Top Nursing Schools in Florida

Female black doctor and nurse discussing x-rays
David Sacks / Getty Images

If you're looking for a good nursing school in Florida, the number of options can be daunting. A total of 154 institutions in the state offer some kind of nursing degree. If we limit the search to non-profit colleges and universities, we're still left with 100 options. 

The nursing degrees with the best income potential and career options tend to be at the bachelor's degree level or higher. But even if we restrict our search to four-year colleges and universities, Florida still has 51 options for nursing degrees.

The schools below all offer bachelor's degrees in nursing, and most also offer graduate degrees at the master's and doctoral level. The schools were selected based on the clinical experiences they offer, the size and reputation of the programs, the success of graduates, and the campus facilities.

01
of 08

Florida International University

Green Library at Florida International University
Green Library at Florida International University. Comayagua99 / Wikimedia Commons

For students who want to study nursing in the Miami area, Florida International University's Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences is an excellent option. At the undergraduate level, the university offers several degree tracks including a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, an online program for registered nurses to earn their BSN, and an accelerated BSN degree for students who already have a bachelor's degree in another field. This latter program can be completed in just three semesters.

Like most good nursing schools, FIU believes that students learn by doing, so the degree path includes plenty of hands-on experiences. These are supported by the nursing school's mock hospital at the Simulation Teaching and Research Center. In total, the university has 15 instructional labs and facilities.

FIU's college of nursing offers a total of 20 degree and certificate programs ranging from a BSN to a Ph.D. in Nursing. The nursing school has roughly 1,000 students enrolled across all programs. The university's pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) tends to be around 90%.

02
of 08

Florida State University

Florida State University
Florida State University. J-a-x / Flickr

The College of Nursing at Florida State University offers degrees at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels. The BSN program clearly prepares its students well, as evident by the school's 95% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN.

Admission to the FSU College of Nursing is selective, and students apply after completing two years of general education and prerequisite courses. Once admitted, students gain hands-on experiences through the school's patient simulators and clinical labs, and clinical experiences occur at a range of health care agencies in the Tallahassee region.

03
of 08

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University. vxla / Flickr

Registered Nursing is by far the most popular bachelor's degree program at Nova Southeastern University. The school graduates over 400 students each year at the undergraduate level. The school's multiple locations and online options make earning a nursing degree possible for students with geographical and time constraints.

The NSU College of Nursing has partnerships with numerous major hospitals and healthcare centers so students can gain valuable clinical experiences, and the school's simulation labs and patient simulators help prepare students for their interactions with real patients. The university's pass rate on the NCLEX-RN tends to be slightly below 90%.

04
of 08

University of Central Florida

College of Health and Public Affairs at UCF
College of Health and Public Affairs at UCF. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

The University of Central Florida has many strengths in health-related fields, and Registered Nursing is the second most popular undergraduate program, with close to 700 students graduating annually. Among its many programs, UCF's College of Nursing offers a traditional classroom-based BSN program, an accelerated second degree BSN program, and an online RN to BSN program. The university has an impressive 97% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN.

At the graduate level, UCF offers several online and hybrid options at both the master's and doctoral levels.  

The College of Nursing's size and reputation open the doors to a wide range of student opportunities both in and out of the classroom. The university has a chapter of Sigma, the international nursing honor society, and the school is home to student associations for pre-nursing, nursing, and graduate nursing. Service-learning opportunities can be found through 17 Community Nursing Coalitions and the interdisciplinary club, Simsations 4 LIFE.

05
of 08

University of Florida

Century Tower at the University of Florida
Century Tower at the University of Florida.

 Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images

As the flagship campus of Florida's public university system, the University of Florida is home to a highly regarded College of Nursing. The college's home is in UF's 173,000 square foot Health Professions complex. Students gain plenty of hands-on experiences through both on-campus simulations and clinical experiences at a wide range of hospitals, clinics, home health care settings, and outpatient facilities across northern Florida. The university can boast of a pass rate well over 90% on the NCLEX-RN.

Nursing students interested in research should check out UF's Scholars Program. Participants shadow nursing faculty researchers to gain insight into advanced nursing practices.

06
of 08

University of Miami

University of Miami
University of Miami. Jaine / Flickr

As a private university, the University of Miami is going to have a higher price tag than many schools on this list, but the School of Nursing & Health Studies is excellent and ranks among the top 30 nursing programs in the nation. The school has an impressive 97% pass rate on the NCLEX. The university offers degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels, and they are some of the most popular programs at the entire university.

Like all of the nursing schools on this list, the University of Miami offers excellent hands-on training both in the lab and through clinical practice in the Miami area. The school's Simulation Hospital, however, stands out from its peers. The 41,000-square-foot simulation facility mimics the feel of an actual hospital and includes four fully-outfitted operating rooms, an extensive medical-surgical unit, and numerous other learning spaces.

07
of 08

University of North Florida

University of North Florida Student Center
University of North Florida Student Center.

Ebyabe / Wikimedia Commons /  CC BY-SA 4.0

The University of North Florida's School of Nursing was the first flagship program at the university. The school graduates well over 200 BSN students every year, and the school has a strong 94% pass rate on the NCLEX.

The school has a wide range of health care partners in the greater Jacksonville area, and the University of North Florida places particular emphasis on interacting with and serving the local community. Many students participate in clinical operations for Volunteers in Medicine to help serve the uninsured in the area. Other students partner with the health departments in neighboring counties. Community service and hands-on nursing experiences go hand-in-hand at UNF.

08
of 08

University of Tampa

plant-hall-university-of-tampa.jpg
Plant Hall at the University of Tampa. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Some rankings place the University of Tampa in the #1 spot among Florida's nursing programs, and this may be in part due to the school's impressive 100% pass rate on the NCLEX. The UT nursing program is the smallest one on this list, graduating about 55 BSN students each year. Despite the small size, the program has clinical partnerships with over 120 health care facilities. 

Admission to UT's nursing program is highly competitive, and students must complete numerous prerequisites before applying. Nursing students have access to UT's high-tech simulation lab, and the university places a strong emphasis on faculty mentoring.