Online nurse practitioner programs in Florida offer a convenient way to advance your nursing career without disrupting your current responsibilities, whether you’re looking to become a family nurse practitioner or specialize in an area such as psychiatric mental health, acute care, or women’s health. And now’s a great time to start. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity lists nurse practitioners as the second-fastest growing occupation in the entire state from 2019 to 2027, with over 3,000 new jobs projected.
This guide helps you prepare for that process by looking what you can expect from online nurse practitioner programs in Florida. It discusses the perks of earning your NP degree online from a Florida university, describes the different types of available programs, and spotlights several top accredited schools. It also answers FAQs about cost, program length, licensure, and salary prospects.
Why Attend an Online Nurse Practitioner Program in Florida?
If you want to become a nurse practitioner in Florida, earning your grad degree online is a popular option. And while you can choose to earn your NP degree online from a school outside of Florida, earning it from an in-state university can often be the smarter choice. This is especially true for current residents who plan to continue working in the state. Here are a few of the top benefits.
- Convenience of online classwork
Nurses work odd hours at times and may struggle to balance professional responsibilities with other demands. If this sounds familiar, then you know it can be hard to find extra time for additional education and training. Online nurse practitioner programs in Florida offer an ideal option in this environment so you can earn your degree with less stress and anxiety. They deliver most coursework online with minimal in-person requirements.
- Local academic and professional support
In most cases, online nurse practitioner programs in Florida are in a position to offer better overall student support than out-of-state universities. Many extend perks and specialized support services to their online students. For example, the University of Central Florida maintains an extensive menu of tools, including library and career resources. In addition, most Florida nursing schools can offer better clinical placements than out-of-state programs due to their stronger relationships with local hospitals and treatment centers.
- Coursework and clinicals designed to meet Florida NP licensing requirements
Many online NP programs only officially support licensure for the state the school is located in or a limited number of other states. Online nurse practitioner programs in Florida, on the other hand, build their curriculum specifically around NP licensure requirements outlined by the Florida Board of Nursing. Enrolling in one of these programs can put your mind at ease, offering reassurance that you’ll be license-ready following graduation.
- Professional networking continuity
Region-specific professional networks can be personally enriching and support career advancement. If you work in Florida as an RN, then odds are you’ve already been hard at work building a professional network over the years. You know those efforts take time to grow and blossom. Earning your nurse practitioner degree within the state means you can expand your network rather than starting from scratch. These programs provide plenty of opportunities to make new connections and maintain existing ones.
- More affordable tuition and financial aid opportunities
If you live in Florida, attending a program within the state may be cheaper than out-of-state options. Many Florida schools and local organizations also extend financial aid awards that only residents are eligible for. There may be incentives for working nurses in the state as well, depending on the program and employer.
Which Type of Online NP Program in Florida is Right for You?
Florida colleges and universities offer several different options for students looking to earn their NP credentials online. Most come in hybrid or fully-online formats. They cater to aspiring professionals at different points in their nursing career with varying education backgrounds. Find out which path best fits your circumstances below.
Standout Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Florida
Picking the right NP program takes time and the school search itself can be daunting due to the number of available programs. In order to expedite this process, we’ve identified several top online nurse practitioner programs in Florida and spotlighted them below. These fully-accredited programs offer convenient paths to completion while extending the support and academic quality you need to achieve your goals. Find out which schools stand out below.
FAQs About Online NP Programs in Florida
NP Certification and Licensing Requirements in Florida
All nurse practitioners need licensure and certification before they can legally practice. The Florida Board of Nursing (BON) oversees this process and outlines all the necessary credentialing requirements. Understanding these rules and regulations is key and a crucial step of the process before earning your degree. Find out more about how to get licensed below.
Education and Training
Like other states, Florida designates nurse practitioners as advanced practice registered nurses (APRN). The first and most lengthy step toward licensure for APRNs is formal training and education. The Florida BON stipulates that prospective licensees must complete a master’s degree or a post-graduate certification program. It also requires an active RN license. The board itself does not maintain a list of approved education programs, but it does recommend that potential programs hold programmatic accreditation from either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Once you have earned your degree or certificate, the next step is to obtain national nurse practitioner certification. The Florida BON requires that all nurse practitioner candidates submit proof of completion along with their license application. Because APRN licensure is an advanced credential, candidates can complete a national certification program within their specialty or area of expertise. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners keeps an ongoing list of available programs, including certificates in pediatrics, critical-care, and gerontology among others. It also extends useful preparation resources like study guides and practice tests.
Additional NP Licensing Requirements
Once they have completed a qualified education program and obtained national certification APRN candidates in Florida and proceed to initial licensure. They must submit an online application that demonstrates completion of education requirements along with their active RN license. In addition, they need to provide proof of malpractice insurance, electronic fingerprints, and criminal background check results. Licensees are responsible for a modest application fee and can expect their applications to be reviewed within 30 days. According to the Florida BON, most APRN applications are processed within 6-8 business days.
Certification and License Renewal
The process does not end with initial licensure. Florida nurse practitioners must actively maintain their license in order to remain qualified for work. Current statutes require that APRNs renew their license every other year. Licensees can submit their application through the same portal used for initial licensure. Requirements for renewal include an application fee, a current copy of national certification, and completed continuing education credits. The continuing education requirement is the most important part of this process. Florida’s BON currently asks that APRNs complete at least 16 hours of continuing education in specified areas. Proof of completion must be submitted using the state’s verification tool.
Salary and Job Outlook for Nurse Practitioners in Florida
What happens after you graduate and obtain licensure? What sort of professional advancement opportunities and earnings potential will you see? This section looks at job outlook and salary prospects for nurse practitioners in Florida based on recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.
Are nurse practitioners in high demand in Florida?
As the table below indicates, the job outlook for nurse practitioners in Florida exceeds already encouraging national trends. There are more jobs available than in other occupations and more localized demands for skilled nurse practitioners. This is largely due to aging populations in Florida and the surrounding region. The long-term effects have resulted in an increased need for nurse practitioners who can help groups and individuals as they move through the lifespan and face the unique challenges often associated with aging and assistive care. Ultimately this means more job openings annually and plenty of room for career advancement within the profession.
Job Outlook for Nurse Practitioners in Florida
|Employment (2018)||New Jobs(2018-2028)||Job Growth Rate (2018-2028)||Average Annual Openings(2018-2028)|
Source: Projections Central
How much can I make as a nurse practitioner in Florida?
According to the latest projections, salary prospects for nurse practitioners in Florida align with the occupation’s positive job outlook. At the state-level, mean hourly and annual wages are slightly lower than national averages, but it’s important to consider other factors like living expenses and income taxes when comparing earnings. Major metropolitan areas like Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Tampa-St. Petersburg see the highest earnings, with Orlando following closely behind.
Earnings Potential for Nurse Practitioners in Florida
|Median Hourly Wage||Mean Hourly Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach||$49.19||$49.98||$103,960|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019
Florida Nurse Practitioner Student and Professional Resources
- American Association of Nurse PractitionersFounded in 1985 as one of the nation’s premier nurse practitioner networks, this association supports professionals through training, advocacy, and sponsored events. It extends continuing education opportunities and aggregates state and local resources.
- Florida Association of Nurse PractitionersWith state headquarters located near Daytona Beach, this organization serves Florida nurse practitioners at every level of educational attainment. It raises awareness surrounding healthcare policy, operates a job board, and maintains an extensive resource database.
- Florida Board of NursingThis entity oversees all licensure and credentialing operations for nursing professionals in Florida. It issues active licenses to new nurse practitioners and offers resources for those seeking renewal. It also provides handy lists of available nursing programs.
- Florida Nurse Practitioner NetworkA great resource for new and experience professionals alike, this network empowers nurse practitioners to become leaders in their field. It operates a comprehensive career center, awards scholarships and other financial aid, and offers a number of continuing education opportunities.
- Florida Nursing Students AssociationThis association offers support to Florida nursing students through advocacy and community events. Its hosts an annual conference and maintains an active social media presence. It also generates a regular newsletter.
- Online Resources and Scholarships for Nurse Practitioner StudentsThis EduMed page lists a variety of resources available to Florida nurse practitioner students. It details some scholarship opportunities and professional resources, and discusses some great tools for those who plan to study online.