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Nurse practitioner programs are designed for licensed nurses, and most degree programs require applicants to possess at least a bachelor's degree in nursing. In Florida, nurse practitioner programs are offered at the master's and doctoral degree levels. Graduate certificate programs for nurses with a master's degree are also available. Training combines classroom studies with clinical experiences, and students can pursue a specialty area, such as pediatrics, acute care, gerontology, women's health, family practice or mental health. Depending on the school, some courses may be available online or in hybrid format.
Below are summaries of NP programs at ten of the state's largest schools. All programs meet state and national association standards for certification.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee offers master's degree and post-master's certificate programs that qualify graduates for NP certification exams in adult/gerontological nursing. Students in the master's program must have bachelor's degrees in nursing and a Florida nursing license. The degree programs are 42 credits and can be taken full or part time. Students take courses in role development, advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology and complete practicums. Students in the certificate program must have a master's degree in nursing and a Florida nursing license. The certificate program requires 22 credits, including courses in role development, advanced pathophysiology and health policy as well as practicums in the specialty area.
Florida Atlantic University
In Boca Raton, at Florida Atlantic University, Florida licensed nurses can specialize in family NP or adult/gerontological NP in a master's degree program, a post-master's certificate program or a program that allows nurses with a bachelor's degree to earn a doctor of nursing practice. The master's degree program in family NP calls for 49 credits and more than 600 hours of clinical practice; the adult/gerontological NP program requires 43 credits and at least 600 hours of clinical work. Most master's students attend part time. The number of credits required for a certificate varies depending on the courses taken in the student's master's degree program. Doctoral students attend full time, with classes offered online, on weekends and on campus. More than 1,000 hours of clinical work is required in the final year of this two-year program.
Florida International University
Florida International University in Miami offers master's and post-master's NP programs in adult-gerontology, child, family and psychiatric-mental health specialties. The master's program offers classes online and on campus. Students in the adult-gerontology, child and psychiatric-mental health NP programs complete 43 credits, while the family NP program calls for 47. Certificates for adult-gerontology, child and psychiatric-mental health NP programs require 31 credits, and the family NP program requires 35. The number of clinical hours varies, but all the university's NP programs call for more than 600.
Florida State University
Florida State University's family NP doctoral program is taught through classes on the main campus in Tallahassee; those classes are also offered as interactive video conferences to students at the Panama City and Sarasota-Bradenton campuses. This doctoral program calls for 90 credits after the student has earned a bachelor's degree in nursing. It also requires 1,000 hours of clinical experience. Students take courses in nursing science, leadership and research as well as in the family NP specialty.
Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University offers a master's degree program with a family NP specialty based at the West Palm Beach student education center in Palm Beach Gardens. Some classes are offered entirely online, while others require occasional on-campus attendance in addition to online instruction. Students complete 15 hours of core courses that cover topics including health care policy, research and the role of the advanced practice nurse. Other requirements include skills courses and practicums that address topics in women's health nursing, mental health nursing and pediatrics.
University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida in Orlando offers adult/gerontology NP and family NP specialties through master's and doctoral degree programs as well as post-master's certificate programs. The master's degree program for family NPs calls for 46 credit hours of post-baccalaureate study and includes 720 clinical hours, while the graduate certificate program requires 12 credit hours of prerequisite courses and 26 credit hours of family NP track courses in addition to 660 hours of clinical work. In the master's program for adult/gerontological NP, students complete 42 credit hours and 660 clinical hours. The certificate in adult/gerontological NP calls for 12 hours of prerequisite courses, 21 hours of specialty track courses and 660 clinical hours. Nurses who hold bachelor's degrees can enroll in a doctoral program that can lead to certification as a family NP or adult/gerontological NP.
University of Florida
At the University of Florida in Gainesville, with some courses offered in Jacksonville, nurses can earn master's and doctoral degrees in five NP specialties. They can take most core courses online. All the NP programs have a clinical component. The master's program is being phased out, but, until 2020, students can enroll in the doctoral program and exit after five semesters of full-time study with a master's degree. The doctoral degree calls for 93 credit hours after the bachelor's degree. The curriculum is individualized in the certificate programs for students who already hold master's degrees in nursing.
University of Miami
Most NP lecture courses at the University of Miami are taught at the M. Christine Schwartz Center for Nursing and Health Studies in Coral Gables, but some are offered at the downtown Miami medical campus. The master's degree program has options for adult-gerontology acute care NP, adult-gerontology primary care NP and family NP. The adult-gerontology specialties call for three semesters of full-time study or five semesters part-time, while the family NP program calls for three semesters of study full-time and six part-time. Students must have a bachelor's degree and an RN license. The family NP specialty can be taken as a one- or two-year program; it requires 37 course credits and 616 clinical hours. The adult-gerontology acute care NP specialty calls for 38 course credits, while the primary care NP specialty requires 35 course credits. Both adult-gerontology specialties require 644 clinical hours.
University of North Florida
Jacksonville's University of North Florida offers a BSN-DNP program in family nurse practice. Nurses with master's degrees can also enroll in this program if they are seeking FNP certification. Full- and part-time enrollments are available.
University of South Florida - Main Campus
The University of South Florida - Main Campus in Tampa offers NP programs at the master's level in six specialty areas. Admission to the master's degree programs may be competitive, but a bachelor's degree is not required; the program will accept students who have an associate's degree in nursing. The required credits vary; adult-gerontology primary care and pediatric NPs must earn 45 credits, while students in the dual programs of oncology/adult-gerontology and occupational health/adult-gerontology need 60 and 61 credits respectively.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are issued certification as Advanced Registration Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) by the Florida Board of Nursing. They must be licensed as registered nurses (RNs) in Florida, have completed an approved education program in their specialty area and hold advanced practice certification from an approved national nursing specialty board.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Nurse Practitioner Degree and Certificate Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2015-16)|
|Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University||Four-year; public; midsize city|| Master of Science in Nursing, Adult/Gerontological NP
Post-Master's Certificate, Adult/Gerontological NP
|$9,876, in-state; $23,965, out-of-state*|
|Florida Atlantic University||Four-year; public; small city|| Master of Science in Nursing, Family NP or Adult/Gerontological NP,
Post-Master's Certificate, Family NP or Adult/Gerontological NP,
Bachelor of Science to Doctor of Nursing Practice, Family NP or Adult/Gerontological NP
|$6,657, in-state; $17,885, out-of-state*|
|Florida International University||Four-year; public; large suburb|| Master of Science in Nursing, Adult-Gerontology NP, Child NP, Family NP or Psychiatric-Mental Health NP,
Post-Master's Certificate, Adult-Gerontology NP, Child NP, Family NP or Psychiatric-Mental Health NP
|$11,097 in-state; $23,578, out-of-state*|
|Florida State University||Four-year; public; midsize city||Doctor of Nursing Practice, Family NP||$11,543, in-state; $25,975, out-of-state*|
|Nova Southeastern University||Four-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb||Master of Science in Nursing, Family NP||$17,454*|
|University of Central Florida||Four-year; public; large suburb|| Master of Science in Nursing, Adult/Gerontology NP or Family NP,
Graduate Certificate, Adult/Gerontology NP or Family NP,
Doctor of Nursing Practice, Adult/Gerontology NP or Family NP
|$8,872, in-state; $27,715, out-of-state*|
|University of Florida||Four-year; public; midsize city||Doctor of Nursing Practice, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP, Neonatal NP, Pediatric NP, Pediatric Acute Care NP, Psychiatric/Mental Health NP||$12,737, in-state; $29,302, out-of-state*|
|University of Miami||Four-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb||Master of Science in Nursing, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP or Family NP||$34,248*|
|University of North Florida||Four-year; public; large city||Doctor of Nursing Practice||$10,367, in-state; $21,382, out-of-state*|
|University of South Florida - Main Campus||Four-year; public; large city||Master of Science in Nursing, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP, Family NP, Occupational Health/Adult-Gerontology NP, Oncology/Adult-Gerontology NP or Pediatric NP||$10,415, in-state; $20,125, out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.