Top Florida MSN Programs

Updated July 12, 2022 · 6 Min Read

Consult our guide to RN-to-MSN programs in Florida, which can lead to an array of rewarding and lucrative positions in clinical practice, nursing administration, leadership, and education.

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Top Florida MSN Programs

Master of science in nursing (MSN) programs prepare registered nurses (RN) for higher level positions with more autonomy and greater salaries, such as nurse practitioner (NP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), nurse midwives, nurse educators, or nurse administrators.

This guide to the best MSN programs in Florida can help you find the right option for your career goals.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best MSN programs in Florida, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Keep reading to learn more about MSN programs in Florida, or go straight to our list of the top Florida MSN programs.

How Do Florida MSN Programs Work?

MSN programs usually take two years of full-time study. If you have a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), admissions are straightforward. If you have an associate degree in nursing (ADN), many programs, including some of the top Florida MSN programs, offer RN-to-MSN bridge programs.

The curriculum includes advanced topics in practical nursing, nurse leadership, anatomy and physiology, and informatics. Advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) programs include courses in health assessment, pharmacology, and other topics to prepare you for your new scope of practice, including ordering tests, diagnosing conditions, and prescribing treatment.

Like ADN and BSN courses, MSN programs include clinical placement.

Featured Online MSN Programs

Applying to an MSN Program in Florida

The best MSN program in Florida for you depends on your goals and MSN specialty, background, and experience. Admission requirements are higher at top Florida MSN programs, due to the volume of applications.

1. Admission Materials

At least two references who can speak to your nursing ability or aptitude, criminal background check with fingerprinting, application (including a personal statement or essay), curriculum vitae or resume

2. GPA Requirement

3.0, though some programs require or strongly prefer a 3.2 or higher

3. License/Degree Requirements

BSN (bridge programs do not require this), current and unencumbered nursing license (or you must earn this as part of a bridge program)

4. Other Requirements

Typically at least one year experience as an RN

Why Is MSN Program Accreditation in Florida Important?

Nursing program accreditation is an extensive evaluation of a program to determine how well it prepares its graduates to practice nursing safely and effectively. An impartial group of evaluators, including practicing nurses and nurse educators, reviews the program's curriculum and student outcomes, such as grades and board certification scores.

They also look at faculty and staff background and qualifications, quality of the teaching, and school facilities, such as libraries and computer systems. While it is not a guarantee of school quality, it is a close equivalent.

The best MSN programs in Florida are accredited, and this website only lists accredited programs. Few employers consider graduates of unaccredited programs; no accredited schools will accept their transfer credits.

If you are going to invest time and money into an MSN degree, make sure you invest safely by attending an accredited program.

Learn More About the Top Florida MSN Programs and Schools

#1

University of South Florida-Main Campus

School Information
Location Tampa, Florida
Admission Rate 48%
Graduation Rate 75%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of South Florida in Tampa offers an online MSN. Tracks for this degree include pediatric health nursing, adult-gerontology primary care nursing, family health nursing, adult-gerontology primary care nursing/occupational health, and concurrent MPH/MSN adult-gerontology primary care nursing.

USF doesn’t offer a full-time online MSN program. Its part-time online MSN is flexible, designed for working students. The degree entails on-campus requirements for all labs, clinical practicums, and lectures. This hybrid course schedule usually requires campus visits 1-2 times per week.

  • Program: Master of science in nursing
  • Campus: Tampa, Florida
  • Type: Public 
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and Commission (SACSCOC), Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $348/credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN; either a current, unencumbered Florida RN license or conditional admission contingent upon obtaining a Florida RN license; background check; drug screening.
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $97,850
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#2

Florida State University

School Information
Location Tallahassee, Florida
Admission Rate 36%
Graduation Rate 83%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Florida State University offers an online master of science in nursing. Concentration offerings include nurse educator, nurse manager/leadership, and an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP) certificate track. Other nurse practitioner concentrations, such as the family nurse practitioner track, are only available at the doctoral level at FSU. 

The AGACNP track emphasizes adult acute care nursing. Students who complete the program qualify to sit for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program exam and to care for adults in critical care settings. The curriculum includes online classes, on-campus lab time, simulation exercises, and clinical practicums. 

  • Program: Master of science in nursing
  • Campus: Tallahassee, Florida 
  • Type: Public 
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $444/credit (in state), $1,076/credit (out of state)
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited program; C or higher grade in statistics and health assessment; GRE or MAT scores
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24-36 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.7% first-time pass rate
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#3

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

University of Central Florida, in Orlando, offers a master of science in nursing. The graduate program allows RNs to increase their annual earnings and pursue advanced career paths such as nurse educator or nurse manager. It also gives full-time working students a flexible schedule.

Learners can choose among full-time, part-time, and accelerated formats. Concentration offerings include nursing and healthcare simulation, nurse educator, and nursing leadership and management.

  • Program: Master of science in nursing
  • Campus: Orlando, Florida
  • Type: Public 
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $370/credit (in state); $1,194/credit (out of state)
  • Admission Requirements: either a BSN degree from a program accredited by either ACEN or CCNE or completed prerequisites; a current, unencumbered RN license 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24-36 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.6% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $91,360
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#4

University of North Florida

School Information
Location Jacksonville, Florida
Admission Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of North Florida, in Jacksonville, offers a BSN-to-MSN program entailing 31-35 credits. Two concentrations are available: nursing education and leadership and administration.

Both tracks require a capstone. The nursing leadership track involves a capstone in nursing leadership and administration worth three credits. The nursing education program requires a capstone in nursing education requirement, also worth three credits. 

  • Program: Master of science in nursing
  • Campus: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Type: Public 
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $175/credit (in state), $655/credit (out of state)
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited institution with an AACN-based nursing curriculum; at least one year of RN experience; a current, unencumbered RN license.
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18-24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $126,500
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#5

Florida Atlantic University

School Information
Location Boca Raton, Florida
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Florida Atlantic University offers a master of science in nursing with several concentration offerings. The program offers on-campus and online delivery formats plus flexible scheduling for working professionals. The MSN program ranges from 33-49 credits depending on the concentration.

Concentrations include adult/gerontological nurse practitioner, advanced holistic nursing, family nurse practitioner, nurse educator, and nursing administration and financial leadership. Each concentration entails its own credit requirements.

  • Program: Master of science in nursing
  • Campus: Boca Raton, Florida
  • Type: Public 
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $372/credit (in state), $1,027/credit (out of state)
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited institution and a nursing program accredited by NLN or CCNE; GRE/MAT scores if the GPA is below 3.0; a current, unencumbered RN license 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Some concentrations are fully online, but in-person clinical practicums are required
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $90,060
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#6

Florida Gulf Coast University

School Information
Location Fort Myers, Florida
Admission Rate 67%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Florida Gulf Coast University offers a nurse educator master of science in nursing. Students can choose either a full-time or a part-time schedule. Learners can also choose among on-campus, online, and hybrid delivery formats. Students learn advanced nursing and leadership skills, plus expertise required for academic nursing education careers. 

The curriculum follows the core standards recommended by the NLN (National League of Nursing) and focuses on the development of nursing curricula, class instruction, evaluation, and other nurse faculty skills. This 38-credit course requires a capstone project and an educator practicum.

  • Program: Nurse educator master of science in nursing 
  • Campus: Fort Myers, Florida 
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $373/credit (in state), $1,301/credit (out of state)
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited program; current, unencumbered RN license; at least one year of RN experience
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18-24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $148,660
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#7

The University of Tampa

School Information
Location Tampa, Florida
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 58%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 0% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Tampa offers a master of science in nursing program with the choice of two concentrations for nurse practitioner certification. UT's MSN program is a flexible, part-time program for working students. The curriculum covers topics such as holistic assessment, cultural awareness, and teamwork in the healthcare setting.

Concentration offerings include adult/gerontology nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner. Both comprise 42 credits and qualify graduates to sit for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners certification program exam. Required practicums entail a minimum of 224 hours in a variety of specialized and general healthcare facilities.  

  • Program: Master of science in nursing 
  • Campus: Tampa, Florida
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $683/credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited institution; current RN licensure
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18-24 months (full time), 36 months (part time)
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $97,960
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#8

Florida Southern College

School Information
Location Lakeland, Florida
Admission Rate 52%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Florida Southern College in Lakeland offers a master of science in nursing with four concentration offerings. Concentrations include nursing administrative leadership, nurse educator, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, and family nurse practitioner.

Some concentrations are available 100% online. Others are hybrid and call for some campus visits.

  • Program: Master of science in nursing
  • Campus: Lakeland, Florida
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $610/credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited college or university and an ACEN- or CCNE-accredited nursing program; active, unencumbered RN licensure; drug screen and criminal background check
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes, for some concentrations
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $97,960
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#9

Palm Beach Atlantic University

School Information
Location West Palm Beach, Florida
Admission Rate 95%
Graduation Rate 57%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Palm Beach Atlantic University offers a master of science in nursing-health systems leadership program. The curriculum emphasizes biblical and theoretical studies and teaches students the skills required for advanced practice nurses to work in leadership roles.

The program entails 36-39 credits, comprising seven core nursing courses and three electives. Learners must complete two clinical practicums as well. 

  • Program: The master of science in nursing-health systems leadership
  • Campus: West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $950/credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA; unencumbered RN licensure; one year of RN work experience
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18-24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 87.5% first-time pass rate
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#10

St. Thomas University

School Information
Location Miami Gardens, Florida
Admission Rate 55%
Graduation Rate 43%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

St. Thomas University offers two MSN tracks. The psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner track is flexible and online, covering topics like psychopathology, assessment, and pharmacology. The family nurse practitioner track, also online, prepares learners to work as primary care providers in family healthcare settings.

  • Program: Master of science in nursing
  • Campus: Miami Gardens, Florida 
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $550/credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a 3.0 cumulative GPA from an accredited nursing school; unencumbered RN licensure; criminal background check; drug screening
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 54.2% first-time pass rate
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Frequently Asked Questions About MSN Programs in Florida


What should I look for in an MSN program in Florida?

The first things to look for are accreditation and whether it offers the degree program you want, such as an APRN, nurse educator, or nursing informatics specialization. The top Florida MSN programs represent good value for the cost and have a high employment rate among new graduates.

Which school in Florida has the highest NCLEX pass rate?

Among BSN programs with 50 or more graduates taking the exam, Florida Gulf Coast University and the University of Tampa both had a 100% NCLEX-RN pass rate.

These figures are from 2018, the most recent available. Among ADN programs with 50 or more graduates, Lake-Sumter State College had the highest NCLEX-RN pass rate, also at 100%.

Can I bridge an ADN to MSN in Florida?

Some of the best MSN programs in Florida offer an RN-to-MSN option. These programs usually take three years of full-time study. You must have a current and unencumbered license to apply, and typically at least a 3.0 GPA, as well as at least one year of experience.

How much do MSN programs in Florida cost?

In-state tuition at public universities typically ranges between $325 and $400 per credit hour. For example, the University of Southern Florida charges $431 for Florida residents. Private colleges charge considerably more. Nova Southeastern, for example, charges $712 per credit hour.

Fees at public schools are higher for out-of-state students. The University of West Florida charges $377 per credit for Florida residents and $1,037 for nonresidents, for example.


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