Updated: November 25, 2021

Overview of Nursing Schools in Florida

  • There are 81 nursing schools in Florida. The CCNE accredits 32 nursing schools and the ACEN accredits 49 schools in Florida.
  • Typically, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) will take between 18 to 24 months to complete, and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN) will take about 4 years to complete.
  • The average NCLEX passing rate range for ADN students in Florida is between 26.28% and 97.76%.
  • The average NCLEX passing rate range for BSN students in Florida is between 64.17% and 98.69%.
  • The average annual salary for registered nurses is between $52,080 to $111,220 a year.
  • Registered Nurses (RN) throughout the country and in Florida can expect a favorable job growth of 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 which much faster than the average for all occupations.

About Nursing Schools in Florida

Florida ranks among the top states for the highest employment of nursing professions. Currently, there are more than 183,000 nurses working in various healthcare settings including hospitals, home care centres, community healthcare settings, research facilities, and so on. On average, nurses in Florida earn $70,230 annually with the most experienced professionals earning $93,500 annually. While this figure falls below the national average for the profession, the cost of living in Florida is also below the national average. With average annual job openings of 14,000, the number of nurses working in this state is expected to rise from 189,820 to 220,350 from the year 2018 to 2019. 

In addition to RNs this Sunshine State is also a great work destination for Nurse Practitioners. More than 13,000 NPs are working in Florida with those with more than 20 years of experience earning $134,230. According to the US department of labor, the number of NPs working in this warm and sunny state is projected to rise from 11,100 to 15,200 from 2018 to 2028. With the annual job opening of 1,110 NPs, it can be safe to predict that Florida needs NPs to match its needs which makes it an ideal state to work as an NP. 

However, Nurse Practitioners working in Florida only have Restricted Practice which means that the laws restrict their ability to engage in at least one element of NP practice. The state practice and licensure laws also require them to have career-long supervision, delegation or team management by another healthcare provider to provide patient care. 

Despite this, Florida is an ideal destination for RNs and NPs alike because of the plethora of opportunities that the state gives them. If you love the outdoors and sunny weather while also enjoying the benefits of low cost of living then Florida is the best place to work as a nurse.

Online Nursing Programs Liked by Florida Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities beloww.

About Nursing Schools in Florida

Nursing is a profession that requires a wide knowledge base. It covers a wide selection of variables that affect health and wellness. The nurses in Florida are knowledgeable of the multicultural influences and social issues have on health. Nurses must be prepared to provide expert nursing services, define greater responsibilities, and prove that you are ready for bigger responsibilities. This will ensure that you are providing the best nursing care to Florida residents that is possible. RN to BSN programs build on knowledge gained while working in the field and enables nurses to meet the challenges of the field head on.

In our Florida RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Florida RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of Florida, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Florida RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN Programs ADN BSN
Number of Nursing Programs 49 51
Average NCLEX Passing Rate 76.95% 86.76%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range 26.28% to 97.76% 64.17% to 98.69%

Best Ranked Nursing Schools in Florida

Best Nursing School Programs State

To help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Florida and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 48 ADN degree programs and 28 BSN degree programs in Florida. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Florida to provide our state rankings. View our methodology

Best Nursing Schools in Florida


Florida Gulf Coast University

  • 10501 Fgcu Blvd S, Fort Myers, FL - 33965-6565
  • (239) 590-1000
  • Grade: (A) 98.40%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Educator, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
Florida Gulf Coast University Marieb College's School of Nursing has an acclaimed nursing programs on campus in Fort Myers or online. Students can choose a hybrid format per their needs and residential location. The nursing programs are ACEN, ACME, CCNE and COA accredited. At this public institution, students can become
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College of Central Florida Ocala

  • 3001 SW College Rd, Ocala, FL - 34474
  • (352) 873-5800
  • Grade: (A) 97.20%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
College of Central Florida is located in Ocala, Florida.  They offer an RN program, a bridge program (an LPN to RN program) and an RN to BSN program.  The bridge program is designed for the nurse who holds an LPN license and the RN to BSN program is designed for
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State College of Florida-Manatee−Sarasota

  • 5840 26th St W, Bradenton, FL - 34207
  • (941) 752-5000
  • Grade: (A) 97.10%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
State College of Florida - Manatee - Sarasota has campuses in Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Venice, Florida.  It is the region's first and largest public college.  They offer multiple nursing programs, from an ADN program, to a BSN program to an ADN to RN and an RN to BSN program.
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The University of Tampa

  • 401 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL - 33606-1490
  • (813) 253-3333
  • Grade: (A) 96.41%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, MSN
The School of Nursing programs at the University of Tampa are top ranked. A BSN and MSN are offered on campus. These programs at this public institution are ACEN, ACME, CCNE, and COA accredited. Students – many with nursing credits - enroll in a variety of fields, including adult gerontology
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Polk State College

  • 999 Avenue H NE, Winter Haven, FL - 33881-4299
  • (863) 297-1000
  • Grade: (A) 94.10%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
Polk State College in Winter Haven, Florida has a varied RN program with several choices: a generic option (ASN), a transition option (for LPNs, paramedics and registered respiratory therapists seeking an RN degree), and an RN to BSN option. Students can elect various paths to pursue their education at this
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The University of West Florida

  • 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, FL - 32514-5750
  • (850) 474-2000
  • Grade: (A) 93.92%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN
The University of West Florida in Pensacola is a state school that offers a BSN and RN to BSN program.  These programs are CCNE accredited and open to students who hold an RN license and hold either an ASN degree or a diploma RN. This public institution follows the trend
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Tallahassee Community College

  • 444 Appleyard Dr, Tallahassee, FL - 32304-2895
  • (850) 201-6200
  • Grade: (A) 93.50%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
Tallahassee Community College is located in Tallahassee, Florida.  Tallahassee offers a variety of nursing programs; they offer a traditional ASN program and a BSN program.  They also offer an RN to BSN program and a Health Profession to RN program.  The Health Profession to RN program is designed for LPNs
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Lake Sumter State College

  • 9501 US Hwy 441, Leesburg, FL - 34788-8751
  • (352) 787-3747
  • Grade: (A) 93.40%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Students seeking a reputable public institution turn to Lake Sumter State College Nursing School, located in the picturesque town of Leesburg, Florida. They earn their nursing degree on campus. The school ranks in the state and boasts a passing rate on the NCLEX ADN as one of the highest in
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Pasco Hernando State College (Pasco Hernando Community College)

  • 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, FL - 34654-5199
  • (727) 847-2727
  • Grade: (A) 92.70%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
Pasco Hernando State College (Pasco Hernando Community College) nursing school in New Port Richey, Florida has a variety of undergraduate nursing programs, granting Associate and Bachelor  level degrees.. This public institution’s nursing school has been ACEN and CCNE accredited since 1996. PHSC’s academic programs meet community needs, positioning students to
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Valencia College (Valencia Community College)

  • 1768 Park Center Drive, Orlando, FL - 32835
  • (407) 299-2187
  • Grade: (A) 92.60%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Students wishing to pursue their nursing degree in Orlando, Florida turn to Valencia College (Valencia Community College). It is known for its bridge programs: an RN to BSN program and an "Advanced Standing Track".  The latter is a unique program designed for LPNs, paramedics, registered invasive cardiovascular specialists, and registered
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Broward Community College (Broward College)

  • 111 East Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL - 33301
  • (954) 201-7350
  • Grade: (A) 92.50%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
Fort Lauderdale, Florida is the home of Broward College, a public institution that offers an established RN program, an LPN-RN transition program and an RN-BSN program. The diverse programs in the Broward College Nursing School allow students to reach their education goals. All the programs are ACEN and CCNE accredited.
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Florida State University

  • 222 S. Copeland Street, Tallahassee, FL - 32306-1037
  • (850) 644-2525
  • Grade: (A) 92.48%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP
Nursing students come to Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida to take advantage of the nursing department’s BSN program. the graduate program is acclaimed for those seeking an advanced education. There is an accelerated BSN program for those with a bachelor's degree. The veterans BSN program targets corpsmen and medics
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West Coast University-Miami

  • 9250 NW 36th Street, Doral, FL - 33178-2431
  • () -
  • Grade: (A) 91.97%
  • Programs:
  • Award Levels:

South University-Tampa

  • 4401 N Himes Ave, Suite 175, Tampa, FL - 33614-7095
  • (813) 393-3800
  • Grade: (A) 91.86%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, Post Master's NP Certificate
South University-Tampa nursing school has a reputable Bachelor’s degree program accredited by ACME and COA. This private for-profit institution is located in Tampa, Florida. South University's degree programs prepare graduates for a career in hospitals, nursing homes and community or school clinics. Associate, Bachelor, Master, Doctoral and Post-Graduate programs are
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South Florida State College

  • 600 W College Dr, Avon Park, FL - 33825-9356
  • (863) 453-6661
  • Grade: (A) 91.10%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
Students who live or come to Avon Park, Florida appreciate the nursing programs at South Florida State College. The RN program include campus and online options and is ACEN accredited. Students can earn Associate and Bachelor level degrees. Undergraduate Programs - South Florida State College’s 11 month Practical Nursing (PN) program
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St. Petersburg College

  • 244 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg, FL - 33701
  • (727) 341-4772
  • Grade: (A) 91.00%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
Students may begin their healthcare journey at St. Petersburg College. This public institution in Clearwater, Florida offers ACEN and CCNE accredited nursing programs. The programs include: Nursing B.S.N. Degree (RN-BSN) program, Nursing A.S. Degree, Transitional Nursing A.S. Degree for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Nursing A.A. Transfer Plan. The BSN
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Additional List of Top Florida Nursing Programs

Florida Rank
86.80 St Johns River State College (St Johns River Community College) 16 ADN
86.00 The College of the Florida Keys (US70407400) 17 ADN
84.70 North Florida College (North Florida Community College) 18 ADN
84.60 Gulf Coast State College 20 ADN
84.50 Northwest Florida State College 19 ADN
83.10 Palm Beach State College Lake Worth 21 ADN
82.60 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale 22 ADN
82.30 Herzing University 23 ADN
82.00 Hillsborough Community College 25 ADN
81.90 Miami Dade Community College 24 ADN
79.70 Taylor College Belleview (US70405700) 26 ADN
78.50 Florida SouthWestern State College 27 ADN
76.40 Academy For Nursing and Health Occupations 28 ADN
74.00 Eastern Florida State College 29 ADN
73.50 Pensacola State College 30 ADN
71.20 Fortis Institute - Port St Lucie 31 ADN
70.70 Florida Gateway College 32 ADN
69.50 Chipola College 33 ADN
64.40 Miami Regional University 35 ADN
57.10 Florida National University-Hialeah 36 ADN
34.40 Concorde Career Institute-Miramar 39 ADN
88.99 Palm Beach State College Lake Worth 9 BSN
88.59 Florida Southern College 10 BSN
87.50 Nova Southeastern University - Ft. Lauderdale 12 BSN
87.31 Adventist University of Health Sciences 13 BSN
85.05 Florida State College at Jacksonville 16 BSN
84.21 Herzing University 17 BSN
82.42 Palm Beach Atlantic University 18 BSN
79.67 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale 19 BSN
72.10 Miami Regional University 21 BSN
64.14 Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University 23 BSN
57.51 College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Barry University 15 BSN

Nursing Programs Offered by Florida Nursing Schools

  • Registered Nursing: 78
  • Family Nurse Practitioner: 16
  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: 10
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: 6
  • CNL: 5
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: 5
  • Nurse Educator: 4
  • Nurse Anesthetist: 3
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: 3
  • Administration, Research or Clinical Nursing: 1
  • Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Adult Psychiatric - Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Nursing Administration: 1
  • Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing: 1
  • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: 1

Florida Nursing Schools with the Most Degree Types

Florida  RN Licensing Requirements

Before gaining licensure, prospective RNs are required to enroll in a nursing program that is approved and/or accredited by the Florida Board of Nursing. Similar to other states, Florida has an approval process for nursing programs within the state. Candidates can obtain licensure through exam, endorsement, and in some cases, through an education abroad.

RN License by Exam

Once nursing candidates have completed the educational requirements through an approved and/or accredited program by the Florida Board of Nursing, they are required to take a licensing exam. However, before a nursing candidate can have authorization to take the exam, he/she must apply to the Board. In addition, candidates must submit the following:

  • Fingerprinting completed through Livescan sent to the correct Originating Agency Identification
  • A combine and application and licensing fee of $175

When the state has reviewed the application, the candidate will be given instructions to register for the NCLEX through Pearson VUE, which costs $200. If the candidate fails to pass the exam after three attempts, he/she will need to take an approved remedial program.

RN License by Endorsement

Applicants who are already licensed in one of the other fifty states may apply for licensure through endorsement. With the application they must submit the following:

  • License verification from their current state
  • $175 check or money or paid to the order of The State of Florida

Fees for fingerprinting vary depending on the fee set by the home state. Military spouses may also apply for licensure under the same requirements but for a smaller fee. They must submit military orders and proof of marriage.

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

Candidates who were trained in a country other than the United States are not in the jurisdiction of the NSCBN and are required to complete the NCLEX exam. This does not include all Canadian RNs who took the CNATS before August 8, 1995. They may apply for licensure by endorsement. Candidates are responsible for having their education evaluated and English competency will be evaluated if the coursework was not completed in English.

Florida Board of Nursing

Department of Health
Board of Nursing
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Bin C-02
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3252

Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Florida

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Florida

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Florida and research schools in Florida offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:

Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Online NP Programs Liked by Florida Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Nursing Salaries in Florida

Nursing TypeEmploymentAvg. Hourly WageAvg. Annual Wage
Registered Nurses183,130$33$69,510
Nurse Anesthetists3,660$85$176,760
Nurse Midwives340$32$67,530
Nurse Practitioners13,010$49$101,060
LPN / LVN41,560$22$46,710
Nursing Assistants84,520$14$28,660
Source: BLS May, 2020

Nursing Salaries (RN) in Florida

Registered nurses in Florida are going through a transformation and recently proposed regulation requires RNs to complete a BSN within 10 years of graduation. There are approximately 6,800 registered nurse positions remain vacant within the state of Florida. The shortage is expected to continually decrease. It is predicted that Florida will have 50,000 full-time openings by the year 2025. A few reasons for such tremendous shortages include retiring nurses, an aging population, and the expansion of services to millions of citizens across the nation due to the healthcare reform.

Employment Outlook for RNs Through 2028 In Florida

State20182028Change% ChangeAvg. Annual Openings
Source: BLS May, 2020

Florida Registered Nursing Salaries

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area has the highest annual median wage.

Area NameEmploymentHourly WageAnnual WageEntry Level20+ Years
Cape Coral5,260$34$70,850$26$40
Homosassa Springs920$33$68,100$25$46
North Florida2,290$32$66,790$22$44
North Port6,710$34$70,240$25$42
Palm Bay4,990$33$67,600$25$41
Panama City1,230$32$66,620$22$42
Port St. Lucie4,290$33$69,320$22$47
Punta Gorda1,390$34$69,780$26$41
South Florida830$31$64,390$25$41
Tampa-St. Petersburg29,020$34$71,300$24$46
The Villages910$34$70,440$25$44
Source: BLS May, 2020

Employment Outlook for NPs Through 2028 In Florida

Area2,01820,289Change%ChangeAvg. Annl. Openings
Source: BLS May, 2020

Florida Nurse Practitioner Salaries

Area NameEmploymentHourly WageAnnual WageEntry Level20+ Years
Cape Coral440$44$91,610$14$63
Homosassa Springs70$49$100,880$41$62
North Florida220$45$93,040$28$60
North Port400$54$111,440$28$78
Palm Bay310$44$91,020$27$60
Panama City100$49$100,880$42$60
Port St. Lucie330$52$108,690$35$76
Punta Gorda150$35$72,120$16$59
South Florida60$57$119,470$41$80
Tampa-St. Petersburg2,080$47$98,750$33$63

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