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Accelerated BSN Programs in Florida: Fast-Track Online & Campus Nursing Degrees

Find accredited, accelerated BSN programs in Florida near you and learn how they can help you launch your career as a licensed RN in less than two years.

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Do you have a bachelor’s degree and want to make a career change? Are you considering becoming a registered nurse to provide vital care to members of your community? Do you want to complete your degree quickly so you can get into the workforce as soon as possible?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, this is the right time to earn an accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing. According to the Florida Hospital Association, by 2035, the state will face a shortage of 59,000 nurses—putting the health outcomes of the community at risk. By enrolling in an accelerated bachelor’s in nursing program, you can transfer in the general education credits you earned during your first degree and train to become a nurse in less time.

Continue reading to learn more about accelerated BSN programs in Florida. You will find information on the best programs in the state, as well as what your job prospects will look like after you graduate.

A Closer Look at Florida’s Top Accelerated BSN Programs for 2024

Top accelerated BSN programs can play an integral role in the training of nurses and go a long way toward alleviating the pressure caused by the state’s nursing shortage — but only if the school is providing the high-quality education nurses must have. The following schools are among the best the state has to offer, so it’s worth your time to find out about their online and hybrid accelerated BSN programs.

Herzing University

Herzing University’s accelerated bachelor’s in nursing is a hybrid program that allows students to take classes both online and at the school’s Orlando campus. If you have completed the prerequisite classes, you can obtain this degree in approximately 20 months. However, it can take up to 24 months to complete if you need to catch up on required science coursework. To be admitted, applicants are expected to have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is also required for admission.

Once admitted, students take courses designed to provide a foundation in the theory behind nursing practice and its everyday application. Specific classes include mental health, family, and medical-surgical nursing, as well as healthcare assessment practices, pharmacology, and nursing leadership. Students also complete a practicum to gain hands-on experience in evidence-based nursing practice.

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida’s accelerated BSN program includes classes that cover the essentials of nursing practice, healthcare across the lifespan, health assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology. This 54-credit program also has coursework that helps students gain a deep understanding of specific kinds of nursing, including psychiatric, public health, community, and family nursing. Students go on to participate in a practicum to get the hands-on experience they need to become competent nurses. To successfully complete the program, students should have at least a 2.5 grade point average.

The University of Central Florida charges $212.28 per credit for state residents and $748.89 for those coming into the program from another state. Students must also pay an equipment fee of $50 per term if they attend full-time, while part-time students pay $25.

Utica University

The accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing offered by Utica University can be completed in approximately 16 months. The hybrid program allows students to take advantage of the convenience of online learning, while giving them the hands-on training that will make them the highly skilled nurses the community needs. To do this, the school provides robust, interactive online courses through its e-Learning platform, as well as labs with hands-on simulations that reinforce what students learn in class. In addition, there is a clinical rotation requirement, so students can work in advanced medical settings and experience how care is delivered to a diverse community of patients.

In addition to offering a hybrid education format, Utica University provides additional convenience by allowing prospective students to be admitted on a rolling basis, so they don’t have to wait to apply or find out if they’ve been accepted. The program has multiple start dates, allowing students to begin in January, May, or August.

Curriculum Overview for Accelerated BSN Program in Florida

Practice as a nurse in Florida and all other states requires state licensing or registration, which, in turn, requires applicants to complete an approved nursing education program and pass a state-approved competency exam. In Florida, nurse licensing and certification is administered by the Florida Board of Nursing, which has strict requirements for nursing education programs. As a result, the curriculums of accredited BSN programs in the state follow a standard structure, all consisting of the following same three fundamental components:

1.Prerequisite Coursework

All programs require students to complete several state-mandated nursing-related prerequisite courses prior to beginning their accelerated BSN curriculum (see the discussion of admission requirements below). The general education requirements that are normally a part of a bachelor’s degree program are satisfied or waived in your accelerated BSN program through the acceptance and transfer process. Any general education deficit is normally made up by completing the needed coursework either before or during the accelerated BSN program.

2.Nursing Classes

All programs require completion of an extensive set of core nursing courses and lab activities covering such topics as health assessment, patient care, research and evidence-based nursing practice, clinical reasoning, pharmacology, and many others. The UWF’s accelerated BSN program curriculum will give you a good idea of the types of classes you’ll be taking in your program. With a few exceptions (see the online program spotlights below), students enrolled in accelerated BSN programs in Florida will complete all of their classes and labs in-person on either their school’s main campus or at a school-affiliated facility.

3.Clinical Training

Nurse licensing and registration in Florida requires students to complete a minimum number of clinical training hours at practice facilities located in and around the school’s local community. These clinical hours allow students to apply the theoretical knowledge and clinical skills they’ve gained in the classroom to real practice settings under the direct supervision of licensed clinical instructors. Check out this webpage from Utica University to learn more about clinical training experiences in an accelerated BSN program.

Additional Accelerated BSN Programs in Florida for 2024

To help you continue your program search, we’ve highlighted three additional accelerated BSN programs in Florida below. These selections are based on several important elements, including accreditation, affordability, curriculum comprehensiveness, and the availability of quality student support services. These will give you an idea of what you should expect in terms of academic quality and support from the program you ultimately choose.

Florida Atlantic University

FAU’s Accelerated BSN program is a 15-month intensive program that begins each spring and lasts four consecutive semesters. The program is full-time and requires approximately 24 to 40 hours of clinical nurse practice and classes each week, along with approximately 40 hours per week in study time. All didactic courses and labs are in-person on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, with clinical hours completed at practice sites in and around the city. Admission into the program requires a non-nursing bachelor’s earned with a cumulative 3.0 GPA. This is a limited-access program, and students must complete all prerequisites before beginning the program’s 60-credit hour curriculum. Prerequisite coursework can be completed at FAU or other state universities or community colleges.

The current estimated total cost of the program is approximately $21,664 for Florida residents and $52,776 for out-of-state residents. These estimates include tuition, fees, and all associated costs (computer, uniforms, books, supplies, etc.) except housing and personal transportation to clinical sites.

University of Florida

The 16-month, full-time Accelerated BSN program from the University of Florida consists of four consecutive semesters of classes, labs, and clinical practice. Students begin their courses of study in May and finish in August of the following year. The program is available on UF’s main Gainesville campus and UF Health’s Jacksonville campus, where students attend all classes and labs. Nursing practice requirements are attended at clinical sites around the Gainesville and Jacksonville areas.

As with the FAU program, the two major requirements for admissions are a previously-earned bachelor’s degree or higher in a non-nursing major (earned with a cumulative minimum 3.0 GPA) and completion of all state-mandated prerequisite coursework. The current total in-state resident program cost for this 60-credit hour program is $12,762.60 for tuition and fees, plus an estimated $3,000 to $3,400 in expenses for items such as books and supplies, uniforms, stethoscope, course-related software and services, travel expenses, licensure preparation courses, etc.

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida’s Accelerated Second Bachelor’s Degree (BSN) program is hosted on all three of USF’s campuses (Sarasota-Manatee, St. Petersburg, and Tampa), meaning that students complete all classes and labs on their campus of choice and all clinical hours at approved practice sites in the community surrounding their campus. However, the degree program is approved and accredited through USF Tampa, so all students must apply to and be admitted there. This full-time program is four semesters in length and begins in the spring semester. Admission is competitive.

The current total (tuition and fees) cost for this 62-credit hour program is $13,087.58 for in-state residents and $35,650.62 for out-of-state residents. Accelerated BSN students at USF are eligible for many financial aid opportunities, including the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows program that provides students the opportunity to earn up to $4,000 in scholarship funds by completing internships in underserved communities in the Tampa area.

FAQs About Accelerated BSN Programs in Florida

How long is an accelerated BSN program in Florida?

Due to the Florida Board of Nursing’s strict guidelines, accelerated BSN programs in Florida follow similarly-structured curriculums consisting of coursework, labs, and clinical hour requirements completed over four consecutive semesters. (For example, programs that start with the fall semester are completed in the following fall semester).

The one exception is Florida International University’s Accelerated Option BSN program, which is three semesters in length but includes an additional “intensive mini semester” of fundamental nursing courses immediately before the program’s first full semester. Since they’re presented in an accelerated format, all programs require full-time study.

How much do BSN programs in Florida cost?

Total program costs for accelerated BSN programs in Florida can vary substantially from program to program. This is due to several factors, most significantly whether the program is offered by a public or private institution (private programs cost more) and, regarding public school programs, whether you’re a Florida or out-of-state resident (Florida residents pay a substantially lower per-credit rate than out-of-state residents).

To get an idea of what you might pay for your Florida accelerated BSN program, take a look at the cost figures included in the school spotlights in this guide. Also, here are current cost figures for three other accelerated BSN programs in Florida (one public and two private):

Barry University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Accelerated Option (BSN/AO)

Total Credits: 63

Total cost: $31,150 ($7,000 per semester plus $50 per credit/per semester)

Florida International University

Accelerated Option BSN (AO BSN)

Total Credits: 61

Total cost (tuition plus additional costs, est.): $15,965 (Florida resident); $41,176 (out-of-state resident)

Nova Southeastern University

Accelerated BSN

Total Credits: 64

Total cost (tuition and fees): $24,000

What are the admission requirements for accelerated BSN programs in Florida?

Admissions requirements vary somewhat by program, but some requirements are similar across programs. They include:

  • Previously-earned bachelor’s (or higher) degree: Earned from a regionally-accredited college or university. Applicants whose degree was earned from a school outside the U.S. will normally be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.
  • Minimum GPA: On previous college coursework. A stated minimum of 3.0 is common. The requirement may be cumulative for all prior undergraduate coursework or only on the most recent coursework completed (typically 60 credits worth).
  • Prerequisite coursework: The State of Florida mandates that students entering an accelerated BSN program in the state complete college-level courses in a number of nursing and science subjects as a condition of enrollment. The specific course subjects and number of courses vary by program. Two examples of prerequisite course requirements are those for the University of Florida and Florida International University programs.
  • Additional requirements: Other requirements may include passing a nursing entrance exam (such as the HESI or TEAS), letters of recommendation, and a personal interview. International students must additionally demonstrate English language proficiency via an acceptable score on either the TOEFL or IELT exam.

How do I know if an accelerated Florida BSN program is of high quality?

The quality of your Florida-based accelerated BSN program is assured in two ways. The first is program approval by the Florida Board of Nursing. The second is proper accreditation, particularly programmatic accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). All accelerated BSN programs mentioned in this guide are accredited by either the ACEN or CCNE. You can check an accelerated BSN program’s current accreditation status by visiting the program’s website or contacting the program directly. You can also check the status using these ACEN and CCNE program search engines.

Can I get financial aid to help pay for my accelerated BSN program in Florida?

If you qualify, yes, and most BSN students will. Financial aid opportunities for accelerated BSN students are available across a range of funding sources, the most common being the federal student loan. The federal government is also a great source for loan repayment opportunities for nursing students. In addition, there’s an abundance of scholarships and grants available for BSN students, including those sponsored by nursing associations and private benefactors and “in-house” awards offered by colleges and universities themselves. Examples of programs with robust financial aid offerings for nursing students include Florida Atlantic University and the University of Florida.

The best way to find out about specific financial aid opportunities for your Florida accelerated BSN program of choice is to contact the school’s financial aid office. And be sure to check out our nursing scholarship guide and main financial aid guide for more information and advice on funding your accelerated BSN program.

What’s Next After Your Accelerated BSN Program in Florida

The goal of earning your BSN degree, of course, is to launch your career as an RN. Once you’ve earned your degree, though, you will still need to take care of a number of tasks before starting your professional nursing practice. Here’s a look at the steps you’ll take to become a working RN in Florida:

  • Graduate from a state-approved nursing education program (like one of the accelerated BSN programs in Florida mentioned in this guide).
  • Apply for RN registration and pay the appropriate application fees with the Florida Board of Nursing (BON). You can apply online here.
  • Register and get fingerprinted through a Livescan fingerprint service provider.
  • Receive your Authorization to Test from the BON.
  • Register and pay to take the exam with Pearson VUE. Schedule and take your NCLEX RN exam at a Person VUE’s testing location. Test results are transmitted directly to the BON.
  • Receive your initial RN license, which is issued within seven to 10 days of passing the exam.

Once you’ve received your Florida RN license, you are authorized to practice as an RN anywhere within the state.

Career & Salary Outlook for BSN Nurses in Florida

Are you concerned about whether a BSN in Florida will be a good return on your investment? A nursing bachelor’s degree is well worth the time and expense, and the data below shows how you can benefit after graduation.

Are BSN registered nurses in high demand in Florida?

The job outlook for the nursing field is positive around the state. In the coming years, there is projected to be a 14.5% increase in the number of jobs available for registered nurses in Florida. That means each year, over 13,000 new jobs will be created.

Job Outlook for Registered Nurses in Florida

Area Occupation Base Projection Change Percent Change Average Annual Openings
Florida Registered Nurses 189,120 216,510 27,390 14.5% 13,250

Source: Projections Central

How much do BSN nurses make in Florida?

After earning a BSN degree, you can expect to make a healthy salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses make a median salary of $77,710, while the highest earners bring home six-figure salaries.

Florida RNs Earning Potential

Area Occupation Median 90th Percentile
Florida Registered Nurses $77,710 $100,060

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics