Best Florida Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

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Updated November 4, 2022

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Florida is fast becoming one of the most attractive states for nurse practitioners (NP). Projections Central predicts more than 9,500 job openings by 2030.

Nurse practitioner programs are your pathway to a potentially satisfying career as a highly skilled and sought-after healthcare professional.

Knowing how to choose from the variety of available programs can be confusing, especially since their successful completion requires a significant investment of time, money, and personal resources.

This ranking guide will help you make an informed choice through a review of the top 10 Florida nurse practitioner programs, admission requirements, the importance of program accreditation, and what you can do in your career once you have earned a graduate nurse practitioner degree.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best ADN-to-MSN (RN to NP) bridge 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, and program offerings.


At a Glance: The Top 7 Florida Nurse Practitioner Programs

  • 1. Jacksonville University
  • 2. The University of Tampa
  • 3. Nova Southeastern University
  • 4. Florida International University
  • 5. Barry University
  • 6. University of Miami
  • 7. Florida Southern College


Keep reading to learn more about the key factors to consider when choosing a program or go straight to our ranking of the best Florida nurse practitioner programs.

Using Our Rankings: What to Look For in an Florida Nurse Practitioner Program

The following key metrics contribute to our overall ranking of the best Florida NP programs. By using these measures to evaluate programs of interest to you, you can feel more confident in making a choice that’s right for you.

1. Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for each school will be fairly similar. Some key differences may influence which programs are more attractive, like overall GPA and requirements for previous clinical experience.

2. Specializations

When choosing between NP programs, focus on the specializations. For example, if you’re interested in either adult-gerontology or pediatrics, you can immediately rule out Florida nurse practitioner programs that don’t offer these focuses.

3. Clinical Experience

All NP programs require clinical hours, yet each school’s approach may be different. Some programs offer robust assistance with finding appropriate clinical placements, and others may leave the arrangement of clinical placements completely in your hands.

Another factor that could influence your choice of programs is the number of required clinical hours, which may vary from 500 to 1,000 hours.

4. Accreditation

Nurse practitioner program accreditation is a crucial factor to consider. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) are the two most widely accepted accrediting bodies for nursing programs. All nurse practitioner board certifications require that you attend an accredited program to be eligible for examination.

5. Program Length

Program length may vary significantly enough to make a difference, especially if you’re juggling work, parenting, or other personal or professional responsibilities.

Full-time programs lasting 24-30 months are not uncommon, and some part-time Florida nurse practitioner programs may take as long as 36 months to complete.

6. Board Certification Pass Rate

The student pass rate of various nurse practitioner board certification exams is a direct reflection of the quality of education at a particular school. A consistently low annual pass rate may signal that the education that school provides isn’t properly preparing students for successful board exams and subsequent clinical practice.

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Why Is Florida Nurse Practitioner Program Accreditation Important?

Accreditation of Florida nurse practitioner programs is central to the potential success of your education and your career. Note that every program included in our rankings is accredited.

Both the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) are the certifying bodies.

Attending an NP program that lacks lacks accreditation can have serious consequences, including:

  • Ineligibility for certification exams
  • Credits not transferring when applying for further education (e.g.: Ph.D. or DNP)
  • Being passed over by certain employers
  • Lack of access to financial aid
  • Difficulty transferring your nursing license to another state

Learn More About the Best Florida Nurse Practitioner Programs & Schools

See our methodology to learn more about how we create our rankings.

#1 Best Florida Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

Jacksonville University

  • Jacksonville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The Keigwin School of Nursing at Jacksonville University offers nurse practitioner programs in Florida, with specialties in adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

Students can choose from either a part-time or full-time track. Coursework includes nursing research and theory, organization, policy, leadership, and information systems, in addition to courses specific to each concentration. The programs also include advanced training in health assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner; MSN - family nurse practitioner; MSN - psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Jacksonville, FL
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $650 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), National League for Nursing (NLN), or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN); valid Florida registered nurse (RN) license; GRE score of 290 or higher; 3.0 GPA; undergraduate statistics course; minimum of one year of professional nursing experience
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
Average Tuition
In-state
$38,140
Out-of-state
$38,140
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
92%
Students Enrolled
4,164
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Florida Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

The University of Tampa

  • Tampa, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The University of Tampa offers a master of science in nursing (MSN) with specializations in adult-gerontology and family health. Both are structured as part-time programs to accommodate working students.

The adult-gerontology program requires a minimum of 42 credits, while the family nurse practitioner program requires 49 credits. Both programs necessitate 3-4 clinical practicums, each comprising 224 practice hours. Practice hours take place in a variety of primary care and specialty healthcare facilities.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - family nurse practitioner; MSN - adult-gerontology nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Tampa, FL
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $683 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution, valid Florida RN license, minimum one year of direct patient care RN experience within the last five years
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
Average Tuition
In-state
$27,990
Out-of-state
$27,990
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
45%
Students Enrolled
9,628
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
0% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Florida Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

Nova Southeastern University

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing at Nova Southeastern University offers master of science in nursing (MSN) programs in adult-gerontology, family health, and psychiatric mental health. Each program requires the completion of 51 credit hours, with coursework varying between online and on campus at the university's Miramar and Tampa Bay Regional campuses.

All MSN students complete classes in theory and research, evidence and practice, policy and leadership, and health promotion and disease prevention. Students also take courses in advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, and health assessment.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - adult-gerontology acute care; MSN - family nurse practitioner; MSN - psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): SACSCOC
  • Tuition: $750 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from a program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (CNEA), ACEN, CCNE, or NLN; valid Florida RN license; 3.0 GPA; live within 150 miles from the campus
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 15 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.7%
Average Tuition
In-state
$31,150
Out-of-state
$31,150
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
20,576
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Florida Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Florida International University offers specialties in adult-gerontology primary care, pediatric primary care, family health, and psychiatric mental health. Each program focuses on global health systems, health/illness management, evidenced-based practice, scholarship and research, and professional nursing as they apply to the students' chosen specialty.

Students must also complete between 630 and 770 clinical hours depending upon their program. 

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner; MSN - pediatric primary care; MSN - family nurse practitioner; MSN - psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Miami, FL
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $28,280 per program for Florida residents; $50,970 per program for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from a program accredited by the NLN or CCNE, valid Florida RN license, 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 30 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.7%
Average Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,711
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Florida Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

Barry University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Barry University offers nurse practitioner programs in family health and adult-gerontology acute care. Completing the family nurse practitioner program requires 49 credits, while the adult-gerontology program requires 51.

In the first year, students complete courses in advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology, health assessment and diagnosis, health promotion and disease prevention, and the philosophy/theory of nursing before focusing on their specialization.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - family nurse practitioner; MSN - adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Miami, FL
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $990 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution, valid RN license, minimum of one full year of clinical experience, 3.0 GPA, completion of an undergraduate nursing research and statistics course
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 30 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 87%
Average Tuition
In-state
$29,700
Out-of-state
$29,700
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
7,401
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Best Florida Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

University of Miami

  • Coral Gables, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The School of Nursing and Health Studies at the University of Miami offers programs in adult-gerontology acute and primary care and family nurse practitioner. The university offers a full-time and part-time track for each program.

The adult-gerontology acute care track comprises 37 credits and can be completed in 12-18 months. The adult-gerontology primary care track includes 35 credits. Students take 37 credits to complete the family nurse practitioner program in 12-24 months.

Learners in each program complete courses in pharmacology, pathophysiology, and health assessment and diagnostic reasoning in their first semester before focusing on classes specific to their specialization.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner; MSN - adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner; MSN - family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Coral Gables, FL
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $45,290 per program for family nurse practitioner and adult-gerontology acute care; $42,840 per program for adult-gerontology primary care
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from a program accredited by the NLN or CCNE, minimum of one year of clinical experience, undergraduate statistics course, 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12-24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98.5%
Average Tuition
In-state
$50,400
Out-of-state
$50,400
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
27%
Students Enrolled
17,811
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Best Florida Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2022

Florida Southern College

  • Lakeland, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Florida Southern College offers programs in adult-gerontology primary care and family health. The adult-gerontology program consists of 41 credit hours and 540 clinical practice hours, while the family nurse practitioner program comprises 47 credit hours and 660 clinical practice hours.

Both specialties require 22 credit hours in a core curriculum that includes advanced pharmacology, pathophysiology, and health assessment; leadership and advocacy; evidence translation and quality improvement; health promotion and clinical prevention; and informatics and healthcare technologies.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner; MSN - family nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Lakeland, FL
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $610 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from a program accredited by CCNE, CNEA, or ACEN; completion of undergraduate courses in health assessment, nursing research or evidence-based practice, and statistics or biostatistics courses with a "C" or better, valid Florida RN license; 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24-30 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.4%
Average Tuition
In-state
$36,860
Out-of-state
$36,860
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
52%
Students Enrolled
3,305
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Applying to a Nurse Practitioner Program in Florida

Every Florida nurse practitioner program may be slightly different in terms of its admissions process, so doing some research is definitely a must. Here are examples of several programs’ admission requirements.

1. Admission Requirements

  • A BSN from an institution accredited by either CCNE or ACEN
  • Successfully passing an undergraduate statistics course
  • Holding a valid RN license in the state or county where you practice
  • Submitting an application form, residency form, recommendations, essay/personal statement, and resume
  • 1-2 years of clinical nursing experience
  • Application fee

2. Admission Materials

Applicants may need to submit a resume, personal essay or statement of intent, letters of reference from academic, professional, or clinical supervisors, and proof of RN licensure.

What Can You Do With a Degree from a Florida Nurse Practitioner Program?

Florida nurse practitioner programs prepare graduates for careers as highly valued advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). These programs may provide education for any or all of the currently nationally approved nurse practitioner specialization areas.

The degree offered by NP programs is a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a specific clinical specialization. These programs can take anywhere from 30 - 40 months to complete, depending on whether you are enrolled part- or full-time.

There are multiple areas of clinical specialization for students getting a nurse practitioner degree to choose from, including:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP-BC)
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGACNP-BC)
  • Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP)
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP-BC)
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP-BC)
  • Primary Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-PC)
  • Acute Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-AC)
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC)

In Florida, total NP employment in 2021 was 14,880, with a median annual salary of $120,680 and an average annual salary of $118,040, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average hourly rate for Florida NPs was $50.40, and projected job growth between 2020 and 2030 is a robust 70.8%. Top Florida metro areas for average NP salary are:

  • Sebring: $121,460
  • Port St. Lucie: $119,280
  • Gainesville: $114,390
  • Panama City: $112,920
  • Cape Coral - Ft. Meyers: $111,690

Frequently Asked Questions About Nurse Practitioner Programs in Florida


How long is NP school in Florida?

Most NP programs in Florida take 2-3 years for a full-time student with a bachelor's degree in nursing to complete. Some programs offer an accelerated online option that allows nurses to earn their MSN in about 18 months. There are also accelerated nursing options for individuals who do not have an undergraduate degree in nursing.

How long does it take to get an NP license in Florida?

To become an NP in Florida, you need to hold a valid nursing license and a master's degree. Depending on the path you take to your master's degree, it often takes about six years to qualify for the license. That includes 3-4 years to earn a bachelor's and an additional 2-3 years of study for the MSN.

What skills do you learn in NP school in Florida?

Common skills that are likely to be learned during your education within any Florida nurse practitioner program include:

  • Advanced physical assessment
  • Taking a comprehensive patient history
  • Accurately entering patient data and clinical documentation into an electronic medical record (EMR)
  • Conflict resolution
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Therapeutic communication
  • Mental health evaluation
  • Advanced understanding of pharmacology
  • Advanced understanding of pathophysiology and the diagnostic process
  • Procedural skills (e.g.: joint injections, pelvic exams, skin biopsies, suturing)

What financial aid options are available for NP schools in Florida?

Financial aid and scholarships for nurse practitioner students can include a variety of sources that are worthy of robust research, including, but not limited to:

  • Scholarships from private and civic organizations (e.g.: Rotary Club)
  • Scholarships from nursing associations (e.g.: National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Indian Health Service)
  • Federally funded student loan programs
  • Federally funded grant programs
  • Alumni-funded scholarships

Page Last Reviewed: October 24, 2022

Note: The ranking list and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by our Rankings Team.


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