2023 BSN to MSN Degree Programs in Florida

Who wouldn’t want to study nursing in Florida? The Sunshine State has lots of sun, surf, and beaches you can enjoy when you are not in class. And when you are in class, you can learn from some of the top nursing faculty in the nation.

You have your choice of many different BSN to MSN nursing programs as well. Florida has 40 public, state-funded institutions to go along with dozens and dozens of private colleges, religiously-affiliated universities, and technical schools. From the panhandle to Miami Beach, Florida has you covered for your higher education.

This guide includes four top-recommended BSN to MSN programs in Florida. There are many more options, but these programs represent some of the top choices for nursing students.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs

University of West Florida (UWF)

School Information

The University of West Florida is a graduate-level college with just over 13,000 students. While the bulk of UWF’s student body is undergraduates, there are nearly 4,000 graduate students on campus.

One of the University of West Florida’s most important features is that it’s a relatively inexpensive school to attend. If you are a Florida resident, you will pay just $212 per credit for undergraduate courses and $378 for graduate studies.

You can undertake your studies in a highly diverse environment, too. While most of UWF’s students are white, there are large populations of students of color. This includes 11 percent of students that identify as African-American and about 11 percent that identify as Hispanic.

Program Information

The BSN to MSN program at the University of West Florida is an accelerated format. With just 59 credits required (including up to 20 transfer credits) for an MSN, you can round out your education in around two years.

The required credits also include 12 hours of “crossover” courses plus 27 credits of MSN coursework. Crossover courses include Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharmacology, and Health Systems Leadership and Policy Strategies. These courses prepare you for MSN-level work in:

  • Foundations of Nursing Science
  • Population Health Promotion and Management
  • Integration of Evidence in Advanced Nursing Practice

To apply, you must be a registered nurse and have completed your BSN with a minimum 3.25 GPA.

The University of Central Florida (UCF)

School Information

The University of Central Florida is a relatively new school, having been founded in 1967. However, UCF has seen significant growth, partly due to its location in Orlando, one of the most visited cities in the United States, thanks to the Walt Disney World Resort.

UCF hasn’t just grown because of its proximity to the Happiest Place on Earth, though. The university has dedicated itself to becoming a premier research university with world-class facilities. Today, the school is one of the largest in the nation, with more than 70,000 students.

There are more than 230 degrees offered at UCF, including 106 bachelor’s degrees, nearly 100 master’s degrees, and nearly 40 doctoral and post-graduate programs. If you want to continue your education after completing your MSN, UCF has many options for you!

Program Information

The MSN program at the University of Central Florida is an online degree aimed specifically at registered nurses who hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. By enrolling in this program, you can get the advanced clinical training you need to advance your career, which might be impossible to achieve with your current level of education.

This program is divided into 31-36 credit hours which you take in traditional 16-week terms. You can choose from three areas of specialization to further your studies: Nurse Education, Nursing and Healthcare Simulation, or Nursing Leadership and Management. All three tracks require core courses that include:

  • Health Promotion
  • Pathophysiological Bases for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Theory for Advanced Nursing Practice

Application to the program can be made in the spring and fall. No GRE score is required.

Jacksonville University

School Information

Jacksonville University is a non-profit, doctoral-level private school in Florida’s northeast corner. The campus is close to the Atlantic Ocean (the campus actually has ¾-mile of waterfront access), where you can enjoy white sand beaches, warm water, and many different recreational opportunities.

While you are on campus, you’ll learn in a small-school environment – there are less than 4,000 students, around 1,200 of which are enrolled in a graduate program. Nursing is the most popular program at Jacksonville for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Though it’s a small school, its reputation for academic success is mighty. In fact, US News and World Report ranks Jacksonville among America’s Best Colleges in the South, and has done so for more than a decade straight.

Program Information

Jacksonville University’s graduate nursing program allows you to accelerate your education while earning two degrees – your BSN and MSN – in as little as 18 months. Upon graduation, you will have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue a variety of nursing careers, including those in health informatics, nursing leadership, and healthcare quality and safety.

This program has numerous features that make it a flexible option for your learning. For example, classes are available online or on campus, with on-campus courses being in the evening to accommodate your work schedule.

What’s more, courses are eight weeks in length so that you can complete courses faster. Not only that, there are year-round start dates for courses, and you can take time off during the program as needed.

Some of the courses you will take include:

  • Nursing Theory and Research
  • Nursing Leadership and Advanced Roles
  • Organization, Delivery and Policy in Healthcare

You will also complete a practicum component to get real-world experience with actual patients.

Florida Atlantic University (FAU)

School Information

Florida Atlantic University is a large public doctoral-granting school with nearly 25,000 students. Yet, despite the large enrollment, FAU’s student-to-faculty ratio is 21:1. With smaller class sizes, you will have more opportunities for individualized learning from your professors.

According to US News and World Report, the nursing program at FAU ranks in the top 100 in the nation. Other accolades earned by FAU include 41st in social mobility and 132nd among top public schools.

FAU is also known as a relatively inexpensive school. In-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students is around $6,100, which is far lower than the national average of $11,286.

Out-of-state tuition is also cheaper than the national average. At FAU, it’s $21,655 for non-resident students, while the national average is more than $27,000 per year.

Program Information

One of the benefits of studying at Florida Atlantic University is that you can choose from a wide range of specialties in the MSN program. For example, you can concentrate your studies in:

With so many options for clinical and administrative practice, you can truly prepare yourself for your ideal career upon graduation. To graduate, you must complete between 33 and 49 credits of coursework, depending on your specialty.

The courses you take also depend on your specialty. Tracks that focus on practice include more clinical-oriented studies, while those with an education or leadership focus have more courses in academics and management in medical settings.

Work Opportunities in Florida

After you graduate with your MSN degree, you want to find meaningful work that pays well. Most nursing positions pay well, and nursing is inherently a profession that offers you the chance to make a meaningful difference in someone else’s life. Working as a nurse in Florida has another benefit, too – there’s a lot of jobs to be had.

In fact, Florida is one of the top five states for employment of nurses, with many of those in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area.

Among metropolitan areas, Gainesville, Florida, ranks in the top ten in terms of the highest number of nursing jobs per 1,000 residents. Only California, Texas, and New York employ a greater number of people in the nursing field.

While other states offer a higher median salary than Florida, the average annual salary in the Sunshine State is still $72,000. That’s not bad! However, with an MSN and some experience, your annual pay can be much higher. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that the top ten percent of nurses make over $120,000 per year.

Though the population in Florida is older due to the number of retirees, nursing jobs in the state aren’t limited to nursing homes. Nursing jobs in Florida can be found in hospitals, medical clinics, and doctor’s offices.

Additionally, you can work in home health care, outpatient treatment centers, and rehabilitation facilities. All it takes is the right combination of experience and education, and you can pursue any number of nursing jobs in Florida.

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