BSN Programs in Florida
As a state that welcomes a great number of retirees every year, Florida is one of the hardest hit by a nursing shortage, and is constantly on the lookout for capable professionals to fill a multitude of positions within the industry. Schools in Florida with BSN programs are responsible for training the next generation of registered nurses who are responsible for caring for patients in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and nursing home facilities. Throughout the state, there are more than twenty institutions with four-year BSN programs to consider, and even more RN-to-BSN opportunities to explore.
Schools with BSN Programs in Florida
- Jacksonville University is considered home to one of the most preferred nursing schools in Northeast Florida, and has earned a range of impressive accolades over the years. In addition to being ranked as one of the best colleges by the U.S. News & World Report, JU has seen a 40 percent growth in the BSN program over the last three years. Offering both an on-campus and online RN-to-BSN program to registered nurses, students will take classes at the University’s College of Health Sciences, which also provides instruction to transfer students, traditional four-year students, and applicants with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree already under his or her belt.
- In Tallahassee, students attending the BSN program at Florida State University will take classes at the school’s College of Nursing, which provides a CCNE-accredited traditional or accelerated curriculum. The traditional BSN program is a four-year program that admits students as freshmen or after an applicant has completed his or her nursing prerequisites. The accelerated BSN program is geared towards applicants who wish to become an RN, and already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. As full-time students, this campus-based curriculum is typically completed in 12 months.
- When an applicant lacks any nursing college credit, they may enter the four-year Bachelor of Science program at the University of Tampa. Once all prerequisites have been fulfilled or nearly met, students are expected to formally apply to the Nursing department. In order to graduate, students need to satisfy 125 credit hours (60 in general education courses and 65 in nursing courses). Since admission to the BSN program is highly competitive, candidates are recommended to apply early.
- There are several different ways one may earn a BSN from the University of Central Florida. The school offers a basic BSN (upper-division) program, which typically takes five semesters to complete. Offered at three different UCF campuses, Orlando admits students in the Fall, while Cocoa and Daytona admit in the Spring. This program best accommodates applicants who have finished some college coursework or possess a non-nursing associate’s degree.
- In partnership with Seminole State College (Altamonte), Valencia College (West), and Lake-Sumter Community College (Leesburg), the ASN-to-BSN program at UCF allows students to graduate with an associate degree in nursing, and then complete the BSN program one to two semesters later. It will only take a student 7 to 8 semesters to earn both degrees. The University’s Orlando campus also has an Accelerated Second Degree BSN program for students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or higher. There are also online opportunities for currently licensed registered nurses (or NCLEX-RN eligible candidates) looking for a completion program – RN-to-BSN or AS-to-BSN.
- The University of Miami (located in Coral Gables) offers three different BSN programs through its School of Nursing & Heath Studies: Traditional, Accelerated, and an RN-to-BSN Program for undergraduates. Boasting a new, state-of-the-art building that provides high-quality simulation facilities, classrooms and computer labs, students will also expand upon their knowledge and experiences through partnerships with the University’s Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, the University of Miami Hospital, the Jackson Health System, and more than 170 other clinical partners.
- In Jacksonville, nurses looking for a BSN education may consider the curriculum offered at the University of North Florida, which has three tracks at the School of Nursing at the Brooks College of Health: Prelicensure (for first-time nursing students – college juniors and above), Accelerated Prelicensure (for those already holding a baccalaureate degree in another field), and the RN-BSN Bridge (for registered nurses licensed in the state of Florida), which is taught both on-campus and online.
- The University of South Florida (in Tampa) is home to a BSN program with three different learning options. Following the completion of prerequisites, as well as meeting specific requirements, students in the Upper Division Sequence program generally complete the curriculum in six consecutive semesters. Students who already possess a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing usually enter the 2nd Degree Sequence, which typically consists of four consecutive semesters of learning.
- The RN to BS program at the University is an Internet-based program that offers a unique opportunity that allows students to focus on sharpening specific career skills, such as leadership/management or patient education. Full-time students finish the online curriculum in five semesters, while part-timers usually take three semesters.
- In Pensacola, students attending the University of West Florida either enter the traditional (on-campus) program or the RN-to-BSN (online) program. The traditional curriculum is for students who have completed the common prerequisites for nursing and either finished the General Studies requirements at the University, or have earned an Associate of Arts degree from a Florida public institution (or the equivalent from another higher learning institution).
- There are three different approaches that a student may pursue a BSN program at Florida Atlantic University: traditional, accelerated, and RN-to-BSN. The Traditional four-year BSN track caters to students with no previous nursing education or experience, and usually takes 24 months to complete. In the Accelerated track, students possess a bachelor’s degree or higher in a non-nursing field. The 15-month program is an intensive fast-tracked experience for an aspiring RN. Because of this, the College of Nursing strongly suggests that students do not work while enrolled in this particular program.
- The RN-to-BSN track at FAU offers two plans of study for applicants who already have a nursing diploma or associate degree from an accredited school: full-time (3 semesters) and part-time (5 semesters). Known for its flexibility, nurses may start the program in the spring, summer or fall semesters at three different sites – Boca Raton, Davie, and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.
- In Gainesville, the University of Florida offers a generic BSN program for upper division UF students and transfer students, as well as a fast-track accelerated curriculum for students with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees through its College of Nursing.
Florida BSN Checklist
- Find a college or university that provides accredited BSN instruction, and complete all prerequisites, general education courses, and core nursing classes.
- After graduating from a program, pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) exam for Florida.
- Gain licensure as a registered nurse in Florida by submitting an application to the state’s Board of Nursing, and pay the ~$204 fee.
- Renew the RN license every two years, and submit ~$145 fee payment to the Board.
- Complete continuing education requirements for the state of Florida, which includes 2 hours related to prevention of medical errors and 24 hours of continuing education related to nursing. Every third renewal, RNs are expected to complete 2 hours of domestic violence education.
Nurses possessing a bachelor’s degree not only encounter more opportunities to fill a greater range of positions within the healthcare industry, but also stand to make more money than employees without a BSN. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that registered nurses with a BSN in Florida generally earn a median salary of $61,780.
While the majority of nurses looking to earn a BSN in Florida typically receive training within a classroom setting, many others choose to take online courses to gain his or her education. To learn more about other ways to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, consider the following options listed below: