Puerto Rico provides several opportunities to study nursing, but the only two AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing) member schools are Turabo University in Gurabo and the Universidad de Puerto Rico, with campuses in San Juan and Mayaguez. The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. lists the Colegio Universitario de San Juan, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico in Ponce, Universidad Adventista de Las Antillas in Mayaguez, Ryder Memorial Hospital, Inc. and at least seven other teaching facilities as accredited for nursing programs. The Inter American University of Puerto Rico is the largest private institution on the island and in all of the Caribbean. In 1944 it became the first institution to be accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. They offer nursing programs with specialties in focuses such as anesthesia and in acute care. Most of these programs are situated in San Juan and other larger cities and towns throughout Puerto Rico.
Statewide, the average salaries for LPN, RN and specialty nurses range between $14,000 and $79,000 annually, depending upon degree earned, years in the field, expertise and size of the health facility. There are approximately twelve hospitals and medical centers and two medical systems located in Puerto Rico. Sistema de Saluc Metropolitano (SSM), under the name of Metropolitan Health Community Services, is the force to reckon with on this island and beyond. SSM operates eight hospitals in Puerto Rico under the Metropolitano and Pavia Health Management names, plus ten satellite clinics, pharmacies, labs and a radiation oncology center. Pavia Health, Inc. continues to expand beyond its facilities located in Fajardo, Santurce, Mayaguez and Santurce. SSM expanded beyond the island to acquire a 150-bed hospital in Miami in 2006, and they plan to expand further into U.S. Puerto Rican neighborhoods, such as the one in Orlando. Outside the SSM system, Hospital Auxilio Mutuo is Puerto Rico’s largest medical center with over 400 beds and acute medical/surgical capabilities.