It can be challenging to choose the top Florida nursing school. Finding a school that helps its students get licensed and succeed after graduation is the first step. NCLEX-RN pass rates are an excellent indicator of this. We analyzed current and historic NCLEX-RN “pass rates”, or the percentage of graduates who pass the exam, to determine the top nursing schools in Florida. The state has 150 RN programs. All programs leading to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) are considered.
Best nursing schools in Florida
University of Miami
School of Nursing and Health Studies faculty and administration at the University of Miami are cognizant of the fact that the health care industry is undergoing profound change. UM is one of the best nursing schools in Florida, so once you graduate, you’ll be ready to take on any new medical challenge or development.
Students learn essential clinical skills in the school’s Simulation Hospital, which also simulates what a vulnerable patient might experience during transfer from an outpatient clinic or emergency room to a hospital ward. The Simulation Hospital at the nursing school is so accurate in recreating this patient flow that it has become a go-to for the development and testing of mass casualty protocols across the state of Florida. After students have mastered the art of patient care, they can choose from more than 170 different clinical partners located all over the greater Miami area. Australian, Brazilian, Chilean, Dominican, Haitian, Indian, Mexican, Spanish, and Taiwanese students can all take part in international healthcare immersion programs.
At the University of Miami, all incoming freshmen are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships based on their academic achievements, so there is no need to fill out a separate scholarship application. There are no nursing-specific scholarships available through the School of Nursing and Health Studies, but the school does provide a list of external scholarship sources that students are encouraged to explore. After filling out the FAFSA, students will be considered for need-based grants and other forms of financial aid.
University of Florida
According to “U.S. News and World Report,” the University of Florida is home to the fifth best undergraduate nursing program in the country. The graduate nursing program at the College of Nursing is also reliably in the top 10 percent. This nursing program is one of the largest in Florida, with 700 undergraduates and 370 graduate students enrolled. This college is one of six at the University of Florida devoted to the health sciences, so its students can interact with those from the colleges of dentistry, health professions, medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine.
The College of Nursing at UF has been supported by organizations like the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Science Foundation, the John A. Hartford Foundation, and the Health Resources and Services Administration for its research endeavors. The Health Professions/Nursing/Pharmacy complex is 173,000 square feet, and its dedicated building houses classrooms, simulation laboratories, and a 500-seat auditorium. Clinical rotations can be completed at any of the central Florida area’s acute care hospitals or community health centers, including UF’s Health Shands Hospital.
There are 26 undergraduate nursing scholarships and 20 graduate nursing scholarships available at UF. The eligibility requirements for each scholarship vary. Awards vary by criteria such as academic achievement, financial need, and demonstrated interest in a particular area of nursing. Applying for federal financial aid through the FAFSA can also open doors for nursing students.
University of South Florida College of Nursing
One of the nursing programs in Florida that is well-known for its research is USF’s College of Nursing. Research in areas such as cardiovascular health, cancer prevention and management, chronic illness, caregiver support, and biobehavioral mechanisms are sources of great pride for the college. The National Institutes of Health awarded more money to the college than to any other Florida college or university in 2017. In a 2,000 square foot, high-tech biobehavioral lab, nursing students are encouraged to explore their individual areas of interest.
Originally, students enrolled in a 3-year diploma program designed to staff Gordon Keller Memorial Hospital. The USF Health system now includes it, and interprofessional education and collaboration are given a lot of attention. Students learn the skills they’ll need to provide care to patients through simulation exercises and then hone those skills through clinical rotations at local hospitals like Tampa General, Shriner’s, and the James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital. In addition to domestic health care rotations, students may also take part in international rotations in Panama, St. Croix, and Scotland.
In order to apply for one of the many available scholarships or fellowships at the University of Southern Florida, you must first activate your USF NetID. Although there is not a dedicated financial aid office at the College of Nursing, the USF Health, Office of Financial Aid will be happy to assist you in applying for scholarships. Scholarships are given to students who demonstrate exceptional ability and financial need. A FAFSA form can be used to apply for federal grants and funding for nursing students.
University of Tampa
The Department of Nursing at the University of Tampa could provide the education you need to become a competent health care generalist. The Graduate and Health Sciences Building, which contains the department, is a six-story, 91,000-square-foot structure. Students in the university’s new Physicians’ Assistant program have access to the same state-of-the-art digital anatomy lab and hospital room simulation lab that nursing students use. The university’s simulation lab is one of the first places second-year nursing students learn to use.
Once they’ve mastered the fundamentals, nursing students in the Tampa area can participate in clinical rotations at any one of more than 120 local hospitals, clinics, universities, and private practices. Students at UT receive training in both the scientific foundations of nursing practice and the practical application of those foundations in the form of clinical skills, but they also learn to communicate effectively and develop a dedication to the teamwork that is essential to delivering high-quality care.
Six nursing undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Tampa are eligible for the university’s nursing scholarships. After submitting a FAFSA and a Florida Residency Affidavit, students may be eligible for federal and state grants, loans, and work-study programs.
Florida Gulf Coast University
Nursing students in Florida have excellent educational and professional opportunities at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers. Students in the undergraduate nursing program spend most of their time in clinicals. Internships and primary care positions are available to graduate students. Students can also take advantage of the school’s high-fidelity assessment lab.
Florida International University
University of Florida International is in Miami. Evidence-based practice and research are hallmarks of the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences’s curriculum. The school’s goal is to provide students with a realistic learning environment through the use of technology and simulation.
Keiser University – Ft. Lauderdale is an excellent option for any student interested in pursuing a nursing degree. Keiser University – Ft. Lauderdale is a private, non-profit institution that serves a sizable student body in Fort Lauderdale, a city of about the same size as Miami. Keiser University – Ft. Lauderdale is an excellent school all around, as evidenced by its Best Colleges ranking of #266 out of 2,241 institutions across the country.
In the most recent data year, approximately 1193 nursing students graduated from Keiser University – Ft. Lauderdale. Graduates of nursing programs have reported starting salaries of $67,825 on average.
University of Central Florida
UCF is a public university with a large student body, and it is located in a sizable Orlando suburb. With a Best Colleges ranking of #173 out of 2,241 institutions, UCF is among the best in the country.
In the most recent data year, approximately 907 nursing students graduated from UCF. University of Central Florida nursing graduates have a starting salary $5,405 higher than the average college graduate.
University of South Florida – Main Campus
USF Tampa, which can be found in the city of Tampa, is a public university with a sizable student body. As the #221st best university in the country out of 2,241 institutions, USF Tampa is highly regarded.
In the most recent available data year, USF Tampa had about 803 nursing students graduate with this degree. Nursing graduates from USF’s Main Campus earn an average of $19,126 more in their first year out of college than their peers who earned degrees from other institutions.
Florida State University
The nursing program at Florida State University in Tallahassee strives to produce experts in the fields of patient care, scientific inquiry, and academic administration. Originally founded in 1851 as Florida State College, the university’s College of Nursing dates back to 1950. This university is consistently ranked in the top 100 nursing schools in the country by “U.S. News and World Report,” and it has rigorous admissions requirements: incoming nursing students must have a 3.5 or higher GPA, and upper division transfer students must have a 3.78 or higher GPA.
Vivian M. Duxbury Hall is where students attend classes, and the entire top floor is devoted to a simulation laboratory where they can practice skills like inserting intravenous lines and suctioning. Clinical rotations are available at places like Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Capital Regional Medical Center, Florida State Hospital, Archbold Medical Center in Thomasville, Georgia, and local county health departments. The Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Center for Research and Evidence Based Practice is based out of the nursing school and conducts fieldwork with the goal of improving patient outcomes.
Seventeen nursing students have been awarded scholarships through this institution. To be considered for these awards, students must submit their requests for financial support directly to the College of Nursing. Students in their junior, senior, or graduate years are eligible to apply for the New Alumni Ambassadors Award. The University’s Office of Financial Aid is responsible for managing federal student aid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to apply for federal student aid, including scholarships.
Jacksonville University, widely regarded as one of the South’s finest educational institutions, provides all the amenities one would expect from a prestigious private institution. Jacksonville University’s nursing students have a lot of choices, despite the high price tag. Jacksonville also offers a conventional BSN program in addition to a convenient online RN-to-BSN track. On-campus RNs who are interested in advancing their education to the graduate level have the option of enrolling in the school’s accelerated Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program.
Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University has remarkably low tuition for a private, non-profit institution, and most students also qualify for financial aid. The flagship of Nova Southeastern University’s School of Nursing is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. You have the flexibility to finish this program in either Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, or Miami. Nursing students at Nova have many options for advanced degrees as they prepare for professional careers.
University of North Florida
The University of North Florida is located in Jacksonville, a city rich in history, and is another institution of the Florida public school system. A little more than ten years ago, the nursing school at the University of North Florida was chosen as the institution’s flagship program. As a result, there are now four different graduate degree paths in addition to the four different BSN paths, one of which is accelerated. Nursing students at UNF receive unrivaled support, and the school’s low in-state tuition rates make it an attractive option for residents of Florida.
Florida is one of the best places to find nursing work in the country. However, if you want to increase your chances of landing a high-paying job, you should get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an approved program. You’ll be well on your way to becoming an RN and having a long and fruitful career in nursing once you finish your BSN.