Throughout Florida, students can find RN programs at the undergraduate level at 4-year colleges and universities. Apart from standard degree programs, there are also accelerated and bridging programs available for people who are already nurses or paramedics. Bridging programs may be available fully online. Some programs hold classes in the evenings and on weekends. Additionally, students may be asked to choose a specialization within their programs.
RN training programs include hands-on components, such as labs, clinicals and practicum. Students may also need to complete capstone courses, research projects or internships.
Ford Lauderdale's Broward College offers two associate degrees related to nursing - the Associate of Science in Nursing and the Associate of Science in Nursing: Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse transition. In the A.S. in Nursing program, students take courses in pharmacology, and several courses with related laboratory sessions, like nursing process, pediatric nursing, women's health care and a nursing capstone course with a practicum. In the capstone course and practicum, students are required to show mastery of the skills learned throughout their studies. Students in the Associate of Science in Nursing: Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse transition program already have an unrestricted Florida Practical Nurse License and allows some flexibility in that LPN to RN students can have up to 13 credit hours based on their professional experience and knowledge. Either of these programs require completion of 72 credit hours.
Florida International University
In Miami, students in the nursing programs at Florida International University (FIU) can pursue three bachelor's degree options. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), the Bachelor of Science in Nursing- RN to BSN and the Physician Retraining Education Program for Foreign Educated Physicians -- FEP to BSN/MSN. The generic BSN program is open to any qualified student who completes all FIU core courses, while the RN to BSN program is specifically for individuals who have a license to practice as a registered nurse.
The RN to BSN program is fully online and includes a clinical placement. The FEP to BSN/MSN is open only to foreign educated physicians. In the generic BSN, students take courses like issues in professional nursing, pathophysiological basis of nursing practice, nursing care of adults, care for families and psychosocial nursing, all with required laboratory course. The RN to BSN allows students to challenge certain required courses with exams, including child bearing, child rearing and psychosocial nursing. The FEP to BSN/MSN includes courses in nursing theories, professional nursing concepts and community health nursing. Students also take courses in advanced adult, child or family health nursing. Like the other bachelor's degree programs, this program includes laboratory components to many courses. Students must also complete a research project.
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Jacksonville-based Florida State College offers an Associate of Science in Nursing, an Associate of Science in Nursing bridge option or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The Associate in Science in Nursing degree program is intended for students with no nursing experience who are interested in starting a career in nursing. Students in the program can choose emergency care, preventative medicine or one of many medical specialties. The A.S. in Nursing program curriculum combines coursework, lectures, lab work and clinical education.
The Associate in Science in Nursing bridge program is one way for paramedics or LPNs with a Florida license to accelerate their careers and become registered nurses. Admission to this program is competitive and based on academic performance. The curriculum - laboratory work, lectures and rotating clinicals - is similar to the non-bridge option, but students aren't expected to enroll in LPN/Paramedic courses. The program prepares students to take the NCLEX-RN examination. The BSN program is meant for those who have an associate degree in nursing. In addition to completing general education courses, students will take nursing core courses and nursing professional courses, including those on human nutrition, pathophysiology, community health, professional ethics, nursing theory philosophy and nursing care for women, children and infants. Students will also complete a practicum based on a specific area of study.
Florida State University
Tallahassee's Florida State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing. To enter the BSN program, students must have an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and provide a letter of interest explaining future career goals. The 125-credit hour BSN includes courses in nursing techniques, practicum for applications of evident based practice, teaching and learning for nursing professionals and nursing theory philosophy. Students must also study a foreign language.
The Accelerated BSN is a 12-month program offered on campus only. In the accelerated program, students take courses like evidence-based nursing, study care of women, children and families and professional perspectives in nursing, some courses with corresponding lab sessions. Other courses include a professional nursing internship to gain hands-on experience, study of nursing leadership and care of adults with acute or chronic health disorders.
Miami Dade College
At Miami-based Miami Dade College, students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The program includes courses related to culture in nursing practice, research, community health nursing and leadership and management theory. Students will complete a practicum in community health and courses to make the transition to professional nursing a bit easier. Students take courses in nursing research, leadership and management theory and advanced health assessment.
Palm Beach State College
Lake Worth-based Palm Beach State College offers two degrees in nursing. The Associate of Science in Nursing is offered as a full-time, weekend or evening program. All students interested in this program must attend an information session. In the associate degree program, students explore medical and surgical situations, high acuity and psychiatric situations, obstetric and pediatric issues. The program includes lecture, lab and clinical experience components. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing includes courses in pharmacology or nursing perspectives, nursing concepts, community health nursing and leadership. Students explore nursing in a multicultural society and complete a capstone experience concentrating on strategic planning.
St. Petersburg College
In Clearwater, students at St. Petersburg State College can pursue an Associate of Science in Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or complete a bridge program from Licensed Professional Nurse to Registered Nurse. The A.S. in Nursing includes courses in role transition in nursing, study of holistic nursing care, care of children and families and patient management in a clinical setting. In the fourth term, students take a clinical practicum.
Students in the BSN program have the opportunity to earn advanced certificates in critical or emergency care or SEPSIS awareness and education. Required courses in the BSN program include health assessment and physical appraisal, pharmacology, community health nursing and leadership theory and related practicum courses. The LPN transitional program is three terms and includes study of the transition to professional nursing, psychosocial nursing and multiple clinical experiences.
University of Central Florida
In Orlando, the University of Central Florida (UCF) offers multiple degree programs for individuals who seek education programs related to nursing. The UCF College of Nursing offers three associate degree programs: the Basic Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the RN to BSN degree program. These programs allow individuals with associate degrees in fields other than nursing to begin a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or licensed nurses who have associate degrees to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Individuals can complete the BSN Basic in five consecutive semesters, while licensed registered nurses with a diploma or associate degree can complete the RN-to-BSN bridge program in three semesters. These programs include classes in nursing research, community health nursing, health care issues, policy and economics, health assessment and public health nursing. Students will participate in laboratory work and complete a practicum.
University of Florida
Students at Gainesville's University of Florida campus have two options when it comes to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing - the traditional program or an accelerated BSN. The traditional program takes four years to complete and includes courses like fundamentals of human nutrition, communication and health nursing and clinical practical sessions that begin in the fifth semester of the program. The school requires admission as a nursing major before beginning nursing-specific courses in the fifth semester. Other required courses include healthcare policy, finance and regulatory environments, pharmacology and population-based care. The accelerated BSN requires three semesters and three semesters to complete the 59 credit hours in the program. Students explore health assessment and communication, health promotion and role development, legal issues in nursing and participate in four clinical experience sessions.
At Orlando-based Valencia College, students can pursue one of two paths to a bachelor's degree in nursing. The Associate of Science in Nursing generic track is meant to transfer to a 4-year university in the state of Florida. Students take courses in nursing concepts with laboratory components as well as pharmacology and clinical decision making as they learn about reactions to changes in physiological and psychosocial integrity, childbearing and maternity, nursing communication and leadership. There is also a Dual Enrollment Associate of Science/Bachelor of Science program allows students to earn oth degrees on the same track. The Associate of Science in Nursing Advanced Standing track is a 3-term program that includes courses in advanced adult nursing, maternal child nursing and a practicum course focusing on management of patient care. The advanced standing track is meant for students who are licensed practical nurses or paramedics.
To work as a registered nurse in Florida, an individual must be licensed. Licensure requires completion of an academic program, application to the state board of nursing for licensure and one must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Nursing programs at the bachelor's degree level are usually competitive and require that a student submit letters of recommendation, a letter or essay outlining their interest in the program and future plans.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Registered Nurse Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Broward College||4-year public; large suburb|| Associate of Science in Nursing,
Associate of Science in Nursing LPN Transition
|$2,753 (in-state); $8,875 (out-of-state)*|
|Florida International University||4-year, public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Foreign Education Physician retraining program
|$6,556 (in-state); $18,954 (out-of-state)*|
|Florida State College at Jacksonville||4-year, public; large city|| Associate of Science in Nursing,
Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Paramedic and LPN to BSN bridge
|$2,830 (in-state); $9,944 (out-of-state)*|
|Florida State University||4-year public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
|$6,507 (in-state); $21,673 (out-of-state)*|
|Miami Dade College||4-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Science in Nursing||$2,834 (in-state); $9,661 (out-of-state)*|
|Palm Beach State College||4-year public; large suburb||Associate of Science in Nursing;
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
|$2,444 (in-state); $8,732 (out-of-state)*|
|St. Petersburg College||4-year, public; small city|| Associate of Science in Nursing,
Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
LPN to RN Transitional program
|$3,352 (in-state); $11,607 (out-of-state)*|
|University of Central Florida||4-year, public; large suburb|| Associate of Science in Nursing/Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Basic Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Accelerated Second Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
|$6,368 (in-state); $22,467(out-of-state)*|
|University of Florida||4-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
|$6,381 (in-state); $28,659 (out-of-state)*|
|Valencia College||4-year, public; midsize city|| Associate of Science/Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Associate of Science in Nursing
|$2,474 (in-state); $9,383 (out-of-state)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.