thing I need to do. I am also worried about the CL portion, since I only had one CL class! Well... good luck to you!!
    I'm taking the exam at a testing center in princeton. The Ncsorb test has you working on a "virtual" keratometer, slit lamp, lensometer and pupilometer. I praticed with them and find that it is very limited use. The slit lamp does so much more in the real world. I'm curious how the test will really be since you have limits with the virtual equipment and how accurate it is. I've been studying hard since I didn't have contacts in school when I went in the 80's and it has been 20+ years since I took the NCLE. I am totally clueless on what they expect you to know. Like I said earlier... I am getting very vague responses on what to expect. I still have no idea if they will be using any of the formulas.

  9. #9
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    The reason you're getting vague responses about what's on the exam is probably due to the fact that it is a relatively new exam in FL and not many people have taken it yet. From the people that I've talked to you, they studied just the basic formulas like Prentice's rule, vertex distance for spectacle vs contact lenses, & vertical imbalance. They said the eyeglasses portion was fairly easy. If you're not familiar with contact lenses, you will need to re-study some NCLE material & familiarize yourself with the slit lamp & keratometer. Message me if you have any other questions. Good luck!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FL-Opt View Post
    The reason you're getting vague responses about what's on the exam is probably due to the fact that it is a relatively new exam in FL and not many people have taken it yet. From the people that I've talked to you, they studied just the basic formulas like Prentice's rule, vertex distance for spectacle vs contact lenses, & vertical imbalance. They said the eyeglasses portion was fairly easy. If you're not familiar with contact lenses, you will need to re-study some NCLE material & familiarize yourself with the slit lamp & keratometer. Message me if you have any other questions. Good luck!
    Thank you for the response. I will study up on those formulas and refamiliarize myself with the rest. Very frustrating going into unknown territory. I think Florida should have instituted some kind of study guide when they began this new testing system. It's like driving in the dark without your lights on.

  11. #11
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    I'm sure it is very frustrating! It's frustrating for us already licensed to help our employees and those we've apprenticed to become Licensed Opticians because we don't have a clue what's on the exam. I've heard that even the state board doesn't have access to the new exam either. Nobody in state leadership knows exactly what's on the exam and there have only been a few dozen candidates to pass it since it was implemented, so therefore they haven't really come up with a study guide or review course yet. It's all controlled by NCSORB, in hopes that once an examinee takes the NCSORB exam, he/she can apply for licensure in multiple states and not have to re-take individual state exams. I think it's headed in the right direction but has hit a few big speed bumps along the way. Give us your feedback after you take it please, even if you don't pass all parts, I'd like to know what to tell others to study. Thanks!

  12. #12
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    I recently took my FL license and didnt pass the practical portion !! Does anyone know of any good websites which has the online stimulators? i would really appreciate any help......

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjacob View Post
    I recently took my FL license and didnt pass the practical portion !! Does anyone know of any good websites which has the online stimulators? i would really appreciate any help......
    mjacob,
    There are no "practice simulators" available that I know about that will be anything like the virtual ones on the state board, besides the one that NCSORB allows you to practice using when you sign up for the state board. You may try doing some YouTube video searches for "Slit Lamp" or "Biomicroscope" and "Keratometer" or "Keratometry" to familiarize yourself with the instruments. The only way to make sure you pass is to practice first-hand using a slit lamp and a manual keratometer. Ask to shadow a doctor (for at least 10 patients) and let them know that you have to know the following to pass the FL state board exam:
    1. how to take K readings using a manual keratometer,
    2. evaluate the basic fit of contact lenses (soft & RGP)
    3. recognize ocular pathology associated with contact lens wear (GPC, corneal ulcers, corneal abrasion, fluorescein staining patters, etc.)
    4. how to use a slit lamp (which illumination to use to check the fit and identify staining patterns)

    From what I've heard from previous test takers, if you try to take it again without doing any of the steps above, you will most likely not be very successful at passing.
    If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me. Hope this helps and good luck!

  14. #14
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    I recently took and passed the ncsorb for florida. The only simulators to practice on are on the ncsorb web site. My advice is to practice as much as possible on them or use the actual equipment. The simulators are not realistic at all. The slit lamp was the hardest...not sure how I passed it other then I memorized how to set it up for all situations. I couldn't find what they were asking for but I suppose because I knew how to set it up correctly I passed. It was the most nerve wrecking test I have taken to date. I do not how see how Florida thinks that it is an appropiate test for new licenses.... completely UNREALISTIC!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FL-Opt View Post
    mjacob,
    There are no "practice simulators" available that I know about that will be anything like the virtual ones on the state board, besides the one that NCSORB allows you to practice using when you sign up for the state board. You may try doing some YouTube video searches for "Slit Lamp" or "Biomicroscope" and "Keratometer" or "Keratometry" to familiarize yourself with the instruments. The only way to make sure you pass is to practice first-hand using a slit lamp and a manual keratometer. Ask to shadow a doctor (for at least 10 patients) and let them know that you have to know the following to pass the FL state board exam:
    1. how to take K readings using a manual keratometer,
    2. evaluate the basic fit of contact lenses (soft & RGP)
    3. recognize ocular pathology associated with contact lens wear (GPC, corneal ulcers, corneal abrasion, fluorescein staining patters, etc.)
    4. how to use a slit lamp (which illumination to use to check the fit and identify staining patterns)

    From what I've heard from previous test takers, if you try to take it again without doing any of the steps above, you will most likely not be very successful at passing.
    If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me. Hope this helps and good luck!
    Thanks FL-Opt!! I will surely try that. I think i'll have to use youtube videos since i'm not working at the moment. I hope to pass it next time !!!
    Mary Jacob
    AS, ABO-C, NCLE-C

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by nasticsmom View Post
    I recently took and passed the ncsorb for florida. The only simulators to practice on are on the ncsorb web site. My advice is to practice as much as possible on them or use the actual equipment. The simulators are not realistic at all. The slit lamp was the hardest...not sure how I passed it other then I memorized how to set it up for all situations. I couldn't find what they were asking for but I suppose because I knew how to set it up correctly I passed. It was the most nerve wrecking test I have taken to date. I do not how see how Florida thinks that it is an appropiate test for new licenses.... completely UNREALISTIC!
    CONGRATS !!! Did u study anything else besides the stimulaters?? i would really appreciate any help... thanks
    Mary Jacob
    AS, ABO-C, NCLE-C

  17. #17
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    I am currently studying for the Florida state boards. I have System for Ophthalmic Dispensing but I have the second edition. Does anyone have the 3rd edition? I want to review the specific chapters and pages recommended but my book pages are different due to the difference in the edition. The recommended chapters/pages are: chapter 3, chapter 15 pg349, ch 19 pg435, ch 20 pg455. I have tried looking up what these chapters go over and have been reading the book. (it's a really great book and I am glad to add it to my collection).
    Thank you for any help or advise you may offer.

  18. #18
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    I am currently studying for the NCSORB. I agree with practicing as much as possible. This feels very different on a simulator than what we do on a daily basis. I appreciate all that have given me suggestions and encouragement!

  19. #19
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    Wow,, you need to all that to be an optician in Florida? I have been an optician in PA for 9 years.. In Pa there is no licensing. But I did apprentice here for almost a year before taking over the optical department.. My husband and I are moving to Florida in 2-3 years and I was hoping to get a job as an optician there.. But holy smoke, that is a lot to do..

    Well now that I think about this,, I am do ordering,, adjustments,, fittings, etc.. I do not cut lenses,, so maybe I am just a dispensing tech?? So I would not need to be licensed?
    Last edited by brendajm; 05-06-2016 at 09:12 AM.

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