The Best Florida Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

by NurseJournal Staff

Take the first step to becoming a nurse practitioner in Florida by exploring the top-ranked NP programs and schools in the state.

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

The Best Florida Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Online nurse practitioner (NP) programs lead to the master of science in nursing (MSN) degree and prepare graduates for careers as advanced practice nurses. Read on for information about choosing and applying to online NP programs in Florida, funding your education, and pursuing licensing. This guide also discusses potential salaries and the importance of accreditation.

We use our data-driven methodology to rank the top direct-entry master's in nursing programs, 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, program offerings, and online flexibility.

Keep reading to find out more about job opportunities and information on how to apply to nurse practitioner programs in Florida, or click here to learn more about the best Florida online NP programs on our list.

Featured Online Programs

What Can You Do as a Nurse Practitioner in Florida?

Nurse practitioners receive advanced nurse training that focuses on a specific patient population, such as family health, gerontology, and pediatrics. The advantages of graduating from an online NP program in Florida and working in the state include average annual salaries that exceed $100,000 and the ability of NPs to practice autonomously as primary care practitioners without the requirement of physician supervision.

In fact, NPs perform many of the same job duties as physicians in hospitals, outpatient care centers, and specialty clinics. NPs admit and discharge patients, along with managing patient care and treatment and prescribing medications.

What to Look For in an Online Nurse Practitioner Program in Florida

When researching and selecting NP programs, students should pay close attention to key metrics that will help inform their decision-making. The list below describes these points and their importance in narrowing down nurse practitioner schools in Florida.

Admission Requirements

Checking the list of admission requirements indicates whether a candidate meets the minimum requirements for applying, such as GPA, GRE scores, prior degree, or prerequisite coursework.

Program Curriculum

NP education and practice is specialization-focused, and students should ensure that programs offer concentrations or sufficient coursework and experiences in their chosen areas.

Clinical Experience

In addition to determining if programs offer clinical experience in the specialty areas students want to pursue, scheduling, location, and the number of onsite clinical hours constitute other important factors to explore.

Accreditation

Accreditation organizations regularly assess NP programs for high-quality instruction and content and compliance with state licensure and national board certification standards.

School Graduation Rate

Graduation rate indicates whether the program effectively prepares students to meet the graduation requirements outlined by the school and readies graduates for licensure and specialty certification.

Online Learning Format and Requirements

Online learning considerations include whether students can access the required technology, including high-speed internet, and function best in asynchronous (independent) or synchronous (scheduled virtual classes) environments.


Applying to an Online Nurse Practitioner Program in Florida

Applying to online NP programs in Florida requires advanced planning, which may include scheduling the GRE exam, ordering official transcripts, asking for reference letters, writing personal statements, and completing prerequisite courses. Preparing for interviews, updating resumes or CVs, and selecting writing samples may also be required.

Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN); current and unencumbered Florida registered nurse (RN) license; 3.0 GPA or higher; undergraduate transcripts; GRE score of 300 (higher for more competitive schools); 1-2 years of clinical nursing experience Program Length: 2-3 years Clinical Requirements: 500-600 hours GPA Requirement: 3.0 or higher

Why Is Program Accreditation Important?

Accreditation is a valuable factor for several reasons. Many jobs require an accredited degree, and financial aid depends on accreditation status. See below for more benefits of accreditation.

  • Accreditation ensures that students receive a high-quality education and prepares graduates for their NP licensure, certification, and jobs.
  • Unaccredited school credits may not transfer toward degrees at accredited programs.
  • Graduate programs may not accept applicants who hold degrees from unaccredited programs if an individual decides to pursue additional degrees.
  • Degrees from accredited schools and programs can lead to higher job prospects and career advancement. Many employers do not hire applicants who hold degrees from unaccredited programs.
  • Licensure and certification boards typically only credential graduates of accredited programs.
  • Students enrolled in unaccredited programs may not be eligible for federal financial aid.

Who Accredits Nurse Practitioner Programs?

Programs and institutions are accredited by different accreditation bodies. The following are key accrediting bodies for nursing programs and institutions:

How Do I Know an Online Nurse Practitioner Program Is Accredited?

Online NP programs undergo the same accreditation process as on-campus programs and are held to the same standards. The nurse practitioner schools in Florida listed in this guide, along with those described on other NurseJournal.org pages, all hold accreditation. Students can also check the links listed above for a list of accredited schools. Nursing program web pages also publish information about their accreditation status.

Paying for an Online Nurse Practitioner Program in Florida

Nurse practitioner programs in Florida can be expensive, and out-of-pocket costs vary depending on full-time, part-time, or accelerated enrollment, public or private school, in-state or out-of-state tuition, required credits and clinical hours, and whether students can work while they're attending school. However, numerous funding options do exist for students.

The websites below share information on various financial aid resources, including federal, state, and private loans, school-based and organizational scholarships, and other grant and award opportunities. Students can also look into tuition repayment programs through their employers or loan forgiveness offered by government agencies, along with work-study positions.

Learn More About the Top Online Nurse Practitioner Programs and Schools in Florida

The University of West Florida true View School Profile $ Pensacola, FL 44% 64% 63% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

This top-ranked NP school in Florida offers an online family nurse practitioner program leading to a master of science in nursing (MSN). UWF's curriculum is designed for working nurses who hold a BSN and want to advance their career.

In addition to 45 course credits, candidates complete 600 practicum hours in which they learn to assess, diagnose, and manage the health needs of families, adults, women, and children.

Multiple start dates and a flexible online platform allow distance learners to work and study at the same time. Remote learners enjoy access to library, tutoring, and technical services.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Campus: Pensacola, Florida
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Tuition: $500 per credit hour
    • Admission Requirements: BSN; minimum 3.0 GPA; current RN license; undergraduate statistics
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 27 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91%
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University true View School Profile $$ Tallahassee, FL 51% 64% 26% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

FAMU's online MSN program prepares graduates for NP careers with advanced practice nursing credentials and national certification in adult-gerontology primary care. The 42-credit curriculum focuses on the skills needed to diagnose, prescribe, and treat adult patients. Students can complete their required clinical hours at healthcare sites in their home communities.

FAMU's remote learning offers flexible course accessibility on students' schedules and interaction with faculty by phone, email, or chat platform. Core courses cover topics in professional role development, nursing theories, research methods and evidence-based practice, and health policy.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - Adult Gerontology Primary Care
    • Campus: Tallahassee, Florida
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); National Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
    • Tuition: $334 per credit hour
    • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing from an accredited program; minimum 3.0 GPA and/or minimum 300 GRE; current RN license
    • Minimum Time Commitment: Five semesters
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes, two residencies
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 63%
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale true View School Profile Fort Lauderdale, FL 65% 62% 45% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

Keiser's MSN program features a family nurse practitioner emphasis. One of the most intensive online nurse practitioner programs in Florida, Keiser prepares graduates to take the Family Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Examination. Successful students are self-directed and motivated.

The 49-credit curriculum also includes 510 precepted clinical hours. Courses survey family primary healthcare, health promotion and disease prevention, and behavioral health across the lifespan. Two weekend on-campus residencies focus on advanced assessment and an integration practicum. Students submit their own local clinical hours sites for program approval.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Campus: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Admission Requirements: BSN from a regionally accredited school; minimum 3.0 GPA; current RN license and clinical nursing experience
    • Minimum Time Commitment: Five semesters
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes, two residencies
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 86%
Nova Southeastern University true View School Profile Fort Lauderdale, FL 50% 51% 47% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

NSU houses one of the most comprehensive online advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) programs in Florida culminating in an MSN. Students choose from three concentration tracks: adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner; family nurse practitioner; or psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner.

Integrating theory and practice, each track explores policy, data analysis, and the role of the APRN. The program combines online coursework with on-site clinical experiences in students' communities, working with their population specialty areas. Applicants must reside within 150 miles of campus. Graduates emerge prepared for their national certification exams.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - APRN: AGACNP, FNP, and PMHNP
    • Campus: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Tuition: $735 per credit hour
    • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree from an accredited school/program; minimum 3.0 GPA; current Florida RN license
    • Minimum Time Commitment: Eight semesters
    • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92%
St. Thomas University true View School Profile Miami Gardens, FL 44% 20% 29% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

One of several online NP schools in Florida offering a family nurse practitioner program, STU allows students to earn a master of science in nursing with specialties in adult gerontology and child and family care.

The program explores major nursing theories, builds leadership skills, and trains nurses to effectively use technology. Students complete 47 credits of coursework, which emphasizes critical and ethical decision-making that results in high-quality, culturally-appropriate patient care. Remote learning follows an asynchronous format and comprises video lectures, reading materials, and discussion forums. Distance learners must log 500 clinical hours at a student-selected site.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Campus: Miami Gardens, Florida
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Tuition: $550 per credit hour
    • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing from an accredited school; minimum 3.0 GPA; current unencumbered Florida RN license
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 54%
AdventHealth University View School Profile Orlando, FL 30% 56% 49% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

AHU rounds out the list of the best online nurse practitioner programs in Florida, offering an MSN - family nurse practitioner degree. The 21-credit program aims to prepare FNPs in population health, pharmacology, pathophysiology, training candidates to care for adults, women, and children from a comprehensive, whole-person perspective. Two on-campus health assessment residencies augment distance learning: a five-day intensive at the course's beginning and a two-day assessment at the end.

Students complete 600 practicum hours at clinical sites. The program discourages outside full-time work during practicum enrollment. Graduates resume their careers equipped to treat patients with acute and chronic illnesses.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Campus: Orlando, Florida
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Tuition: $525 per credit hour
    • Admission Requirements: Associate degree in nursing or bachelor's of science in nursing; minimum 3.0 GPA; current, unencumbered RN license
    • Minimum Time Commitment: Five trimesters
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92%

Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Florida FAQs


How long does it take to become a nurse practitioner in Florida?

First, NPs in Florida must earn credentials that allow them to become RNs. These include a nurse diploma or an undergraduate degree in nursing, such as an associate or a bachelor's. While some graduate nursing schools accept an associate, the BSN is the more common prerequisite. Students typically spend 3-4 years earning their bachelor's degree and another 2-3 years earning an MSN.

Can NPs work independently in Florida?

In 2020, Florida's governor signed legislation allowing Florida NPs to work independently as primary care practitioners. This means that they can admit, treat, manage, and discharge patients and prescribe medication. Not all states allow NPs to practice without supervision or a collaboration agreement with a physician, even though NPs perform many of the same duties as doctors.

How much do NPs make in Florida?

The annual average wage earned by Florida NPs totals $101,060. The five highest paying metropolitan areas in the state consist of Sebastian-Vero Beach with a median annual salary of $111,940, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton ($109,430), Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford ($109,040), Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach ($108,230), and Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin ($107,420).

How do I get a Florida NP license?

NPs can apply for licensure as advanced practice registered nurses from the Florida Board of Nursing once they obtain RN licensing, earned an MSN degree or higher, passed their national certification examination, and can provide proof of professional liability insurance or an exemption, along with fingerprints for a criminal background check.

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