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The 10 Best Hospitals for Nurses in Florida

Gayle Morris, BSN, MSN
by
Updated March 1, 2023
    The best hospital choices for nurses in Florida offer career advancement and professional development. Consider these top 10 hospitals.
    Credit: SDI Productions / Getty Images

    Florida boasts beautiful beaches and weather, a thriving economy, and a booming population. There are 349 hospitals in Florida; 45 are government healthcare institutions and 155 are privately owned.

    We ranked the top 10 best hospitals in Florida for nurses based on specific criteria and methodology explained below. Factors include patient satisfaction, hospital safety, Magnet status, staffing ratios, and ratings from two nurse reviewers.

    The hospitals were ranked according to data gathered from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital General Information, and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program.

    From this data, we identified the top 20 hospitals and then trimmed the list to 10 based on nursing career opportunities, benefits, and workplace environment. Each of these factors included a list of criteria that contributed to the ranking and were 25% of the final scoring.

    Florida’s population was the fastest growing in 2022, growing by roughly 320,000 between 2021 and 2022. This included not only retirees but also working-age people who sought to relocate. If you are considering a move to the Sunshine State, or are looking for new opportunities to grow your career, you’ll want to review the top 10 best hospitals to work as a nurse in Florida.

    The Top 10 Hospitals for Nurses in Florida

    1. Mayo Clinic Florida

    • Career Opportunity: Above Average
    • Nurse Benefits: Above Average
    • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Communication Score: 94
    • Patient Experience Score: 95
    • Safety Measures Better Than the National Average: 4

    Final Score: 94.2

    Jacksonville, FL

    Mayo Clinic Florida ranks in the top 15 hospitals for nurses in the U.S. The hospital has a Magnet designation from the ANCC, which identifies hospitals that provide excellent healthcare and invest in the nursing staff.

    The Magnet designation identifies the opportunity nurses have to advance their careers. The hospital offers tuition reimbursement for advanced degrees and certifications. Mayo Clinic also has a year-long nurse residency program for newly licensed nurses. The nursing department works on team-based care where nurses are considered vital members of the team. Nurses at Mayo Clinic participate in shared decision-making both on the unit and within the department.

    They are given the opportunity to lead and participate in evidence-based nursing practices as well as partner with interdisciplinary teams to drive change toward improved patient outcomes. Mayo Clinic supports nursing research and has doctoral-prepared nurses that lead and partner in studies to address patient care. The hospital is focused on improving the workplace environment for nurses, including offering stress management programs to help reduce burnout.

    2. Sarasota Memorial Hospital

    • Career Opportunity: Above Average
    • Nurse Benefits: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Work Environment: Above Average
    • Nurse Communication Score: 91
    • Patient Experience Score: 90
    • Safety Measures Better Than the National Average: 2

    Final Score: 90.4

    Sarasota, FL

    Sarasota Memorial Hospital is among the best hospitals in Florida for nurses. It was first designated with Magnet status in 2003, and they have a 5-star rating from CMS. The hospital values its nursing staff and offers benefits that include standard medical and dental insurance, as well as bereavement leave, childcare, credit union, employee health service, and a tobacco-free campus.

    Throughout the year the hospital recognizes performance, values, and years of service for individual staff members; employees have a discount program at local hotels, dining, and attractions. The employee assistance program offers confidential counseling services and support for financial and legal issues, as well as life coaching.

    The hospital is one of the largest public healthcare systems in Florida and offers specialties in heart, vascular, cancer, neuroscience, and orthopedics. Nurses have the opportunity to work within a network of outpatient centers, physician practices, and skilled nursing. The hospital boasts more than 8,000 staff, which makes it the county’s largest employer.

    3. Tampa General Hospital

    • Career Opportunity: Above Average
    • Nurse Benefits: Above Average
    • Nurse Work Environment: Above Average
    • Nurse Communication Score: 91
    • Patient Experience Score: 88
    • Safety Measures Better Than the National Average: 3

    Final Score: 87.9

    Tampa, FL

    Tampa General Hospital first received Magnet status in 2005. They have a CMS 4-star rating and are ranked 5/5 in career opportunities, work environment, and benefits by our nurse reviewers. They have a nationally validated nurse residency program for newly licensed nurses and those who have less than one year of experience in an acute care hospital.

    The comprehensive healthcare facilities serve dozens of counties and a population of over 4 million. They have 1,040 licensed beds and more than 8,000 employees. The hospital is the region’s largest teaching hospital and has been affiliated with the University of Southern Florida since the early 1970s.

    As one of the best hospitals to work as a nurse in Florida, it is the only level one trauma center and one of two American Burn Association-verified adult and pediatric burn centers in Florida. The hospital is also one of the top organ transplant centers. It has a designated comprehensive stroke center and a 32-bed neuroscience intensive care unit. The hospital offers generous compensation and its nursing specialties give nurses a unique opportunity to grow their skills and advance their careers.

    4. AdventHealth Orlando

    • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Benefits: Slightly Below Average
    • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Communication Score: 91
    • Patient Experience Score: 88
    • Safety Measures Better Than the National Average: 6

    Final Score: 85.6

    Orlando, FL

    AdventHealth Orlando is another Magnet-designated hospital with a 4-star CMS rating. The hospital boasts over 100 different specialties practicing across 300 locations supported by 80,000 employees. AdventHealth Orlando offers a nurse residency program for new graduates to help them bridge the transition from academics to clinical practice.

    The residency program combines nursing clinical simulations with evidence-based content proctored by skilled nurse preceptors. The hospital also stresses clinical advancement and recognition for specialty training and unit-based credentials. Nurses have access to a professional excellence program that helps develop leadership, clinical excellence, and evidence-based practice.

    The nursing leaders at AdventHealth Orlando are more than administrators. They’re also experts in practice, care management, performance Improvement, and clinical operations. The nurses are team members who have the flexibility to work contract assignments or float within the AdventHealth System across nine states.

    5. Baptist Health Doctors Hospitals

    • Career Opportunity: Above Average
    • Nurse Benefits: Above Average
    • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Communication Score: 88
    • Patient Experience Score: 87
    • Safety Measures Better Than the National Average: 0

    Final Score: 85.3

    Coral Gables, FL

    Baptist Health Doctors Hospital is a Magnet-designated institution with a 5-star CMS rating. The hospital opened its doors to the community in 1949 offering general and specialized medical services. These include sports cardiology, robotic and minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, pulmonary care, and sports medicine.

    Patients who are seen in the emergency department are provided with a high-tech, high-touch approach.

    Nurses have the choice of working within many specialties and are encouraged to advance their education and achieve certification in their specialties. They have a generous sign-on nursing bonus, tuition reimbursement, food discounts, and housing assistance. Our nurse reviewer says the hospital offered “the best employee benefits package I have seen in any of the Florida hospitals.”

    The hospital’s reputation for clinical excellence is driven by a four-part model including transformational leadership, structural empowerment, exemplary practice, and integrating new knowledge, innovations, and improvements.

    The hospital recognizes the nursing staff for their patient-centered care during the pandemic that allowed patients and families to stay connected.

    6. Baptist Health Medical Center Beaches

    • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Benefits: Average
    • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Communication Score: 92
    • Patient Experience Score: 92
    • Safety Measures Better Than the National Average: 1

    Final Score: 84.2

    Jacksonville, FL

    Baptist Medical Center Beaches first achieved its Magnet designation in 2007 and is one of the best hospitals in Florida for nurses. The hospital is Jacksonville’s largest employer with more than 10,000 people committed to caring for patients’ health. New graduate nurses may enroll in the nurse residency program that helps nurses transition from school to clinical practice.

    The hospital is committed to offering nurses the opportunity to advance their careers. They offer tuition reimbursement, parental/guardian leave, and employer-sponsored health insurance. They maintain several Flex Teams, which are a group of nurses who work across the healthcare system. This offers nurses maximum flexibility, excellent compensation, and a variety of patients.

    There are four specialty Flex Teams including general, cardiovascular, emergency department/intensive care unit, and labor and delivery. Baptist Health Medical Center Beaches is focused on providing a diverse and inclusive workplace. To foster this they have several employee resource groups that help recognize and celebrate differences while encouraging understanding and growth.

    7. Gulf Breeze Hospital

    • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Benefits: Above Average
    • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Communication Score: 93
    • Patient Experience Score: 91
    • Safety Measures Better Than the National Average: 0

    Final Score: 84.1

    Gulf Breeze, FL

    Gulf Breeze Hospital is a nonprofit organization with a 5-star CMS rating. The hospital looks for team members with specialized talents to help support the growth and development of the healthcare institution. They are committed to developing and maintaining a diverse and inclusive nursing workforce. The hospital champions diversity and works toward creating an environment that is responsive to the community, patients, customers, and employees.

    Incorporating diversity in governance, leadership, and operational positions, the hospital seeks to treat employees fairly and maintain an organization that contributes to quality and customer satisfaction. Gulf Breeze Hospital has been providing care for roughly 40 years using advanced technology and experienced specialists inside the personalized environment of a community hospital.

    The hospital has a strong employer-sponsored health insurance program that is available to the staff after 30 days of employment. Nurses can use the CVS clinic with no copay for them or their eligible dependents.

    The hospital values advanced education and offers nursing school tuition reimbursement for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral nursing degrees. Nurses can access free certification programs and a new nurse residency program.

    8. Baptist Hospital

    • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Benefits: Above Average
    • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Communication Score: 91
    • Patient Experience Score: 87
    • Safety Measures Better Than the National Average: 3

    Final Score: 84

    Pensacola, FL

    Baptist Hospital is part of the Gulf Breeze Hospital System. Nurses are offered the same opportunities and benefits across the health centers. Baptist Hospital prides itself on its dynamic team members who help administer care throughout the system.

    Christian heritage and family values are the core culture of the Baptist Healthcare System. The purpose of the hospital is to help families understand lifestyle changes, improve preventive measures, and apply physician-directed care. Community outreach is an important aspect of the hospital’s culture. Nurses are encouraged to partner with the community and lead collaborative, community-wide movements.

    Nurses are involved in professional governance and the hospital maintains a professional recognition program for clinical excellence in nursing practice. Baptist Healthcare Foundation supports the work of the hospital’s team members through programs and leading-edge technology.

    9. Baptist Medical Center Nassau

    • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Benefits: Average
    • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Communication Score: 91
    • Patient Experience Score: 90
    • Safety Measures Better Than the National Average: 0

    Final Score: 82.4

    Fernandina Beach, FL

    Baptist Medical Center Nassau received its first Magnet designation in 2007. The hospital has a 5-star CMS rating. Baptist Medical Center Nassau is part of the Baptist Health System. To help fill the nursing shortage, Jacksonville University and Baptist Health teamed up to create an accelerated second-degree nursing program.

    The 12-month program hopes to address the need for qualified nurses in northeast Florida. The hospital offers a new graduate nursing residency program to help nurses transition from student to licensed registered nurse (RN). The opportunity for career advancement is available throughout a nurse’s career.

    Whether through leadership or advanced clinical practice, Baptist Medical Center seeks to ensure that nurses have the opportunity for career growth and to improve patient outcomes. They offer a competitive pay package inside a nursing-centric organization and boast diverse units and settings to attract new nurses.

    10. Lee Memorial Hospital

    • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Benefits: Slightly Above Average
    • Nurse Work Environment: Average
    • Nurse Communication Score: 90
    • Patient Experience Score: 88
    • Safety Measures Better Than the National Average: 4

    Final Score: 82.1

    Fort Myers, FL

    Lee Memorial Hospital has a 4-star CMS rating and has been providing healthcare to the community since 1916. They are the final in the top 10 best hospitals to work as a nurse in Florida. Their mission is to deliver exceptional care and service by attracting qualified healthcare professionals.

    In an effort to address the nursing shortage, the hospital offers a licensed practical nurse (LPN) to RN residency program to help raise the number of LPNs who go on to complete their RN. The program requires a commitment to finish an RN program within three years.

    The hospital also offers an RN residency program to give new graduates a customized approach to their first year of bedside nursing. New graduates work with a clinical coach who is committed to their success.

    The hospital routinely holds in-person hiring events, which include hiring incentives such as sign-on bonuses and relocation assistance. The relocation assistance can include a housing allowance for six months to help you get settled in the area. Nurses who are seeking greater flexibility may be interested in the available PRN or part-time opportunities throughout the system.

    Methodology and Limitations

    The best hospitals for nurses in Florida are ranked according to data from the HCAHPS, CMS Hospital General Information, ANCC Magnet Recognition Program, as well as individual ratings according to a two-person nurse panel.

    The HCAHPS Patient Survey is a random survey of hospital patients who have been recently discharged. Our ratings incorporate data on hospital nurse communication scores and overall patient experience scores. Nurse communication and patient experience scores are each weighted as 10% of final scoring. Data was accessed on August 11, 2022.

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital General Information provides overall hospital ratings based on as many as 50 measures across five groups, including mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, and timely and effective care. Our ratings incorporate data on overall hospital ratings and the number of hospital safety measures better than the national average. Overall hospital ratings are weighted as 20% of final scoring. Safety measures better than the national average are weighted as 15% of the final scoring. Data was accessed on August 11, 2022.

    The ANCC Magnet Recognition Program is designed to identify healthcare organizations that display excellence in nursing leadership, structural empowerment, professional practice, innovation, and empirical quality of care. Hospital Magnet status is weighted as 20% of the final scoring. Data was accessed on August 11, 2022.

    The top 20 hospitals in Florida based on the above criteria were then ranked on three specific nursing career factors to determine the final list of top 10 hospitals. This criteria includes nursing career opportunity, nursing benefits, and nurse workplace environment. A two-person panel of nurses reviewed each hospital’s career information and resources to determine a rating on a 5-point scale of below average to above average. The nurse panel includes Elizabeth Clarke, FNP, MSN, RN, MSSW and Brandy Gleason, MSN, MHA, BC-NC. All three factors were averaged and weighted as 25% of final scoring.

    Factors contributing to a hospital’s career opportunity score include:

    • Competitive salaries
    • Sign-on bonuses
    • Residency or fellowship programs
    • Training and education programs
    • Continuing education
    • Opportunity for advancement or career advancement programs
    • Recognition or awards in nursing
    • Nursing specialties
    • Equal employment policies

    Factors contributing to a hospital’s benefits score include:

    • Vacation and paid time off
    • Retirement
    • Insurance
    • Flexible scheduling
    • Loan repayment
    • Childcare
    • Family planning benefits
    • Wellness programs

    Factors contributing to a hospital’s work environment score include:

    • Staffing levels, nurse-to-patient ratios, or policies
    • Experienced nurse leadership
    • Safety measures
    • Technology and resources
    • Facility quality

    The final score represents a weighted average of each of the above criteria.

    This data relies on publicly available information and data sets. Individual nursing experiences at each hospital may vary among nursing units and roles.