Best Nursing Schools in Florida

Updated on January 11, 2024

At a Glance

  • Florida has over 100 nursing schools with various programs and degrees
  • Top-rated nursing schools in Florida based on factors like NCLEX pass rates, affordability, and reputability
  • Requirements, costs, benefits, and job outlook for nursing degrees in Florida
  • Types of nursing degrees offered and the importance of BSN in Florida

Florida has over 100 nursing schools that offer various nursing programs and degrees. Choosing the right nursing school is an important decision that can impact your career prospects and earnings potential. Here are 10 of the top-rated nursing schools in Florida based on factors like NCLEX pass rates, affordability, reputability, and more.

University of Florida

Location: Gainesville, FL

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 49%

SAT Score: 1310-1460

Tuition: $6,380 per year (in-state), $28,658 per year (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $70,270


The University of Florida’s College of Nursing is recognized as one of the best in the state and country. It offers BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD nursing programs. The BSN program has an impressive 95-100% NCLEX pass rate over the last decade. UF nursing graduates also command high average starting salaries.

Florida State University

Location: Tallahassee, FL

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 49%

SAT Score: 1270-1410

Tuition: $5,656 per year (in-state), $21,683 per year (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $66,950


FSU’s College of Nursing is one of the top-ranked nursing schools in Florida. Its BSN program is highly competitive with a less than 15% acceptance rate. BSN graduates have enjoyed stellar 100% NCLEX pass rates over the past decade. The college also offers MSN, DNP, and PhD nursing programs.

University of Miami

Location: Coral Gables, FL

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 27%

SAT Score: 1360-1530

Tuition: $44,400 per year

Avg Salary: $70,000


The University of Miami’s nursing school provides elite private school education. Its BSN program is renowned for its clinical training at some of the nation’s best hospitals and health organizations. Graduates benefit from the vast alumni network at this prestigious university.

University of Tampa

Location: Tampa, FL

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 63%

SAT Score: 1180-1350

Tuition: $29,964 per year

Avg Salary: $65,500


UT offers a traditional 4-year BSN program with small class sizes and one-on-one faculty attention. Its nursing school focuses on clinical skills and critical thinking development. Graduates have achieved stellar 95-100% first-time NCLEX pass rates.

Florida Atlantic University

Location: Boca Raton, FL

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 60%

SAT Score: 1130-1290

Tuition: $6,720 per year (in-state), $21,483 per year (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $68,000


FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing is one of the most affordable options to earn a BSN in Florida. It offers a traditional 4-year track, an RN to BSN program, and highly-ranked graduate nursing degrees.

Nova Southeastern University

Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 68%

SAT Score: 1080-1270

Tuition: $30,900 per year

Avg Salary: $67,000


NSU is home to the largest nursing program in Florida. Its well-ranked BSN curriculum emphasizes clinical training and hands-on experience. NSU also offers a Direct Entry nursing program for non-nursing graduates.

University of North Florida

Location: Jacksonville, FL

Rating: 6.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 58%

SAT Score: 1120-1290

Tuition: $6,394 per year (in-state), $19,194 per year (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $61,500


UNF’s School of Nursing offers traditional BSN, accelerated BSN and RN-BSN programs. Known for its small class sizes, students receive individualized attention from faculty members. Graduates benefit from the school’s esteemed reputation among regional employers.

Florida International University

Location: Miami, FL

Rating: 6/10

Acceptance Rate: 58%

SAT Score: 1140-1290

Tuition: $6,556 per year (in-state), $18,964 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $64,100


FIU’s Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing offers an acclaimed BSN program at 17 locations across South Florida. Students complete 900+ clinical training hours in world-class hospitals and clinics. FIU graduates are highly sought after by local employers.

AdventHealth University

Location: Orlando, FL

Rating: 6/10

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Tuition: $470 per credit hour

Avg Salary: $69,100


Formerly known as Florida Hospital College, AHU is focused on developing expert nurses and health professionals. Its hands-on curriculum allows students to train in leading Central Florida hospitals. Graduates often continue working at AdventHealth facilities.

Keiser University

Location: Multiple campuses

Rating: 5.5/10

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Tuition: Contact university

Avg Salary: $62,000


Keiser University is one of Florida’s largest private nursing schools with over 18 campuses statewide. Its BSN graduates have achieved solid 90%+ first-time NCLEX pass rates. The affordable price tag makes Keiser nursing degrees attractive.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements to apply for nursing schools in Florida?

Most programs require a high school GPA of at least 3.0, ACT/SAT test scores, prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry, math, etc. Nursing schools also require proof of immunizations, CPR certification, criminal background checks and drug testing.

How much does it cost to get a nursing degree in Florida?

Tuition and fees vary significantly among Florida nursing schools. Costs range from $400 per credit hour at community/state colleges to $50,000+ per year at elite private universities. Generally BSN programs range from $15,000-$45,000 total.

What are the benefits of earning a nursing degree in Florida?

A key benefit is year-round networking, job/internship opportunities at globally renowned hospitals and healthcare organizations. The state also has high nursing salaries and faster than average job growth. New nurses enjoy Florida’s tropical climate as well as no state income tax.

How competitive are nursing programs in Florida?

Florida’s top-ranked nursing schools are very competitive with acceptance rates below 30% at some elite colleges. Applicants should aim for SAT scores over 1200 and high school GPAs over 3.6. Community colleges tend to be less competitive among in-state students.

What is the job outlook for nurses in Florida?

Jobs for registered nurses in Florida are projected to grow 18% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is much faster than the national average for nurses. Higher demand from Florida’s aging population is fueling exceptional job prospects.

How long does it take to become an RN in Florida?

The fastest track is an accredited 12-month accelerated BSN program which admits those who already hold a Bachelor’s degree. Traditional 4-year Bachelor of Nursing programs are most common. Associate’s degree (ADN) graduates must obtain their BSN within 5 years of licensure.

How much do nurses make in Florida?

The average registered nursing salary in Florida is over $69,000 per year, based on BLS data. Nurses at top hospitals/health systems and those with advanced certifications can make $100,000+ annually. Metropolitan areas like Miami offer the highest nursing pay.

What kind of nursing degrees are offered in Florida?

Florida colleges and universities offer certificates, Associate’s, Bachelor’s (BSN), Master’s (MSN, MHA), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PhD in Nursing degrees. Accelerated BSN programs for second degree students are also widely available.

Is a BSN required to become a registered nurse in Florida?

A BSN degree is not required initially. However, since 2010 the “BSN in 10” law requires Florida nurses to obtain their BSN within 10 years of initial licensure. Going straight for a traditional or accelerated BSN is recommended for most nursing students.

Which nursing programs have the highest NCLEX pass rates?

The University of Florida, Florida State University, AdventHealth University and Nova Southeastern University have all maintained stellar 90%+ NCLEX first-time pass rates for BSN graduates over the past decade. These metrics indicate the quality of the nursing education.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.

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