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Best Online Nursing Schools in Jacksonville, FL for 2024

See how earning an online degree at one of Jacksonville’s best nursing schools can help prepare you for in-demand nursing careers in Florida.

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WRITTEN BY: Kenya McCullum
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REVIEWED BY: Edumed Editing Staff

Last Updated: 02/08/2024

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If you’re looking for a meaningful career with good pay, job security, and opportunities for advancement, you really can’t go wrong with nursing. Although the coursework is challenging, attending nursing school allows you to earn your RN relatively quickly and step onto the fast track to a career in allied healthcare. Even better, the rapid growth of online nursing programs means you can earn your degree on your own terms, studying when and how it suits you and your lifestyle.

If you’re in Jacksonville you’re in luck. In addition to beautiful beaches and the Jacksonville Jaguars, the city boasts a number of impressive online RN programs. By attending an online RN program close to home, you can coordinate your classes and clinical hours to get the academic and hands-on experience necessary to provide top quality care.

We’ve put together this guide to demystify online RN programs and help you find the perfect one for your needs and goals. Keep reading to discover the best online RN programs Jacksonville has to offer, learn the answers to frequently asked questions, find out how to fund your tuition, and more.

Best Nursing Schools in Jacksonville, FL for 2024

Whether you’re looking to get your first nursing license or take the next step in your nursing career, you need rigorous training to meet Florida’s standards. To make it easier for you to find a program that will give you that training, we have compiled a list of some of the most popular nursing schools in Jacksonville, FL.

We’ve chosen to spotlight these nursing schools as some of the best in Jacksonville because of their high-quality curriculum, affordability, accessibility, and the exceptional services they provide to students.

Chamberlain University

If you’re new to nursing, Chamberlain University’s Three-Year BSN can fast track your career. Sure, you don’t need a BSN to become an RN, but more and more employers are requiring this (traditionally) four-year degree. This can put you in a bind because most accelerated BSN programs are designed for licensed RNs. Chamberlain’s BSN program is unique in this respect because students can graduate in as few as three years without prerequisite courses or experiences. Even as a newbie, you can dive right in and be out on the job market in no time.

So, why not shoot your shot? This year, Chamberlain has waived its BSN application fee for its Jacksonville campus. On top of which, you can be sure your classes will fit your schedule. Chamberlain is constantly expanding its course offerings on the Jacksonville campus, including a new evening and weekend study option for working students.

University of Florida Jacksonville Campus

The University of Florida College of Nursing Jacksonville campus offers an accelerated BSN program that allows newcomers to enter the nursing field after earning an undergraduate or graduate degree in another subject. Housed in a clinical teaching site for UF’s nursing, medicine, and pharmacy colleges, this program can be completed in four semesters. Students take coursework that familiarizes them with health assessments, pharmacology, and nursing policy. In addition, students learn about personalized nursing care that is provided to women, children, and families, as well as patients with specific healthcare needs, including mental health and acute care conditions.

To successfully complete this program, students are required to take 60 credit hours of coursework and participate in 765 clinical hours. Although students who are admitted are not required to repeat the general education courses they would have taken during their previous bachelor’s degree program, they are required to take prerequisite classes such as anatomy, physiology, statistics, and microbiology. Also, to be admitted, applicants should have at least a 3.0 grade point average in their bachelor’s degree program.

University of North Florida

No matter where you are in your career, The University of North Florida (UNF) has a nursing program to help you advance your training. At the bachelor’s level, UNF offers an excellent accelerated RN-BSN bridge program. BSN-prepared nurses can continue their education with an MSN in nursing education or leadership and administration.

At the highest levels, nurses can pursue accelerated DNPs in administrative or practice tracks. Each of these programs gives students the freedom to study fully online with the support of world-class faculty and a close-knit group of peers.

Students at every level benefit from a supportive learning environment that includes accessible faculty, personalized advising, and a dedicated student success coach who will keep them on track, support their career goals, and make sure they are getting the most out of your program.

If you’re local to Jacksonville, you can take advantage of affordable in-state tuition, campus facilities, on-campus classes (when you want them), and plenty of opportunities to network and socialize.

Types of Nursing Programs Available in and Around Jacksonville, FL

From associate degrees to doctorates and everything in between, nursing schools in Jacksonville, FL provide several options for the level and depth of training students need. Below is a survey of the different types of degree programs you’ll find at these schools and what type of student they’re designed for. Nursing programs in Jacksonville exist at every academic level, making it easy for you to find a program that meets your educational and professional needs. Whether you’re just starting out or looking for an advanced degree, you can check out some of the most common options currently available below.

Pre-Licensure Nursing Programs in Jacksonville

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

ADN programs are for students who want to train to become a registered nurse quickly. These programs generally take two years of full-time study to complete and are designed to give students an understanding of basic nursing care, including tasks like performing assessments and diagnostic tests, providing wound care, and reviewing patient plans to determine what services need to be provided.

Examples of Jacksonville Nursing Schools With This Program

Florida State College at Jacksonville
Jersey College Jacksonville Campus

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (Traditional BSN)

These four-year degrees are for people who don’t have any previous nursing training, but unlike associate degrees in nursing, they provide a combination of nursing and general education classes to give students a wide range of skills. After completing their courses, people in these programs also participate in clinical training at an approved healthcare location.

Examples of Jacksonville Nursing Schools With This Program

Jacksonville University
Chamberlain University

Accelerated BSN Programs

People who want to become nurses after earning a degree in another area can enroll in accelerated BSN programs to receive this training. Since they have already completed a bachelor’s degree, students are not required to take general education classes, so they can finish the degree in about one or two years.

Examples of Jacksonville Nursing Schools With This Program

University of Florida – Jacksonville
University of North Florida

Direct-Entry MSN Programs (Master of Science in Nursing)

Direct-entry MSN programs are for those who want an advanced nursing degree, but do not have previous nursing education experience. Through this program, students can train to become a registered nurse, an advanced practice nurse, or a nurse leader.

Examples of Jacksonville Nursing Schools with this Program

Emory University
Miami Regional University

Nursing Bridge Programs in Jacksonville for Current Nurses

LPN to RN and LPN to BSN Programs

These bridge programs enable licensed vocational nurses or licensed practical nurses to earn an RN degree. Building on their previous nursing education, students in this program are able to complete all of their coursework and clinical experiences in about two to four years.

Examples of Jacksonville Nursing Schools With This Program

Florida State College at Jacksonville
West Coast University

RN to BSN Programs

Registered nurses who have already earned an associate degree or nursing certificate can enroll in this program to further their education and increase their job prospects by earning a bachelor’s degree. Generally, students can complete these programs in about a year.

Examples of Jacksonville Nursing Schools With This Program

University of North Florida
Jacksonville University

RN to MSN Programs

RN to MSN bridge programs are for registered nurses who aspire to take a leadership role in their nursing career or specialize in a specific type of nursing by earning their master’s degree in nursing. Students in these programs learn advanced nursing theories and sharpen their skills through clinical experiences.

Examples of Jacksonville Nursing Schools With This Program

Jacksonville University
Western Governors University

Advanced Nursing Programs in Jacksonville

Traditional MSN Programs (Master of Science in Nursing)

Traditional MSN programs allow nurses to prepare for higher-level positions in the field. These programs may focus on entrepreneurship, leadership skills, and advanced nursing practice skills.

Examples of Jacksonville Nursing Schools With This Program

Jacksonville University
Jacksonville State University

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PhD Doctoral Programs

Doctoral programs are for those who want to get the highest level of training in the field to either practice advanced nursing or become an educator or researcher. DNPs are for those who want to gain expertise in a certain part of nursing and they teach the skills needed to move into an advanced specialty. PhD programs focus on advanced nursing theory, and give students the tools they need to teach nursing to the next generation of professionals or conduct nursing research.

Examples of Jacksonville Nursing Schools With This Program

Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville University

Post-Graduate Nursing Certificates

Nurses who have earned a graduate-level degree may want to obtain a postgraduate nursing certificate to boost their skills in a specific area of the field. As a result, these programs allow students to specialize in specific types of care, such as mental health, community, pediatric, or geriatric nursing.

Examples of Jacksonville Nursing Schools With This Program

Jacksonville University
University of North Florida

Inside Look at Online Nursing Schools in Jacksonville, FL

Online nursing schools in Jacksonville provide fully digital and hybrid degrees to help busy students find balance between school, work, and life. Many programs that don’t require a clinical component, such as an RN-to-BSN bridge degrees, can be completed without ever setting foot on campus. You’ll complete your academic coursework online, often asynchronously, meaning you can watch a prerecorded lecture whenever your schedule allows and complete your required clinical hours at an approved medical institution.

Best Online Nursing Schools in Jacksonville

Jacksonville University

Jacksonville University offers an online RN-BSN degree that students can complete in about nine months. The school has classes that last about eight weeks and students get the option to enroll in a completely online or hybrid format. During their studies, students gain a deeper understanding of nursing through classes that cover evidence-based practice, advanced assessment techniques, healthcare policy, nursing leadership, and acute care.

To be admitted into the program, applicants are expected to have a degree or certificate from an accredited nursing school, and a current nursing license. Also, the school may ask applicants to submit a resume, letters of recommendation, and a statement of intent.

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida State College at Jacksonville has an RN to BSN program that students can finish in three to six semesters of study, which can be completed during the fall, spring, or summer semesters. The school offers both hybrid and online course delivery options, allowing active registered nurses to easily fit their studies into their busy schedules. During the program, students are required to complete nursing classes that cover health and wellness across the lifespan, nursing theory and philosophy, professional ethics, nursing leadership and management, and pathophysiology. Also, students must take general education classes covering mathematics, English composition, general psychology, and microbiology. Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, this program gives students access to faculty members who have both doctoral degrees and extensive experience in the industry.

FAQs About Online Nursing Schools in Jacksonville

Can I earn my nursing degree in Jacksonville completely online?

You can possibly earn your nursing degree from a Jacksonville school depending on the program you enroll in. Some programs will allow students to take all of their class work online, while others are offered only in a hybrid format, meaning that some classes are offered online and some classes are on campus.

Will my online Jacksonville nursing degree be considered less valuable by employers?

As long as you have earned your degree from a school that has been approved by the Florida Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, employers should not care if you studied online or on campus. Online programs offer the same curriculum as their traditional counterparts, so employers understand that the format does not impact the quality.

Are online nursing programs in Jacksonville more affordable than campus programs?

Sometimes online programs are more affordable than on-campus programs, particularly when online schools charge by the credit rather than by the semester. Even if the costs are similar, online programs still allow students to save money since they are not traveling to campus regularly.

Financial Aid Opportunities for Nursing Students in Jacksonville, FL

As you’re looking for different nursing schools and programs, be sure to also research financial aid options so you can make informed decisions about how you can pay for your education. When you enroll in a nursing school in Jacksonville, you may be able to receive scholarships or grants through the Florida Department of Education or the Florida Nurses Association, as well as through your individual school. Also, you may be eligible to receive financial aid from federal programs, so be sure to log on to our nursing scholarship guide or financial aid guide to explore all of your options.

How to Become an RN in Jacksonville: Licensing Requirements

In order to work as an RN in Jacksonville, you must meet the Florida guidelines for a nursing license which include completing a nursing education program that has been approved by the state and passing the NCLEX-RN examination. For more detailed licensing requirements, log on to our guide to nursing programs in Florida.

Job Outlook for Nurses in Jacksonville

This is a good time to train to become a nurse because more and more of these professionals will be needed around the state. According to the Florida Board of Nursing, if more nurses do not enter the workforce in the coming years, the state will face a severe nursing shortage. In fact, by 2025, Florida will have a shortage of at least 50,300 full-time RNs.

In Jacksonville, the healthcare industry is one of the most prominent in the region, according to JAXUSA Partnership, which is part of Jacksonville’s regional economic development initiative. As a result, 1 in 6 jobs that workers have in the area are in the healthcare industry, and people who earn their nursing credentials are able to work for numerous prestigious employers, including Baptist Health, Brooks Rehabilitation, and Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

How Much You Could Make as an RN in Jacksonville

Nursing is a fulfilling career for a number of reasons. As a bonus, pursuing your RN is a financially sound choice. A high starting wage comes standard with entry-level nursing careers, and the profession offers plenty of room for professional advancement (and the higher pay that comes with it).

As you’ll see in the table below, when it comes to pay Jacksonville is a great place to be an RN. You can expect wages that are on par with the rest of the state, and close to the national average.

Earnings for Registered Nurses in Jacksonville, FL

10th Percentile Median 90th Percentile
Jacksonville, FL $48,930 $74,940 $94,800
Florida $49,680 $75,000 $95,630
United States $59,450 $77,600 $120,250

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022

Additional Jacksonville, FL Nursing Resources

First Coast Black Nurses Association

Since 2000, the FCBNA has provided support to black nursing professionals in the Jacksonville area. This organization organizes events for members, offers scholarships, and provides resources to nurses.

Florida Nurses Association

Members of the Florida Nurses Association have access to numerous benefits that help them improve as practitioners, including webinars, continuing education classes, and advice from experts on how to navigate problems in the workplace. In addition, the association creates nursing publications and advocates on behalf of professionals at the state legislature.

Jacksonville Association of Nursing Students

Housed at Jacksonville State University’s School of Health Professions and Wellness, this organization is part of the National Student Nurses Association. The group provides scholarships, networking events, and resources to help nursing students succeed.

Florida Board of Nursing

The Florida Board of Nursing’s website includes information on how people can obtain their first nursing license, as well as the standards for renewing their credentials. Also, there is information on education programs around the state and news that nursing professionals should know.

Central Florida Advanced Nursing Practice Council

This group promotes the needs of advanced practice nurses in the area through news, career information, and events.