10 Best RN to BSN Programs in Florida (Online & Campus) – 2023 Rankings
Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org
The healthcare industry is changing across the state of Florida, and the demand for RNs with higher education has reached an all-time high. If you are currently working as an RN with an ADN or diploma, an RN to BSN program can open new doors for you and allow you to further your nursing career. This program gives you credit for your previous schooling and experience and allows you to earn your baccalaureate degree in a way that is affordable and flexible. We have analyzed 27 schools offering RN to BSN programs in Florida according to the academic quality, cost, and overall nursing school reputation to bring you the following list of the best.
Online RN to BSN Programs in Florida: What You Need to Know?
ACEN/CCNE Accredited & Approved by Florida Board of Nursing:
When choosing the right online RN to BSN program in Florida for your needs, it’s vital to ensure it is approved by the Florida Board of Nursing
and accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
(ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
(CCNE). Case studies have shown that RNs graduating from approved and accredited programs are better equipped to provide outstanding patient care.
The courses you will take are designed to build upon those you took in your ADN or diploma program. RN to BSN courses are more specific and in-depth, and they typically focus on things like community health, professionalism in nursing, leadership and management, and more.
| Sample Courses |
| Health Assessment and Physical Appraisal, Pathophysiology, Nursing in a Multicultural Society, Professional Roles and Dimensions of Nursing Practice, Legal & Ethical, Aspects of Nursing, Informatics and Clinical Reasoning, Evidence-Based Research Utilization, Nursing of the Family, Community Health Nursing Theory, Community Health, Nursing Practicum, Leadership Theory, and Leadership Practicum |
Clinical training, also known as a practicum or internship, may be required depending on your school of choice. In this case, you will put the knowledge learned in your online courses to the test in a medical facility in your community. You will provide patient care under direct supervision of faculty and staff.
One of the best things about online RN to BSN courses is that you can often take them on your own time and at your own pace. Many of the programs in Florida can be completed in about a year, but if you work full-time, you may find that stretching your education out over two to three years is best. Program length can vary from one school to the next and is often based on the number of credits you need to complete it.
Common Admission Requirements:
Each school will have its own unique set of admission requirements, though some – such as proof that you’ve completed an ADN or diploma program – will be required by all schools. As an example, in order to enter the online RN to BSN program at Jacksonville University, you will need to have:
• An ADN or nursing diploma;
• A minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.5 on a traditional 4.0 scale;
• A current, unrestricted RN license issued in the United States; and
• A letter grade of C or better in all general education courses considered for transfer credits.
What are the 10 Best Accredited RN to BSN Programs in Florida for 2023?
(Based on our ranking methodology
, the following are the 10 best RN-to-BSN programs in Florida (Online & Campus).)
The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University offers a 100% online opportunity for you to earn your BSN degree. You can start in spring, summer, or fall, giving you ample flexibility, and you can choose from one of four different plans of study ranging in length from three to six semesters. There is one clinical course which you will complete in a community health setting in your region, and you will work with an advisor to put together an individualized plan of study that suits your needs.
• Florida Atlantic University is ranked number one in the state of Florida for its NCLEX-RN pass rates in 2018, attesting to the quality of education here.
• The university offers numerous points of distinction, including value-driven education, diversity, a focus on holistic practice, and education designed to prepare RNs to care for an aging population in the coming years.
Program Overview: The University of North Florida’s online RN to BSN program can be completed in as little as 12 months if you enroll full-time, and it’s taught by faculty who have real-world expert experience in the nursing field. The school is known for providing plenty of individualized attention and access to events such as nursing conferences, civic meetings, and meetings of professional nursing organizations. Courses focus on subjects like research, community nursing, ethics and legal concepts, and leadership and management, and these will prepare you for a more specialized career of your choosing.
• US News & World Report has named the University of North Florida a “Best Regional College.”
• UNF nursing students regularly learn while they volunteer for a variety of local agencies, including public health settings, homeless shelters, home health care, community health departments and clinics, and a variety of other non-profits.
Program Overview: The RN to BSN program at Jacksonville University takes place online and focuses heavily on research, leadership and management, and networking. There are nine total nursing classes in the program, and each class lasts a total of eight weeks. If you transfer in the maximum number of credits based on your previous education, and if you enroll in the program full-time, you could complete your BSN in as little as 10 months. If you want to continue your education beyond your BSN, you can choose to move directly into an MSN program without interruption.
• Jacksonville University has been ranked one of the Best Regional Universities in the south, one of the Best Colleges for Veterans, and one of the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs by US News and World Report
• Per Florida Monthly
magazine, Jacksonville University is one of the top four private universities in the state of Florida.
Program Overview: The University of West Florida’s online RN to BSN program is designed to prepare you to become a clinical generalist who can provide outstanding support and care in virtually any healthcare setting. The program could be completed in as little as 12 months if you transfer in the maximum number of credits and enroll full-time, but part-time tracks are available. There are five start dates each year, giving you the opportunity to enroll whenever you’d like, and thanks to the 100% online format, there are no clinical requirements.
• The University of West Florida was founded in 1963 and employs award-winning faculty and staff in its renowned nursing department.
• You must have a current and unrestricted RN license in the state where you will reside during the program in order to enter.
Program Overview: The RN to BSN degree offered at Santa Fe College is delivered online in an asynchronous format which will allow you to learn at your own pace. Two of the courses require 45 hours of direct or indirect clinical practice. The school utilizes a seven-week half-semester format for its courses that constantly rotate. Full-time students can complete the program in three terms; part-time students typically complete it in five. In total, you will need 120 total credit hours to graduate, including 30 hours of BSN core courses.
• Aside from CCNE accreditation, Santa Fe College’s RN to BSN degree is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
• Santa Fe College provides numerous student resources, including advisement, counseling, a student healthcare center, and access to a career coach, labs, and even a child care center.
Program Overview: At Miami-Dade College’s Benjamin Leon School of Nursing, the on-campus RN to BSN program is designed to help you further your career and prepares you for a graduate degree. There are three tracks from which to choose, including both full- and part-time schedules to suit your needs. The BSN expands upon ADN curriculum in areas like administration, management, occupational health, and informatics. Miami-Dade College is known among its alumni for its outstanding student and career services, so if you want a classroom setting and plenty of individualized attention, this may be the choice for you.
• Miami-Dade College RN to BSN graduates often go on to work as trauma nurses in emergency departments, flight nurses who work on helicopters, and surgical nurses who spend much of their time in operating rooms.
• Some courses require clinical hours at various facilities of your choice, but you will need to have the site and preceptor approved prior to starting your clinicals.
Program Overview: Indian River State College offers a completely online RN to BSN program that was specifically designed to build upon the courses you took in your ADN program and your experience working as an RN. With an evidence-based model of teaching based on science, research, and experience, you will be prepared for a broader and more specialized RN career after graduation. Though the lectures and coursework are online-only, clinicals are required, and these are available in four Florida counties – Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee.
• Indian River State College is a supporter of the Health Occupation Student Association
, or HOSA, an international organization of students that is recognized by the US Department of Education. Its missions include enhancing patient outcomes and healthcare delivery and promoting career opportunities for students.
• The program lasts four semesters and includes two courses per semester, which is ideal for working nurses.
Type: Online, Campus
Saint Petersburg College offers both an online and on-campus RN to BSN degree that builds on your previous education, your RN licensure, and your experience. If you enroll full-time, you can complete the entire program in four semesters, but you can also take your courses one at a time to accommodate your busy lifestyle. Practicums can be completed locally, reducing travel time, and the program’s learning focuses include things such as leadership and management, research, and community health.
• Aside from its accreditation by the CCNE, Saint Petersburg College’s RN to BSN program is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
• SPC’s courses occur in modified semesters, and you can opt to take one course per mod (part-time) or two courses per mod (full-time). Otherwise, program length depends on the number of credits you transfer and the number of credits you must earn.
Program Overview: Daytona State College offers a 100% online RN to BSN program that allows you a seamless transition from your ADN or diploma degree. Programs typically last four semesters but depend primarily on the credits you transfer and your ability to enroll full-time. You will also be required to participate in a Service Learning practicum that you can complete at various facilities and organizations across the region. The program requires 120 hours, 48 of which are BSN program specific.
• Daytona State College’s unique Service Learning practicum requires 24 hours of participation, or eight hours for each of three courses. The focus is on wellness and social advocacy among the underserved, so you may choose locations like homeless shelters, transitional living centers, and neighborhood centers.
• You will have access to numerous Student Success services, including the Student Success Laboratory at the Daytona campus which allows you to get help and guidance in applying classroom theory to real-world problems.
Program Overview: Pasco-Hernando State College’s RN to BSN program expands on your past professional knowledge and enhances leadership, critical thinking, and communication skills. You will be trained through a combination didactic and clinical experiences. Offered in fall and spring, if you study full-time, you can complete this program in 12 months by taking courses in a sequential manner. Your curriculum includes courses in nursing theoretical concepts, pathology for nursing practice, pharmacology for nursing, laws and ethics relevant to nursing practice, nursing research, and informatics and leadership and management in nursing.
• At the beginning of the semester, you are required to complete a course in Examination and Assessment with a minimum grade “C.” This is to measure the competency of a student.
• To enhance professional skills, the program entails completing 15 hours in a clinical lab along with a clinical experience that is designed in accordance to the student’s individualized interests.
VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY
USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT RN TO BSN PROGRAMS IN FLORIDA
Latest on Florida’s Push Towards 80% BSN
The Institute of Medicine’s challenge to have 80% of all the RNs in the United States educated at the BSN level by 2020 has sparked numerous changes across the state of Florida. Per the Florida Nurse Education Reports
released by the Florida Center for Nursing, between 2016 and 2017, RN to BSN program graduates increased by a stunning 50%. According to the same report, post-licensure enrollments in nursing programs have tripled since 2017 as a direct result of more RNs seeking bachelor’s degrees. The 2016-2017 Workforce Supply Characteristics and Trends for Registered Nurses report from the same organization shows that only 44% of working RNs have a BSN or higher degree in the state, however.
Florida has a long way to go to meet the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations, but BSN program enrollments continue to increase every year. More schools than ever before provide working RNs with access to flexible online programs that won’t break the bank. Ideally, giving working RNs access to affordable, flexible programs in Florida will entice them to complete baccalaureate degrees resulting in better job security, a higher salary, and more job opportunities over time.
Options to Fund Your RN to BSN in Florida
Despite many schools’ efforts to reduce tuition and pricing, especially for online programs, earning your BSN can be expensive. Fortunately, there are options available to make things easier.
Grants are sums of money to put toward your education that you do not have to repay. Some, such as the Federal Pell Grant, are based solely on your financial need. You can apply for this and other grants by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. The Florida Student Assistance Grant
Program is another option, as is the Florida Residence Access Grant.
Student loans are another option to consider if grants and scholarships leave a balance. These are also available directly from the federal government and you can apply for them using the same FAFSA form as your federal grant applications. Many RNs find that loans from their personal banks or credit unions offer competitive interest rates and more favorable repayment terms.
Hundreds of national and in-state scholarships exist, and while some offer relatively small sums, you can apply for – and earn – more than one. One of the most well-known scholarships in Florida is available through the Florida Nurses Foundation
, and you can also apply for the Janet Colliflower Keys Nursing Scholarship, which is awarded through the Miami Foundation
Employer Assistance Programs:
If you are currently working as an RN, your employer may offer assistance programs such as tuition reimbursement. This simply means that if you continue to work for your employer during and after completing your baccalaureate program, you may be entitled to have some or all of your out-of-pocket tuition costs reimbursed to you. Work-study programs are also available in some locations; in these cases, employers pay for your education in exchange for your agreement to work for them for a specific amount of time, typically in an underserved community.
6 Potential Advantages of Pursuing an RN to BSN in Florida
There’s no doubt that obtaining your BSN degree will fill you with a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment, but there are other benefits to consider, as well.
1. Expand Your Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
Though you’ve likely learned a great deal in your time working as an RN, going back to school and participating in RN to BSN courses in FL will provide you with new knowledge, skills, and abilities. For example, you will learn how to assume leadership roles in your profession, and you may even choose to take a new career path in a field like research or community healthcare.
2. Salary Bump:
Of course, another excellent reason to consider pursuing an RN to BSN degree in FL is the increased salary you will receive. By obtaining a higher education, you become more valuable to your employers and they will compensate you accordingly. Without a BSN, RNs across Florida earn an average of $79,910 each year, but after earning their baccalaureate degrees, this average jumps to $86,960 – a difference of $7,050 annually
. This salary increase is even larger if you work in the Naples area.
3. More Job Openings:
| Florida |
|Before RN To BSN || After RN to BSN || How Much More Will I Earn |
|$79,910 ||$86,960 ||+$7,050 |
|(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) |
While nurses are always in high demand, you will find that you have even more opportunities once you earn your BSN degree. ADN graduates have access to an average of 3,900 new job openings each year, but BSN graduates have access to 7,010. This difference represents the growing demand for RNs with higher education across the state. Keep in mind that many of the more lucrative employers such as high-profile clinics and surgical offices will only hire BSN-educated nurses.
4. The Outlook is Brighter for a BSN Graduate:
| Florida Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement) |
| Annual Openings for BSN Graduates ||7,010|
| Annual Openings for ADN Graduates ||3,900|
| (Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org) |
Between the years of 2020 and 2030, some 7,100 new jobs for RNs with ADN degrees will open up across the state, representing growth of 12.56%. However, for BSN-educated RNs, 15,430 new jobs will open in the same timeframe – a growth of 15.57%. This growth will be fueled by the aging population and more widespread access to quality healthcare, and as employers focus more on improved patient outcomes, the demand for RNs with BSN degrees is expected to rise.
5. Career Advancement:
| 10 Year (2020-2030) Job Outlook |
| || Employment || New Job Growth |
| 2020 || 2030 || Number || % |
| BSN ||99,100||114,530||15,430||15.57%|
| ADN ||56,550||63,650||7,100||12.56%|
| (Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org) |
An RN to BSN degree in the state of Florida also provides you with an excellent opportunity to advance your career. For example, you may choose to take on a leadership position and become a nurse manager or supervisor, which comes with more responsibility and a higher salary. You may also choose to become a clinical nurse specialist, a clinical research nurse, or even a nurse educator teaching associate degree courses in a community or technical college.
6. Post-RN to BSN Study Options:
| Advancement Opportunities |
| Charge Nurse || Director of Nursing |
| Chief Nursing Officer || Nurse Educator |
|Clinical Nurse Specialist ||Nurse Manager |
| Clinical Research Nurse || Nurse Supervisor |
Once you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree, the possibilities don’t end. You can continue your studies for an additional two years, earn you master’s degree and become a certified nurse midwife, a clinical leader, or even a nurse practitioner earning a salary of up to $125,090 annually. If you continue to study for another four to six years, you could earn a doctoral degree such as a PhD or a DNP and work as an advanced practice registered nurse, a college professor, a researcher, or even a senior policy analyst with a salary topping out at $146,040.
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RN to BSN Programs in other States
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| Type of Degree || Length || Roles and Responsibilities || Salary |
|Master’s Degree (MSN/MS)||Up to 2 years||Administrator, Certified Nurse Midwife, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Clinical Leader, Clinical Nurse Specialist & Nurse Practitioner||$58,630 - $125,090|
|Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree||4 to 6 years||Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, College Faculty, Nursing School Dean, Health System Executive, Researcher, & Senior Policy Analyst||$58,630 - $146,040|