The Best Florida Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

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Nurse practitioners fill an important gap in the healthcare system, taking on responsibilities in between a registered nurse and physician. In many states, including Florida as of spring 2020, nurse practitioners can work independently. That means nurse practitioners do not need a collaborative or supervisory agreement with a physician to meet with patients, diagnose illnesses, and prescribe medication.

Nurse practitioners also earn high salaries in Florida. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurse practitioners in Florida earn an annual mean wage of about $101,510. That’s more than double the amount of the annual mean wage of $47,750 for all occupations in Florida.

Individuals can follow their career goals by enrolling in nurse practitioner programs in Florida, also called master of science in nursing (MSN) degrees. Many students prefer to enroll in online nurse practitioner programs in Florida, which give them the flexibility and convenience of studying and watching lectures in their own home.

If pursuing an online nurse practitioner program in Florida appeals to you, the section below lists the best schools in the state.

Read about our ranking methodology here.
Advertisement NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

Best Florida Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Rank School Location
1 The University of West Florida Pensacola, FL
2 Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Tallahassee, FL
3 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL
4 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
5 St. Thomas University Miami Gardens, FL
6 AdventHealth University Orlando, FL
  1. The University of West Florida
    Location

    Pensacola, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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%
  2. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
    Location

    Tallahassee, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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%
  3. Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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%
  4. Nova Southeastern University
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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%
  5. St. Thomas University
    Location

    Miami Gardens, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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%
  6. AdventHealth University
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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%

Applying to an Online Nurse Practitioner Program in Florida

In terms of admission requirements, online programs do not differ much from on-campus nurse practitioner programs in Florida.

Unless students enroll in a direct-entry MSN program, applicants should possess RN licensure. Many programs require candidates to apply with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. However, RN-to-MSN programs also accept students with associate degrees in nursing.

Minimum GPA requirements vary, although applicants usually need to earn a minimum undergraduate GPA ranging from 2.5-3.0. Work experience expectations also differ. Some schools prefer candidates with 1-2 years of experience, while others allow students to enter straight after finishing their BSN programs. Applicants may need to submit GRE or MAT scores, as well.

Finally, nurse practitioner schools in Florida may also require prospective students to submit personal essays, recommendation letters, and their resumes.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

    For students who pursue the traditional pathway, it takes about six years to become a nurse practitioner in Florida; this includes obtaining a four-year BSN and a two-year MSN. However, many students might take alternative routes. Some RNs with an associate degree might work for a few years and then enroll in an RN-to-MSN program. People without nursing backgrounds could pursue direct-entry MSN programs and become nurse practitioners in just a few years.

  • What is accreditation and why is it important?

    Accreditation agencies evaluate higher education institutions and academic programs to ensure that students receive a quality education that properly prepares them for their careers. All students should look out for accredited programs — nursing professionals especially. Nursing licensure requires candidates to possess an accredited degree, and employers look for applicants with an accredited degree, as well.

  • Is a nurse practitioner a good job in Florida?

    According to the BLS, Florida has the fourth-highest employment of nurse practitioners in the U.S. with over 12,000 professionals working in the field. BLS figures also show that the Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach area ranks among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the country. Over 3,500 nurse practitioners work within that region.

  • What can I do as a nurse practitioner in Florida?

    Nurse practitioners in Florida can now offer primary care practice to patients without an attending doctor — a relatively recent development after the state government passed full practice authority legislation in spring 2020. This means that nurse practitioners can independently practice family medicine, general pediatrics, and general internal medicine.