Best Nursing Schools in Florida in 2021


If you want to give your nursing career the best chance of success, getting the proper education is one of the top ways for a right head start. But with all the schools available, how do you know you’re applying to the right one? Which school is the right fit for your needs? Find out more about the best nursing schools in Florida by reading our comprehensive review below.

– The Top 10 Nursing Schools in Florida –

The University of Florida degree programs include well-respected BSN, DNP, and Ph.D. programs. Earlier, the university had offered an MSN program, but it phased it out and replaced it with the DNP course. As a result, this public school provides students with one of the top value options, an excellent education, and a vibrant student experience. The University of Florida’s ranking currently stands at 30, making it a force to be content with on the educational scene.

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  • Location: Gainesville
  • SAT Range: 1310—1470
  • Accredited: Yes
  • Acceptance Rate: 37%
  • Tuition: Starts at $10,457
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%
  • Best for: Students who wish to receive their doctorate in nursing
  • Good value for the money
  • Provides mentorship through its preceptor program
  • A 100% NCLEX pass rate

With an NCLEX pass rate of 100%, the Jacksonville University nursing program is considered one of the best courses in Florida. This private school is costly to attend but is one of the few schools that offer RN to BSN courses online. Registered nurses may also opt to enroll for full-time study towards the MSN program.

The school is relatively easy to get into and requires a lower SAT range than most. This makes it a good option for those who didn’t do as well on their SATs. The high acceptance rate is no reflection of the quality of Jacksonville University tuition. Small class sizes result in a high rate of teacher involvement.

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  • Location: Jacksonville
  • SAT Range: 910—1160
  • Accredited: Yes
  • Acceptance Rate: 92%
  • Tuition: Starts at $24,020
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%
  • Best for: RNs wishing to upgrade their skills
  • A 100% NCLEX pass rate
  • A high acceptance rate
  • Small classes

The University of Miami’s ranking is high because of its excellent reputation. The university prizes research and is among the ones with the largest number of research programs in the country. Students may study towards their BSN, MSN, and DPN degrees and choose a range of specializations.

The university doesn’t offer a Ph.D. course for nursing but prepares students if they wish to study further. However, University of Miami tuition costs are high, and the acceptance rate is only 27%, making applications highly competitive. The NCLEX pass rate is 93.51%, which is a little disappointing but may be explained by the vibrant social life of students.

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  • Location: Miami
  • SAT Range: 1280—1440
  • Accredited: Yes
  • Acceptance Rate: 27%
  • Tuition: Starts at $47,004
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 93.51%
  • Best for: Highly-motivated, competitive students
  • Works toward holistic student development
  • A highly respected and ranked private university
  • A diverse student population

Florida State University tuition is low, despite the high standard of education. This public school also provides accelerated BSN and MSN programs. The courses are tougher than average but completed faster, giving students the edge. The school is hard to get into because of the tough competition. Admitted students may opt for full-time courses or one of the FSU online degrees.

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  • Location: Tallahassee
  • SAT Range: 1200–1340
  • Accredited: Yes
  • Acceptance Rate: 36%
  • Tuition: Starts at $12,568
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 94.59%
  • Best for: Students who wish to complete their studies as quickly as possible
  • Great value for the money
  • A highly ranked program with a high NCLEX pass rate
  • Accelerated courses available

The University of South Florida’s acceptance rate is low compared to some other options on this list. This is a reflection of how popular the school is. Here, students gain practical experience in a simulation lab and clinical settings. This enables them to practice a wide range of emergencies and use advanced technology that they might not see at a hospital.

In addition, the university gathers the highest amount of research funding in the state and applies ample funds to their medical programs. The University of South Florida’s ranking is high, mainly due to the practical nature of its programs. Students leave prepared to begin working immediately.

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  • Location: Tampa
  • SAT Range: 1170–1330
  • Accredited: Yes
  • Acceptance Rate: 48%
  • Tuition: Starts at $6,410
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 97.92%
  • Best for: Students who wish to work straight after school
  • A great research school
  • Several programs and specializations
  • Simulated labs that expose students to various emergencies

The Nova Southeastern University ranking isn’t as high as those of other universities on this list, but that’s because it’s an undervalued school. What makes this private school unique is its affordability and high levels of financial aid. Students may study towards their BSN, MSN, BSN to MSN, DNP, and Ph.D. degrees. They may also opt for accelerated courses in many areas.

Furthermore, Nova Southeastern University has one of the most comprehensive sets of nursing qualifications on offer. The school accepts 80% of Nova Southeastern University enrollment applications and has lower-than-average SAT requirements. The downside to this liberal policy is an NCLEX rate of 88.24%. Considering the location of the school, it’s best for well-disciplined, driven students who may work from both Fort Lauderdale or Miami.

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  • Location: Fort Lauderdale
  • SAT Range: 1070–1280
  • Accredited: Yes
  • Acceptance Rate: 80%
  • Tuition: Starts at $28,736
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 88.24%
  • Best for: Well-motivated students who drive themselves to excel
  • Reasonable rates for a private school
  • Small class sizes
  • A comprehensive range of courses

Students may enroll in BSN, MSN, and DNP courses with a range of specializations. The Florida Gulf Coast University acceptance rate is reasonable, with around 6 to 7 out of 10 applicants obtaining a spot. The school currently doesn’t offer online courses, but it provides part-time study opportunities.

Moreover, students receive practical experience in highly realistic simulation labs. Where possible, the school partners students with preceptors for mentorship opportunities. The Florida Gulf Coast University tuition is reasonable and provides students with exceptional value for the money. Moreover, the university has a well-established history of student excellence and a low student-to-teacher ratio.

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  • Location: Fort Myers
  • SAT Range: 1060–1210
  • Accredited: Yes
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Tuition: Starts at $11,621
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 96%
  • Best for: Students who require more one-on-one time with teachers
  • Exceptional value
  • A high standard of education
  • Realistic labs

It may seem a little out of place for a Santa Fe campus to be a part of this list, but hear us out. The MidAmerica Nazarene University ranking for online education and innovative course structure makes it worth mentioning here.

The school offers BSN and MSN degrees, and the MSN/MBA degree is particularly interesting. This qualification is for nursing administrators — an exceptionally useful degree for those who wish to run institutions. There are also several certificate courses for those who wish to improve their knowledge without undertaking a degree program. MidAmerica Nazarene University tuition is reasonable, and the school runs on Christian principles.

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  • Location: Santa Fe
  • SAT Range: 910–1140
  • Accredited: Yes
  • Acceptance Rate: 55%
  • Tuition: Starts at $25,365
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 92.44%
  • Best for: Students who wish to study online
  • An outstanding range of online courses
  • Good student aid programs
  • Students may choose nursing or nursing administration programs

In terms of affordability, the University of Central Florida’s ranking is among the highest ones. The university believes in making nursing accessible and provides a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. 

he school is recognized as one of the top distance learning facilities in the state. The University of Central Florida’s undergraduate enrollment is extremely popular, making it a moderately competitive school to gain acceptance to. However, there are several learning paths, allowing for several specifications.

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  • Location: Orlando
  • SAT Range: 1170–1340
  • Accredited: Yes
  • Acceptance Rate: 44%
  • Tuition: Starts at $11,617
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%
  • Best for: Students wanting to achieve a high degree of specialization
  • A wide range of course options
  • On-campus and online programs
  • An award-winning school

The University of North Florida nursing program came about through a flagship trial program approximately 10 years ago. The success of this school is largely attributed to the personal attention students receive. Students may study one of the four BSN and graduate learning programs. They may also opt for an accelerated program or the University of North Florida online masters program.

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  • Location: Jacksonville
  • SAT Range: 1090–1260
  • Accredited: Yes
  • Acceptance Rate: 72%
  • Tuition: Starts at $6,394
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%
  • Best for: Florida residents with budgetary constraints
  • Affordable
  • A high standard of education
  • Online and offline learning

– Brief Reviews of Nursing Schools in Florida –

University of Florida Review

Essential Features:

◊ A 1310–1470 SAT range
◊ Good value for the money
◊ A 100% NCLEX pass rate
◊ Provides mentorship through its preceptor program

Additional Features:

♦ A long history of academic excellence
♦ A large preceptor and alumni network
♦ Several student grants and other forms of financial aid
♦ A large nursing school with a diverse student body

The UF College of Nursing provides the oldest DNP course and is considered the best nursing school in Florida. The university was also the first to offer a nurse practitioner program. It has since expanded to deliver several specializations, allowing students to study from the undergraduate level through their doctoral qualifications.

They take in an average of 700 undergraduates and 300 graduates a year. In addition, students may take a DNP or Ph.D. program.

Location

With over 130,000 inhabitants, Gainesville is one of the largest towns in North Central Florida. The area has a sub-tropical climate with mild winters and hot, humid summers. The cost of living is reasonable, with many restaurants and entertainment facilities catering to students. The living environment contributes to this school’s reputation as one of the top nursing schools in Florida.

SAT Range

The SAT range of 1310–1470 means that the school is reasonably selective regarding new entrants. Therefore, if you aim to attend the University of Florida, study hard and do well on your SATs to stand a chance of acceptance.

Accredited

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredited the University of Florida. Moreover, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the BSN program at the school, making it one of the best BSN programs in Florida.

Acceptance Rate

A 37% acceptance rate means that only the top candidates make it through to the nursing school. The university’s popularity, a high standard of education, and relatively low fees make the competition fierce.

To give yourself the best possible chance, get your application in as early as possible for the new school year.

Tuition

Tuition starts at $10,457 per year when you take basic financial aid programs. There are sundry expenses for labs and other extras, but the university informs students about them at the beginning of the year.

As the NCLEX pass rate is higher than that of some private institutions, the tuition is very reasonable. The affordable fees make this one of the top nurse schools on the list.

NCLEX Pass Rate

The NCLEX pass rate is 100%. Considering that the national average for 2020 was 76.6%, this rate is impressive. It is a fairly large nursing school compared to some on this list but still maintains a high teacher-to-student ratio. This might account for their success in this area.

Best for

This school is competitive and picky about the students it selects. Therefore, it is best for students who have worked hard and wish to continue their doctorate in nursing.

Jacksonville University Review

Essential Features:

◊ A 910–1160 SAT range
◊ A high acceptance rate
◊ A 100% NCLEX pass rate
◊ Small classes and individual attention at the best nursing school in Florida

Additional Features:

♦ A quiet campus for serious students
♦ Exceptional teachers
♦ A high degree of specialization possible
♦ Standalone certificate courses for MSN specializations

What makes the Keigwin School of Nursing different is the number of pathways students can choose. The BSN qualifications include the traditional options and a second and veteran’s degree.

Why is this one of the best accredited nursing schools in Florida? First, the school is relatively small, with just over 100 graduates a year. Second, students may choose a BSN-DNP program, while graduates with BSN or MSN degrees may enter the DNP studies.

Location

With a population of just under a million people, Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida. Located on the coast, it has various entertainment options, hot, humid summers and mild winters. The town has a thriving arts theme and several fun eateries and bars.

SAT Range

The SAT range is 910–1160, which is relatively achievable. This, coupled with the school’s high acceptance rate, makes the 2-year nursing programs in Florida relatively easy to get into. If you have your eye on one of the more competitive schools, Jacksonville makes a good safety school.

Accredited

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the pre-graduate, post-graduate, doctoral, and APRN certificate programs provided by Jacksonville University.

Students wishing to confirm this may contact the Commission by calling 202-887-6791 or sending a letter to:

655 K Street

NW

Suite 750

Washington

DC 20001

Acceptance Rate

Don’t let the high acceptance rate fool you. The school accepts 92% of candidates but won’t go easy on them. The acceptance rate is more a factor of the school cost than the standard of education. 

As the best nursing universities in Florida require only the top candidates, we recommend applying early to ensure you’re not one of the 10 students who don’t get in.

Tuition

With tuition starting at $24,020 after financial aid, this school is more expensive than some others on this list. The upside is that classes are small, and the campus is relatively quiet. The teachers push their students to achieve, so there’s little time for partying.

NCLEX Pass Rate

With an NCLEX pass rate that’s never dipped below 92% in the last decade, it’s clear that Jacksonville has honed its educational programs. The latest NCLEX pass rate was 100%, showing that the school prepares its students exceptionally well.

Best for

One of the top nurse schools is best for serious students who want to focus on studying. While there is a social side to it, underage drinking is strongly discouraged on campus. RNs wishing to upgrade their skills will also find every possible course they need here.

University of Miami Review

Essential Features:

◊ A top-rated private institution
◊ A diverse, large student population
◊ Focuses on the student’s development as a whole
◊ Houses America’s first education-based simulation hospital

Additional Features:

♦ An institution with over 200 years of history
♦ A top-ranked R1 research facility
♦ A very competitive school
♦ Several specializations available

The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies is consistently ranked as one of the best schools for nursing in Florida. It also frequently ranks in the top 25 schools nationally that receive research funding from the National Institutes of Health.

This, combined with the Simulation Hospital for Advancing Research and Education, makes it a top choice for nursing students.

With around 200 undergraduates a year and a high NCLEX pass rate, this school stands out from its competition.

Location

Miami has a reputation for being a party town with a high crime rate. However, the precincts around the university are relatively safe, so crime isn’t a reason to skip this school. The value of the education you receive from the top nursing programs in Florida is worth it. The cost of living is a little higher than average, so you should consider that. 

SAT Range

The average SAT range is between 1280–1440, but prospective students should aim for 1440 or more. Due to the popularity of this school, the admissions board can afford to be picky about who it accepts.

Students should be prepared to work hard as the nursing courses are grueling.

Accredited

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits all the University of Miami’s programs, making them one of the best accredited nursing schools in Florida.

The university has formed an Office of Assessment and Accreditation to ensure that all the programs meet the rigorous standards set by the Commission and other accreditation authorities.

Acceptance Rate

The school’s popularity leads to a high number of applications every year. Unfortunately, only around 27% of applicants will manage to enroll, so you should apply as early as possible.

While the tuition and living costs make this an expensive school, the research funding and facilities ensure its ongoing popularity.

Tuition

As it is a private school, the tuition is reasonably high. Costs start at $47,004 per year, so this is not one of the cheap nursing schools in Florida. However, the standard of the facilities on offer offsets the cost of the school.

It’s also an excellent option for those interested in research and practical nursing experience.

NCLEX Pass Rate

The NCLEX pass rate is excellent at 93.51%, but not the best on our list. One of the reasons may be that it’s easy to get caught up in the party scene at the school. However, students who can achieve a balance between the social and academic aspects of school life won’t have an issue.

Best for

The school is best for highly motivated, competitive students with high SAT results who consider working towards their DNP. With one of the best accelerated nursing programs in Florida, this school suits any ambitious student. Moreover, the simulation hospital makes it possible to get a wide range of practical experience.

If you’re not self-disciplined, the social scene might prove too tempting. In this case, Jacksonville University might be a better fit.

Florida State University Review

Essential Features:

◊ Exceptional value for money
◊ Top-rated courses with great NCLEX pass rates
◊ Students may opt to take accelerated courses
◊ One of the widest ranges of specialist post-graduate courses

Additional Features:

♦ A high freshman retention rate
♦ A full-time lab director to assist with practicals
♦ It also offers online nursing programs in Florida
♦ A high ratio of full-time faculty members to students

The FSU College of Nursing led the charge by offering the first nationally accredited BSN in Florida. Students may work their way through every rung on the way to their DNP degree. They may also opt for online post-graduate specializations in areas of interest to them.

Location

With about 200,000 residents, Florida’s capital, Tallahassee, is a large city. Despite this, it has more of a small-town vibe, with neighbors looking out for one another. The weather is mild in winter and hot in summer.

The cost of living is average, with higher grocery prices offset by lower rentals and transport costs. As a result, the attendees of one of the top nursing programs in Florida can live comfortably. 

SAT Range

The SAT range for Florida State University runs between 1200–1340. The standards at the school are pretty high compared to others due to its popularity and affordability. If you wish to apply, we recommend focusing on achieving SAT scores of 1300 or more to maximize your chances of being accepted.

Accredited

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits all the programs offered by Florida State University. This includes the best BSN programs in Florida, MSN, and DNP programs.

Prospective students may check the accreditation by visiting the Commission’s website. In addition, the school reviews every program annually to ensure they remain in compliance with the Commission’s regulations.

Acceptance Rate

Thanks to the low cost of tuition and higher entry requirements, only 36% of applications will be successful. As the University places much emphasis on community development, prospective students should do well in their SATS and consider volunteering after school to boost their chances of acceptance.

Tuition

Tuition at one of the top 10 nursing schools in Florida is reasonable at around $12,568 a year. That amount is after taking financial aid. In addition, several in-house and in-state programs provide assistance for qualifying students.

With or without these programs, the cost of tuition makes this school affordable. Students may also opt for online courses if they need to work while studying.

NCLEX Pass Rate

The impressive 94.59% is a testament to the quality of the education you receive. The teachers expect you to work hard and maintain a high standard of academics. The courses are challenging to better prepare students for their exams. 

Best for

The school is ideal for well-disciplined and driven students who wish to complete their studies as soon as possible. In addition, Florida State offers some of the best accelerated nursing programs in Florida.

If you’re willing to work hard, you may complete your studies in half the time. The pace is demanding but manageable for a motivated student.

University of South Florida Review

Essential Features:

◊ A wide range of programs and specializations
◊ Simulated labs and experience in actual clinics
◊ A top-rated research school
◊ A leading learning institution

Additional Features:

♦ One of the best nursing colleges in Florida
♦ A good student to teacher ratio
♦ A large, diverse student body
♦There is a large network of clinical partners and alumni
♦ The school provides around 110,000 hours of clinical rotations to the community a year

What sets the USF Health College apart is the extent of its community outreach programs. Students benefit from both lab simulations and real-life experience. Moreover, with a student body of around 2,000 students, there are plenty of chances to make new friends.

Location

Tampa is a large, bustling city with almost 400,000 residents. Students may find some reasonably priced accommodation but should bank on paying more for transport. Regarding food, grocery prices are average for the United States.

There is a lot to see and do in this coastal town, so you’ll never feel bored.

SAT Range

The SAT range of 1170–1330 is about average for most 2-year nursing programs in Florida. Students should aim for an SAT score of 1250 or more to stand the best chance of gaining admittance.

Accredited

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits the university’s degree programs.

In addition, the school has the approval of the Florida Board of Nursing. The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs gives its endorsement to the NDP program.

Acceptance Rate

With a 27% acceptance rate, gaining entry can be challenging. Therefore, we recommend applying as early as possible to increase your chances of acceptance and choosing a safety school if your application is denied.

You may also apply again after completing your freshman year at some other top nursing colleges in Florida.

Tuition

After accounting for financial aid at around $25,340 per year, the fees are pricier than in most public schools. However, the additional practical experience with over 1,000 clinical partners makes it easier to work straight out of school.

The outstanding research facilities also justify the higher cost of tuition.

NCLEX Pass Rate

With a 97.92% rate, it’s clear that the school prepares students well for their exams. Moreover, it consistently achieves high NCLEX pass rates year after year, cementing its place among the best colleges in Florida for nursing.

Students who are serious about their careers also find the practical experience invaluable.

Best for

The school is best for the students who want to find a job as soon as they leave school. The network of clinical partners makes it relatively simple to find positions in and around Tampa. Working in clinics also provides students with a better idea of the real-world applications of their training.

Nova Southeastern University Review

Essential Features:

◊ Fair rates for private tuition
◊ Small class sizes
◊ A comprehensive range of courses
◊ Online learning options
◊ One of the best colleges in Florida for nursing

Additional Features:

♦ A high student success rate
♦ Three non-clinical MSN tracks
♦ Several bridging courses
♦ A diverse range of students

The Nova Southeastern University College of Nursing enrolls around 1,300 students a year. The courses are offered at the main Fort Lauderdale campus, the satellite campuses in Fort Myers and Miami, and online.

This gives students far more control over how and when they study. What further sets this university above the other top Florida nursing schools is the number of non-clinical nursing programs.

Location

Fort Lauderdale is a thriving city with a rich culture and a great deal of entertainment. The cost of living is lower than in Miami, and the pace is a little more relaxed. The crime rate is higher than in the average United States city, so students should consider that.

SAT Range

The SAT range of 1070–1280 is on the low side for one of the best nursing schools in South Florida. Coupled with the high acceptance rate, students may skate by with SAT scores on the low side of the range.

Accredited

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and post-graduate courses that the Nova Southeastern University College of Nursing offers.

Prospective students may confirm this by visiting the Commission’s website.

Acceptance Rate

The 80% acceptance rate and slightly lower than average SAT range make it a good safety school for students. The school provides high-quality education but charges more than a state school, which dampens the enthusiasm of some students.

Tuition

After accounting for student aid at around $27,700 per year, tuition isn’t too bad for one of the best nursing colleges in Florida. Moreover, the affordable accommodation cost and lower living expenses in the area are an advantage to offset tuition costs.

The school provides low-income students with several opportunities to reduce these costs further.

NCLEX Pass Rate

An 88.24% rate is still better than the average for America. However, it’s a little lower than the average on this list. It’s hard not to wonder if the school is at fault here. At the same time, you must wonder if the lower acceptance criteria contribute to this score, as it’s unusual for one of the top-ranked nursing schools in Florida to score under 90%.

Best for

If you are a well-motivated student determined to succeed, then this school is the best choice for you. It has a good reputation, but there are many distractions for students in the surrounding area. While the university is in no way a party school, Tampa has an active nightlife and is close to Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Florida Gulf Coast University Review

Essential Features:

◊ Exceptional value
◊ A high standard of education
◊ Small class sizes
◊ Realistic labs

Additional Features:

♦ Several post-graduate specializations
♦ An outstanding family nurse practitioner program
♦ Highly positive student outcomes
♦ Some clinical experience possible

The School of Nursing at Florida Gulf Coast University has some of the best nursing programs in Florida. Over the last 10 years, the NCLEX pass rates haven’t dropped below 96%. In addition, the school offers several specialization courses that are highly rated nationally.

Location

Fort Myers is home to around 80,000 residents, making it one of the smaller cities on this list. There’s a fair amount of petty crime in the city, so you should know which areas to avoid. Walking around much of the town during the day is safe enough, but students should be careful where they go at night.

SAT Range

At 1060–1210, the SAT range is average for this list. It means that the students who didn’t score as highly on their SATS have a fair chance of getting into one of the best colleges in Florida for nursing. Moreover, the university accepts around two-thirds of applicants.

Students wishing to apply for additional student aid should aim for much higher SAT scores.

Accredited

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredited the Florida Gulf Coast University programs. Prospective students may confirm this by writing to the Commission at:

1866 Southern Lane

Decatur

Georgia 30033-4097

They may also call the Commission at (404) 679-4500.

Acceptance Rate

A 67% rate means that most students will be accepted. In addition, the lower costs of living and tuition make this college a popular choice among students, and the admissions board isn’t as picky as some other top Florida nursing schools.

However, students should consider applying as soon as admissions open if they wish to receive financial aid.

Tuition

The tuition amounts to $11,621 after accounting for financial aid. This is a reasonable amount that’s on par with most state schools. In addition, students receive more attention from teachers than at the typical school because there are no tenured positions.

NCLEX Pass Rate

The school had a 96% NCLEX pass rate last year. This score is not unusual, with pass rates remaining higher than the national average. The score is evidence of a high teaching standard and a well-considered curriculum.

Best for

It is ideal for students looking for exceptional, cheap nursing schools in Florida and preferring a smaller town feel and campus. The teachers can pay more attention to learners because the classes are small. Also, Fort Myers provides a change in pace for students coming from small towns without being completely overwhelming.

MidAmerica Nazarene University Review

Essential Features:

◊ Online courses for those living outside Kansas
◊ Good student aid programs
◊ Several specializations to select
◊ An  innovative course structure

Additional Features:

♦ Several certificate courses for those not wanting a full degree
♦ A Christian school
♦ A vibrant online student community
♦ Consistently is one of the top-ranked nursing schools in Florida
♦ The convenience of studying from home

The MidAmerica Nazarene University operates from its Santa Fe campus. Although it’s outside of Florida, we included it here because of its online program. The entry requirements for the school are reasonable, and the acceptance rate is quite good.

It might be a good option for students who need to study online.

Location

For those considering attending the school, the campus is in Santa Fe. The weather is hot and dry in summer and less humid than in Florida. In winter, the temperatures can drop below freezing. The town has a vibrant arts community and provides an exciting change of scenery. 

SAT Range

The SAT range of 910–1140 is relatively low compared to other schools from our list. Therefore, students who didn’t qualify for top undergraduate nursing schools in Florida based on SAT results might consider enrolling here for their freshman year. They could also reapply later.

Accredited

The school earned its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the Kansas Nursing Board. It’s also a member of the National League for Nursing and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Acceptance Rate

The 55% acceptance rate and lower SAT ranges give students a good chance of admission. They do not have to be members of the Church of the Nazarene community, but they must agree to adhere to a strict honor code.

Tuition

If you’re looking for cheap nursing schools in Florida, then this school is not for you. The tuition starts at $25,365 after accounting for financial aid. This amount puts the school in the pricey category. The school provides several scholarships, but students should apply early to be in the running for those.

NCLEX Pass Rate

The NCLEX pass rate is excellent at 92.44%, and the school consistently earns a rate of 90% or more. The college students receive individual attention, even when completing distance courses, as classes are small.

Best for

It is recommended for the students who wish to qualify online, as there might be several reasons for not being able to attend classes on campus. The MidAmerica Nazarene University is one of the few institutions qualified to provide online nursing programs in Florida and multiple states.

University of Central Florida Review 

Essential Features:

◊ The best range of programs
◊ Offers studying online or at the campus
◊ Maintains an outstanding NCLEX pass rate
◊ It also provides courses for those on active duty in the military

Additional Features:

♦ The best choice of BSN and MSN tracks
♦ It also features leadership and education programs for nurses
♦ An excellent healthcare simulation program and labs
♦ Ranks as one of the five top nursing colleges in Florida

The UCF College of Nursing ranks in the top 50 colleges in the country. It has one of the most diverse ranges of course tracks, catering to almost every specialization. As a result, you may tailor your learning experiences according to your specific career goals.

Location

No matter if you agree that Disney World is the “Happiest Place on Earth,” Orlando is a fun city. It has a mild climate and a vibrant social scene that caters to every taste. It’s a large city with around 300,000 residents and millions of visitors, so it’s perfect if you like a lot of the hustle and bustle.

SAT Range

Getting into one of the top-rated nursing schools in Florida is always difficult. The SAT range of 1170–1340 is among the broadest on this list. Unfortunately, it’s also the school with the highest maximum value, so bring your “A” game when you apply as competition for admission is fierce.

Accredited

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits all the university’s programs. If you have further queries, you may direct them to the school’s Office of Academic Affairs.

Acceptance Rate

The 44% acceptance rate makes it one of the more competitive schools. The strict admission requirements and fierce competition contribute to this percentage. Therefore, students should apply as soon as admissions open to stand a chance of attending one of the best schools for nursing in Florida.

Tuition

The tuition is around average at $11,617 a year after accounting for financial aid. Regarding the high standard of education, it may even be considered quite a reasonable price.

NCLEX Pass Rate

The school has maintained an above-average to 100% rate during the last several years. Students attribute the high rates to a competitive learning environment that is very stimulating for the mind.

Best for

Students who know what career path and specialty they wish to follow should take this school into consideration. With several learning tracks to choose from, a learner can start as an undergraduate, complete one of the best BSN programs in Florida, and continue their doctoral studies.

 University of North Florida Review

Essential Features:

◊ Affordable
◊ A high standard of education
◊ Three APRN tracks
◊ Online and offline learning

Additional Features:

♦ Accelerated programs available
♦A strong NCLEX rate
♦ A robust community clinical program
♦ Named the Best Doctoral Degree School in Florida

The University of North Florida is known for its nurturing environment and high academic standard. Students have several courses of study at their disposal and can choose among multiple specializations. In addition, the school has small classes, allowing for a better student-to-teacher ratio.

Location

Jacksonville is a huge city with almost a million residents. The warm, sunny climate, proximity to the beach, and vibrant social scene are just some of the attractions. Fans of soulful music will love the Blues scene and festivals.

SAT Range

As it is one of the best nursing schools in Florida in 2021, you’ll need an average SAT range of 1090–1260. However, gaining admission is relatively easy because the admissions board is more open-minded than most. In addition, the low cost of tuition and high acceptance rate make it a great safety school.

Accredited

In addition to accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the University of North Florida is also accredited by:

  • American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • One of the top-ranked nursing schools in Florida
  • Florida Board of Nursing

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate of 72% shows that it’s relatively simple to get into this school. The school admits those who didn’t take the SATS as seriously as they should. Don’t expect an easy ride, though.

Tuition

With tuition of around $6,394 a year after taking financial aid, the pricing is very competitive. In addition, the university ranks among the good nursing colleges in Florida for low-income students, thanks to the generous scholarships and grants available.

NCLEX Pass Rate

The latest NCLEX pass rate is 100%, and it’s been consistently over 90% during the last decade. As a result, getting into school is relatively easy. However, keeping up with the competitive environment will require significantly more effort.

Best for

The school is recommended for students who are Florida residents and experience budgetary constraints. The low cost of tuition and relatively affordable living costs make it a good choice if you have a limited income. Students may also find many part-time jobs to support themselves while studying.

Buyer’s Guide — How to Select Best Nursing Schools in Florida?

The nursing profession is challenging at whatever level you work in, and it’s relatively competitive (you’ll notice how many job applicants are there on various job search engines). While there are some elements that you’ll only learn about in the working environment, you must have a solid grounding in theory before you start your career.

Choosing the right school is the first step towards advancement. In this section, we’ll go through what is essential to consider when weighing up your options.

The Location of the Best Nursing Universities in Florida

Real estate agents claim accommodation is the most critical factor when buying a home. Of course, it’s pretty important when choosing a school as well.

Students should weigh up factors like:

  • The distance from home
  • The cost of living
  • Amenities and attractions in the area
  • Crime rates
  • Ease of finding accommodation

SAT Range for the Top Nursing Programs in Florida

To make it into one of the best schools, you should perform on your SATS as well as possible. The average minimum SAT score for acceptance ranges from 1150 to 1250. Students with scores of 1300 and above stand the best chances.

Only one school listed here will consider scores under 1000, so students must aim higher at all times. In addition to entry criteria, SAT scores may also affect your chances of receiving a grant or financial aid.

Accredited Nursing Schools in Florida

Accreditation is one of the most important criteria to consider when selecting your college. An accredited institution offers courses that meet strict criteria and professional standards. This is important because:

  • It creates a standardized level of education.
  • Students must study at accredited institutions to receive financial aid from the government.
  • If you wish to transfer your credits later, the accreditation status of your current school is essential.
  • Employers will consider the accreditation status of the institution when hiring you (as you will include it in your resume when you build it).

Acceptance Rate of the Top-Ranked Nursing Schools in Florida

The acceptance rate is crucial because it demonstrates two things:

  • How picky the admissions board is — Schools maintaining a higher academic average usually have stricter entry requirements. However, it’s not always the case, as the school’s popularity may prompt admission boards to relax the standards.
  • The school’s popularity — The more popular the school, the lower the acceptance rate. A low acceptance rate and high admission standards show that the school is popular because of its academic standards.

Tuition for Good Nursing Schools in Florida

As seen above, tuition may range from just under $10,000 to around $30,000 per year. Schools with an excellent reputation and high popularity may charge even more for their services.

That said, students should consider what they will get for the amount they pay. Some may feel that private institutions provide a better overall experience, but is that worth the jump in tuition costs?

You’ll also have to factor in the cost of living, entertainment, and transport. Living in a town like Miami can be significantly more expensive than living in a city like Fort Myers, for example. Your experience might be less enjoyable if you have no budget for fun or can’t afford groceries.

Class Sizes in the Top Nursing Schools in Florida

The advantage of a larger student body is that there’s more opportunity to make friends. There is also a higher number of competitors that can spur you on to do better. The downside is that the class sizes are bigger, meaning that students get less individual attention.

Whether this suits you depends on the type of student you are. If you’re a self-starter and can follow along with the notes on your own, large class sizes won’t bother you. On the other hand, if you’re a bit more hesitant or need more explanation, it might be better to attend a smaller class.

NCLEX Pass Rate of Top-Rated Nursing Schools in Florida

The NCLEX pass rate will vary from one year to the next. Therefore, students should look for schools with a higher-than-average pass rate. While this score is no guarantee that every student will pass, it’s a good indication of how well the college prepares you for the exam.

It’s also important to check the NCLEX rate for the past few years. It gives you an indication of whether the institution maintains high standards. A rate that improves year to year is a positive sign. If it goes the other way, it should be a red flag.

Best for

At the end of each review of the top nurse schools, we’ve listed a “Best for” heading. Please take it as a guide in making your decision and not the deciding factor. If you find it difficult to decide between two institutions, the “Best for” section highlights factors that individuals find essential.

– Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) –