TopNursingSchools
In Florida, aspiring registered nurses can enroll into an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or an entry-level Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program, which is designed for students who have no undergraduate training. There are also bachelor’s degree tracks or bridge programs designed for current working nurses; for example, RNs that wish to earn a four-year degree can pursue an RN-to-BSN program, and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) can enroll into an LPN-to-RN program. In addition, some schools offer accelerated RN training programs meant for aspiring nurses who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field.

Nurses with a bachelor’s degree can pursue an advanced practice Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Nurses pursuing an MSN degree have the opportunity to specialize in a specific advanced practice nursing profession, such as nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife or nurse practitioner. Moreover, MSN students pursuing nurse practitioner training get the opportunity to choose a sub-specialization, such as adult gerontology acute care, women’s health or mental health. Graduate nursing students in Florida interested in furthering their education and career can pursue a clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program, or a research-driven Doctor of Philosophy in nursing (Ph.D.).

In Florida, aspiring RNs and LPNs must earn a degree from a state-approved and nationally accredited nursing program. Graduates can then sit for the NCLEX-RN exam or the NCLEX-PN exam. Those looking to become a nurse practitioner must earn a master’s degree or higher and acquire national certification in a specific advanced practice nursing area.

Below are the profiles of the top 10 nursing schools in Florida. Some of the best nursing schools, according to U.S. News.

1. University of South Florida

Tampa, FL
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University of South Florida

The University of South Florida (USF) is a public school, which is accredited by the Commission on Colleges, that is home to over 45,000 students. The College of Nursing at USF is one of the 12 colleges in the university’s network, and offers BSN (four year), accelerated BSN (second degree), RN-to-BSN, MSN, an MSN program for students without BSN degrees, RN-to-MSN, DNP, and PhD in nursing. It made it to the top of our list because of its reasonable cost of attendance, high NCLEX pass rate, and high ratings by various college and university ranking bodies. The school ranks among the top 25 nursing schools nationwide receiving research funding from the National Institutes of Health. In 2008, USF College of Nursing achieved a remarkable100% pass rate on the NCLEX. Full-time tuition for the master’s programs at the school is $348 per credit (in-state) and $772 per credit (out-of-state). Undergraduate tuition and fees for 2012-2013 was $6,334 (in-state) and $16,257 (out-of-state). The school has 26 full-time faculty members (both tenured and tenure-track). The master’s students/full-time faculty is 14:1, while the school’s acceptance rate stands at 55.1%. USF College of Nursing has an application fee of $30 for US residents and an application deadline of Feb 3.

2. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL
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University of Florida

A public, coed college, the University of Florida offers generic BSN, accelerated BSN, DNP, BSN-to-DNP, MSN-to-DNP, BSN-to-PhD, PhD in Nursing, and post-master’s certificate programs. These programs are accredited by the CCNE. The school is home to over 737 students and 70 faculty members based in two campuses; but it’s worth noting that the student body is constantly expanding, thanks to distance learning and web-based curricula. Undergraduate full-time tuition and fees for 2012-2014 academic year was $6,143 (in-state) and $28,420 (out-of-state). Graduate tuition for the full-time master’s degree programs as the college is: $528 per credit (in-state) and $1, 253 per credit. The number of graduate faculty members who are tenured or tenure-track is 16, while the master’s students/full-time faculty ratio is 2:1. UF College of Nursing has an application deadline for master’s programs of Dec 31 as well as an application fee of $30 for US residents.

3. Florida International University

Miami, FL
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Florida International University

Florida International University (FIU), located in Miami, is great school if you want a lot of degree programs to choose from. FIU Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ wide variety of nursing program offerings includes: generic or traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, RN/MSN degree program for foreign educated nurses, MSN degree programs, DNP, PhD in nursing, BSN-to-PhD, and post-master’s certificate programs. The school has more than 1,800 students currently enrolled, and full-time faculty of 75. Annual undergraduate tuition and fees for 2012-2013 academic year stood at: $6,417 (in-state) and $18,816 (out-of-state). Tuition for the full-time master’s programs at FIU CNHS is: $13,783 (in-state) and $24,873 (out-of-state) per year. FIU CNHS has 9 full-time graduate faculty members that are tenured or tenure-track. The master’s students/full-time faculty ratio is 36:1. FIU CNHS has an application fee for master’s programs of $95 for US residents and an application deadline of Feb 15.

4. University of Miami

Coral Gables, FL
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University of Miami

University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies offers traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD in Nursing, BSB-to-PhD, MSN-to-PhD, clinical nurse education certificate programs for nurses holding a BSN, and overseas study opportunities. UM School of Nursing and Health Studies ranks No. 2 in Florida and No. 25 in the U.S., making it one of the best nursing schools in the state. In 2010, 100% of the school’s Certified Nurse Anesthesia, Master of Science students passed their State Boards exam at their first attempt. Over 90% of BSN students at UM School of Nursing and Health Studies passed the NCLEX-RN at their first attempt. The tuition for master’s programs at U of M School of Nursing and Health Studies is: full-time $40,700 per year. There are 42 full-time graduate faculty members at the school who are either tenured or tenure-track. The master’s students/full-time faculty members ratio is 3:1. For master’s programs, there is an application fee and an application deadline which are $65 and April 1, respectively.

5. Florida Atlantic University (Lynn)

Boca Raton, FL
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Florida Atlantic University (Lynn)

Located in Boca Raton, Florida Atlantic University is a public school that is home to approximately 25,200 students enrolled within its different programs with about 1,600 students enrolled in its College of Nursing. The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at FAU is a state-of-the-art facility that offers a full range of nurse education programs, which include: traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, RN-to-BSN, BSN/MSN dual degree, traditional MSN, MSN bridge program, PhD in nursing, and post-master’s certificate programs. It has an NCLEX pass rate of 93.30%, and has a reasonable undergraduate tuition of $6,039 (in-state). Tuition for master’s programs is $13,783 (in-state, full-time) and $24,873 (out-of-state, full-time) per year. The FAU Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing has 9 full-time graduate faculty members that are either tenured or tenure-track. The master’s students/full-time faculty ratio is 36:1, while the graduate school’s acceptance rate is 35.4%. For master’s programs, there is an application deadline and an application fee – which are June 1 and $75, respectively.

6. University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL
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University of Central Florida

The College of Nursing at UCF offers traditional BSN, concurrent ASN-to-BSN, accelerated BSN, RN-to-BSN, ASN-to-BSN, RN-to-MSN, DNP, post-baccalaureate DNP, post-master’s DNP, PhD in nursing, and graduate certificate programs. The school’s NCLEX pass rate of 97.85% is excellent, while the undergraduate tuition of $212 per credit (in-state) and $748.89 per credit (out-of-state) is quite reasonable. Full-time tuition for master’s programs is $359 per credit (in-state) and $1,183 per credit (out-of-state) per year. The master’s/full-time students ratio is 4:1. Master’s programs at the school are taught and supervised by 19 full-time faculty members who are either tenured or tenure-track, and have an application fee of $30 for US residents and an application deadline of Feb 16. Graduate tracks at UCF College of Nursing are available online are some of the best available, ranked No. 24 on the US News & World Report’s best nursing programs rankings.

7. Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL
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Nova Southeastern University

Located in Fort-Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University is a private research-driven university. The College of nursing at NSU is home to 1,300 students that are taught by highly experienced faculty members. With several locations and teaching formats, NSU College of Nursing makes learning easy and convenient for working nurses and individuals with a busy schedule. It offers entry-level, traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, RN-to-MSN, MSN, PhD in nursing, and DNP programs. These programs are accredited by the CCNE and feature very reasonable tuition and fees. In 2012-2013 academic year, tuition for undergraduate programs was $24,414. For full-time master’s programs, tuition is $650 per credit. USU College of Nursing charges an application fee of $50 for United States residents.

8. University of Tampa

Tampa, FL
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University of Tampa

Founded in 1931, the University of Tampa is a public 4-year university that admits more than 6,800 students each year. It offers a variety of nursing programs, in addition to an array of business and liberal arts courses. These include: BSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN, and RN-to-BSN programs. All these nursing programs at UT are accredited by the NLNAC and approved by the Florida State Board of Nursing. The UT Department of Nursing has about 145 nursing students enrolled into its programs, which ensures a low student to faculty ratio so that each student can get the individualized attention that he or she needs to prepare for the NCLEX-RN exam. The school has an admirable NCLEX pass rate of 97.5%. Undergraduate tuition and fees for 2012-2013 academic year was $6,402 (in-state); and $12,570 (out-of-state). The tuition for the full-time master’s programs at the school is $558 per credit. There are 7 full-time graduate faculty members that are either tenured or tenure-track. The master’s students/full-time faculty ratio is 7:1. UT Department of Nursing has an application fee, which is $40 for US residents.

9. Florida Gulf Coast University

Fort Myers, FL
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Florida Gulf Coast University

The School of Nursing at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), which is a public school, offers BSN, MSN, and post-master’s certificate programs. These programs are accredited by the CCNE and approved by the Florida State Board of Nursing. With a teaching staff that acts as mentor, guides and much more, nursing students at FGCU School of Nursing learn through hands-on techniques to deliver top-notch nursing care that allows them to realize successful and highly satisfying careers in health care. The school’s NCLEX pass rate is 92.20%. Annual tuition for the full-time master’s programs at FGCU School of Nursing is $6,932 (in-state) and $28,170 (out-of-state). There are 39 full-time graduate faculty members that are either tenured or tenure-track. The school has an application fee and an application deadline for master’s programs – which are $30 for US residents and Dec 15, respectively.

10. Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL
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Florida State University

Founded in 1950, the College of Nursing at the Florida State University (which is a public school) trains nurses through a variety of nurse education programs including: traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, MSN, DNP, and post-master’s certificate programs. With alumni of over 7000, the school has a proven history of preparing nurses for both professional practice and nursing research in diverse settings. Tuition and fees are quite reasonable, but they must be received by the tuition payment deadline. Undergraduate tuition and fees for 2012-2013 was $6,402 (in-state) and $21,570 (out-of-state). Tuition for the full-time master’s programs at the school is $479 per credit (in-state) and $1,111 per credit (out-of-state). FSU College of Nursing boasts of 16 full-time, highly qualified graduate faculty members who are either tenured or tenure-track. The application deadline for master’s programs is April 15, and there is also an application fee of $35 for United States residents.

List of Accredited Nursing Schools in Florida

Barry University
Barry University
11300 NE Second Avenue
Miami Shores, FL 33161
Email: [email protected]du
Type : Private

Florida A&M University
Florida A&M University
103 Ware-Rhaney Building
Tallahassee, FL 32307
Email: N/A
Type : Public

Florida Southern College
Florida Southern College
111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive
Lakeland, FL 33801
Email: [email protected]
Type : Private

Jacksonville University
Jacksonville University
2800 University Boulevard N
Jacksonville, FL 32211
Email: [email protected]
Type : Private

Keiser University
Keiser University
1900 W. Commercial Blvd, Suite 100
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Email: [email protected]
Type : Private

University of North Florida
University of North Florida
1 UNF Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32224
Email: [email protected]
Type : Public

Reference and Other Sources