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Top Florida MSN Programs

| NurseJournal Staff

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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.

RN-to-MSN degrees offer the fastest route to advanced practice nursing careers, providing graduate training without having to first earn a bachelor of nursing. Campus-based or online RN-to-MSN programs provide an accelerated and affordable path to career advancement in clinical and supervisory roles in primary, preventive, and specialty healthcare fields. These bridge programs, which typically take three years or less to complete, appeal primarily to practicing registered nurses (RNs) with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or nursing diploma.

The mounting physician shortage drives the demand for nurse practitioners (NPs), a type of graduate-trained advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who performs many of the same services as doctors. Florida's expanding healthcare needs, especially among its aging population, has propelled the employment of NPs.

Projections Central expects employment for NPs in Florida to increase 36.9% between 2018 and 2028, compared to 28.2% for the entire United States. Graduates of RN-to-MSN programs who find employment as NPs in Florida can expect an average annual salary of $101,510, earning 50% more than RNs without graduate training.

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Applying to an RN-to-MSN Degree Program in Florida

Education and licensure requirements for APRNs vary by state. Students who intend to work as NPs in Florida must complete a master of science in nursing (MSN) or doctorate in nursing from an accredited program and obtain at least one certification recognized by the Florida Board of Nursing. Although specific eligibility requirements differ by school, admission to an RN-to-MSN program generally requires a valid RN license and at least one year of clinical experience.

Applicants should already hold an ADN or nursing diploma. Students typically enter the MSN program with approximately 60 credits, including nursing prerequisites in human anatomy, biology, and chemistry.

Most MSN programs in Florida accept candidates with a minimum 3.0 GPA overall and a 3.0 in the science prerequisites. Schools typically ask for official transcripts from previous programs, letters of reference, a resume, and an essay outlining educational and career goals.

Featured Online Programs

Explore the Best RN-to-MSN Programs in Florida and School Info

University of Central Florida View School Profile $$ Orlando, FL 73% 39% 57% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Established in 1868 as the Florida Technological University, UCF grew into one of the biggest universities in the United States, with nearly 70,000 students now attending each year.

UCF offers a campus-based or online master of science in nursing with three distinct specialization tracks: nursing and health care simulation, nurse educator, or nursing leadership and management. Depending on the track, the program requires 31 to 36 credits to complete. All students, regardless of specialization, must complete an evidence-based nursing project and scholarly paper.

  • Program: Master of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Orlando, Florida
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $370 per credit (in-state) / $1,194 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Admission Requirements: BSN or RN with another bachelor's, official transcripts, state nursing license, CV, three recommendations
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Not specified
  • On-Campus Requirements: Fully online (some electives may not be offered online) or fully on-campus
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.64%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
University of South Florida View School Profile $$ Tampa, FL 73% 39% 54% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

A public university established in Tampa in 1956, USF welcomes over 44,000 students every year.

USF's campus-based master of science in nursing offers six different specializations, including pediatric health, family health, and various adult-gerontology options. Credit requirements vary between specializations from 45 to 83 credits.

  • Program: Master of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Orlando, Florida
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $348 per credit (in-state) / $856 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Admission Requirements: BSN or RN with another bachelor's, official transcripts, valid nursing license, three letters of recommendation, resume, personal interview, GRE scores (highly recommended but not required), one year ICU or acute care experience (for adult-gerontology acute care specialty)
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Not specified
  • On-Campus Requirements: Fully on-campus
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.04%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Florida International University View School Profile $ Miami, FL 58% 34% 65% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Founded in 1965 and the largest university in South Florida, FIU enrolls over 50,000 students annually.

The university offers a campus-based master of science in nursing - nurse educator program. The two-year degree prepares students for certification as a national nurse educator and various other careers in health education. All students take the same courses in the same order, including testing and evaluation in nursing education, pathophysiologic concepts, and clinical teaching strategies for nursing. Students must also complete 280 clinical hours.

  • Program: Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Educator
  • Campus: Miami, Florida
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $23,882 per year (in-state) / $43,037 per year (out-of-state)
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, Florida nursing license, essay, CV, personal interview, three letters of reference
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Two years, including summers
  • On-Campus Requirements: Fully on-campus
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.74%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Florida Atlantic University View School Profile $ Boca Raton, FL 52% 35% 44% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Part of the State University System of Florida and established in 1961, FAU serves more than 30,000 students every year.

FAU offers a master of science in nursing with seven concentrations, including advanced holistic nursing, family nurse practitioner, and nurse educator. Before specialization courses, students in all tracks take core courses. Students may attend part-time or full-time, and the department offers core courses both online and on-campus.

  • Program: Master of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Boca Raton, Florida
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $372 total per credit (in-state) / $1,027 total per credit (out-of-state)
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, GRE or MAT scores (only required for GPA below 3.0), valid RN license, background check, essay, resume, one letter of recommendation
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Not specified
  • On-Campus Requirements: Partially available online
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University View School Profile $$ Tallahassee, FL 51% 64% 26% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

A historically black university founded in 1887, FAMU now welcomes over 10,000 students annually.

The university's School of Nursing offers an online or campus-based master of science in nursing with emphasis in adult-gerontology primary care. Students may attend part-time or full-time. The program prepares students for nurse practitioner licensure and certification as an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner.

  • Program: Master of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Tallahassee, Florida
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $3,651 per semester (in-state) / $9,198 per semester (out-of-state)
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0, GRE 300 (only required for GPA below 3.0), valid RN license, three references, statement of goals, full physical exam, and immunizations
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Not specified
  • On-Campus Requirements: Available fully online or fully on campus
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: Not specified
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Florida Gulf Coast University View School Profile $$ Fort Myers, FL 48% 39% 46% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Established in 1991, FGCU is the second newest member of the State University System of Florida, and enrolls more than 15,000 students annually.

FGCU offers a master of science in nursing - nurse educator program based on the National League for Nursing (NLN) framework of curriculum design, teaching, and evaluation. Students may choose whether to attend online, on campus, or in a hybrid format. Regardless of format, all students take the same courses, including advanced health assessment, advanced clinical practice for nurse educators, and global trends and practice perspectives. All students must also complete a variety of educator practice placements and a final capstone project.

  • Program: Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Educator
  • Campus: Fort Myers, Florida
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $291 per credit (in-state) / $1,174 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a GPA of 3.0 or above, unrestricted RN license, one year RN experience, resume, statement of career goals. RN-to-MSN applicants must meet additional prerequisites.
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Not specified
  • On-Campus Requirements: Available fully online, fully on-campus, or hybrid
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Jacksonville University View School Profile Jacksonville, FL 53% 49% 42% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Founded as Jacksonville Junior College in 1934, JU began awarding four-year degrees in 1959. Today, more than 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students attend each year.

JU's Keigwin School of Nursing offers a master of science in nursing program with seven separate tracks, from family nurse practitioner to nursing leadership in healthcare systems. The university also offers an RN-to-MSN program. Students may complete an MSN in as few as 18 months.

  • Program: Master of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $650 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0, active nursing license, resume, statement of intent. Slightly different requirements apply for RN-to-MSN applicants.
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Some tracks available fully online
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.97%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
St. Thomas University View School Profile Miami Gardens, FL 44% 20% 29% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

A private Catholic university established in 1961 as Biscayne College, STU now welcomes more than 4,200 students per year.

STU offers a master of science in nursing with two tracks: family nurse practitioner (FNP) or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). The FNP program runs primarily online with some in-person weekend meetings. The PMHNP program is taught entirely online. Regardless of program or format, all students take the same core courses, including advanced pathophysiology, diversity in advanced health practice, and influencing health policy. All students must also complete 500 clinical hours.

  • Program: Master of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Miami Gardens, Florida
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $550 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA, unrestricted RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Fully online or hybrid
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: Not specified
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid

Frequently Asked Questions


How long does it take to complete an RN-to-MSN program?

Most RN-to-MSN programs take between 24-36 months to complete. MSN programs in Florida typically require 60 credits or more depending on the number of credits accepted from prior coursework transferred from an ADN or nursing diploma program. The number of credits completed each semester and any additional clinical hours required for one or more specialties can extend the length of time needed to earn the degree.

What is accreditation and why is it important?

Attending an accredited nursing school ensures a quality education that provides the necessary skills to enter the workforce and determines financial aid eligibility and credit transfer. Only graduates of nursing schools accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing can obtain RN licensure or APRN certification.

What can I do with an RN-to-MSN?

RN-to-MSN programs in Florida lead to an array of rewarding and lucrative positions in clinical practice, nursing administration and team leadership, and education. NPs can expect the best employment prospects and salaries in the high-demand specialties of acute care, geriatrics, psychiatric and mental health, family care, and pediatrics.

What is the difference between an RN-to-MSN and an RN-to-DNP?

The RN-to-MSN degree trains nurses for direct clinical roles or indirect administrative roles. A doctorate, the highest degree in nursing education, provides training in clinical specialties and focuses on organization and system leadership. The RN-to-DNP, which takes 3-4 years, provides an accelerated route allowing students to complete MSN requirements while earning their doctorate.

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