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Graduate Nursing Programs in Florida

Oct 23, 2018

There is no shortage of Florida colleges and universities that offer graduate programs in nursing in a range of concentrations. Learn about the available programs, their format options and common admissions standards.

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Many colleges and universities in Florida offer graduate degree programs in nursing, often at both the master's and doctoral levels. Students in these programs usually specialize in a particular area and may be able to complete their program in online or hybrid formats. Find out more about some of the nursing programs available in the state.

Schools in Florida with Nursing Graduate Programs

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida in Tampa offers a Master of Science in Nursing program, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, DNP in Nursing Anesthesia program, and a PhD in Nursing program, as well as a couple of graduate certificate programs. When taken full-time, the master's program can be completed in 4 to 5 semesters and the nursing anesthesia program can be completed in 9 semesters. The doctoral programs vary in length from 3 to 9 or more semesters (full-time), based on a student's education and program of choice. These programs may include some online or blended courses, but also require in-person labs, clinicals, practicums and/or projects for hands-on learning.

University of Florida

The University of Florida in Gainesville has a graduate certificate program and a DNP and PhD in Nursing Sciences that each offers their respective Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to DNP or PhD track or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to DNP or PhD track. The BSN to DNP program allows students to specialize in one of five areas, including family nurse practitioner and pediatric acute or primary care nurse practitioner. The MSN to DNP track is offered online with little on-campus requirements for Florida nurses with an ARNP license and a master's degree. The PhD program is research-based, rather than clinically-based, and is 3 years in length for those with a BSN and less than 3 years in length for those with an MSN.

Florida Southern College

Lakeland's Florida Southern College provides an MSN, post-master's certificate program in nursing and a DNP program. The MSN program allows students to choose from a nurse educator, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP) or family nurse practitioner track. The post-master's certificate program has a track in AGPCNP or family nurse practitioner that range from 18 to 25 credit hours, respectively. Beginning in Fall 2019, the college will offer a hybrid DNP program that includes a project and practicum experience.

University of Central Florida

Orlando's University of Central Florida offers graduate certificates in nursing, an MSN, DNP and PhD in Nursing program. The MSN program is available online with concentrations in leadership and management, nurse educator and nursing and health care simulation. The DNP program is offered in a hybrid format for those with a BSN and has concentrations in adult/gero acute or primary care and family nurse practitioner, as well as an online format for those with an MSN and students may specialize as a nurse executive or as an advanced practice nurse. The PhD program has a post-BSN and post-MSN track and is available online.

The University of Tampa

The University of Tampa offers an MSN and DNP degree program. The MSN program offers a concentration in adult/gero nurse practitioner or family nurse practitioner and is a part-time program that includes clinical practicums. The DNP program is available online, but includes 3 different campus visits. Students can finish this program in 6 semesters and must complete a final DNP project.

Common Entrance Requirements

Although admission criteria varies based on the level of the program and/or the particular college, most graduate degree programs in nursing require students to meet a minimum GPA, have nursing certification and work/practicum experience. MSN programs require students to hold a BSN and DNP or PhD programs may require students to hold a BSN or MSN, depending on the track. Some of these programs may require specific GRE scores and/or a personal interview prior to admission. Most graduate programs in nursing require applicants to submit their official transcripts, nursing certification, letters of recommendation, resume or CV and personal statement with their application. Typically if admitted, students will need to undergo a background check and/or drug screening and offer proof of immunizations.

Graduate programs in nursing are fairly common in Florida and offered at the certificate, master's and doctoral levels. These degree programs typically offer areas of concentration and may be available in flexible formats for working professionals.

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