Best Florida Nurse Practitioner Programs

March 4, 2022 , Updated on May 10, 2022 · 6 Min Read

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

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Best Florida Nurse Practitioner Programs

Florida is fast becoming one of the most attractive states for nurse practitioners (NP). Not only is it the fastest-growing occupation in the state, but demand is expected to increase significantly. More than 7,500 job openings are predicted by 2029.

Recent changes to laws about the scope of practice for NPs also make Florida an attractive option for nurses. Since 2020, NPs who specialize in primary care can practice autonomously.

With that in mind, now is a good time to enroll in an NP program in Florida and start on the path to an advanced degree. The following guide will help you explore your options and select the best program for your goals.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best NP 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 the best NP programs in Florida, or go straight to our list of the best Florida NP programs.

Featured Online MSN Programs

How Do Nurse Practitioner Programs in Florida Work?

NP programs in Florida lead to a master of science in nursing (MSN). They include both classroom instruction and clinical experience, which can often be completed at the same facility where a nurse is currently employed.

Coursework and clinical rotations focus on a specific concentration, such as pediatrics, family medicine NP, adult-gerontology, psychiatric and mental health NP, women's health, or neonatal.

The typical NP program takes 2-3 years to complete with full-time study. Curriculums vary, with most requiring between 30-50 credit hours and up to 600 hours of hands-on clinical experience.

The cost also varies, from around $300 per credit hour to more than $700 per credit hour for tuition and fees.

Applying to NP Programs in Florida

Most NP programs in Florida prepare working nurses to move into more advanced patient care roles while still allowing them to continue in their current positions. Advanced coursework in nursing, leadership, and related subjects equip nurses to work independently and provide high-quality, advanced care.

Although specific program requirements vary, the minimum qualifications for admission typically include the following.

  • Admission Materials: Many programs require applicants to pass an undergraduate statistics course. Other commonly requested admission materials include a resume/curriculum vitae, personal statement, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Some programs also require an interview.
  • GPA Requirement: Most Florida nurse practitioner programs require a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Licenses and Years of Clinical Experience A current, unencumbered Florida nursing license and 1-2 years of clinical experience are required.

Why Is NP Program Accreditation in Florida Important?

Choosing an accredited NP program is critical for several reasons, not the least of which are accessing financial aid for nursing school and qualifying for employment. Attending a nonaccredited program can keep you from advancing your degree or career.

Accreditation ensures that the program meets the standards established by the accrediting agency. It makes certain that students receive a high-quality education that prepares them to practice as an NP.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing accredit NP programs. The exceptions are nurse midwife and nurse anesthetist programs, which are accredited by other organizations. Accreditation is granted based on the program curriculum, instructor qualifications, student outcomes, and other aspects of the program.

All of the programs highlighted in this ranking are accredited.

Learn More About the Best Nurse Practitioner Programs and Schools in Florida

#1

Jacksonville University

School Information
Location Jacksonville, Florida
Admission Rate 92%
Graduation Rate 52%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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
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#2

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.

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
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#3

Nova Southeastern University

School Information
Location Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 58%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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%
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#4

Florida International University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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%
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#5

Barry University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 35%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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%
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#6

University of Miami

School Information
Location Coral Gables, Florida
Admission Rate 27%
Graduation Rate 83%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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%
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#7

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.

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%
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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 typically 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?

NP schools in Florida prepare nurses to provide high-quality healthcare to specific populations. This includes learning how to apply evidence-based research, use technology and informatics to streamline care, advocate for healthcare improvements, and collaborate with other providers to support the best possible outcomes.

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

Nurses have several options to help cover the cost of NP school. Many employers offer tuition assistance and repayment programs for nurses who want to advance their education. Nurses who work for designated organizations may qualify for education loan forgiveness from the Florida Department of Education.

Scholarships are also available from various organizations, including the Florida Nurses Association. The organization also awards research grants to qualifying students.


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