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Online Nursing Programs in Florida

By James Holbrook | Updated 12/20/2022

Online nursing programs in Florida help prepare students for various healthcare careers. We've compiled a comprehensive list of schools to help future nursing students identify the best programs, from practical nursing certificates to BSN, MSN, and DNP degrees. Florida has strict regulations for license renewal, which require nurses to complete continuing education hours approved by the Florida Board of Nursing or accredited by a state or national organization for nursing accreditation. Florida is a compact state, so nurses licensed here are eligible to work in other compact states. Keep reading to learn more about becoming a CNA, LPN, RN, and APRN in Florida and to find answers to frequently asked questions.

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Comprehensive List of Online Nursing Schools in Florida

School Annual Tuition NCLEX Pass Rate Locations
# AdventHealth University $12,840 83.7% Orlando
# Broward College $8,952 95.4% Fort Lauderdale
# Chamberlain College of Nursing $19,638 88.32% Multiple Locations
# Chamberlain University $19,638 92.83% Multiple Locations
# City College $14,618 90.91% Miami (and 4 others)
# College of Central Florida $10,517 88.07% Ocala (and 2 others)
# Daytona State College $11,994 93.04% Daytona Beach (and 1 other)
# Eastern Florida State College $9,739 79.86% Cocoa
# Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University $17,725 63.44% Tallahassee
# Florida Atlantic University $17,324 95.9% Boca Raton
# Florida Gateway College $11,747 77.67% Lake City
# Florida Gulf Coast University $25,162 100.0% Fort Myers
# Florida International University $18,963 92.74% Miami
# Florida National University-Main Campus $13,688 64.58% Hialeah
# Florida Southern College $37,640 94.44% Lakeland
# Florida SouthWestern State College $12,979 79.89% Fort Myers (and 3 others)
# Florida State College at Jacksonville $9,992 87.42% Jacksonville
# Florida State University $18,786 94.74% Tallahassee
# Gulf Coast State College $8,633 82.17% Panama City
# Indian River State College $10,201 89.5% Fort Pierce (and 4 others)
# Jacksonville University $38,140 93.97% Jacksonville
# Keiser University $21,008 73.33% Daytona Beach (and 15 others)
# Miami Dade College $9,661 83.21% Miami (and 1 other)
# Northwest Florida State College $11,940 98.55% Niceville (and 1 other)
# Nova Southeastern University $32,110 80.37% Fort Lauderdale
# Palm Beach Atlantic University $32,500 77.33% West Palm Beach (and 1 other)
# Palm Beach State College $8,732 87.65% Lake Worth (and 1 other)
# Pasco-Hernando State College $12,032 95.74% New Port Richey
# Pensacola State College $9,471 72.73% Pensacola
# Pinellas Technical College-Clearwater $3,942 Not Reported Clearwater
# Polk State College $12,272 96.27% Winter Haven
# Rasmussen University Online Not Provided 82.41% Multiple Locations
# Saint Thomas University $32,000 Not Reported Miami Gardens
# Santa Fe College $9,189 86.75% Gainesville
# Seminole State College of Florida $11,456 97.04% Sanford (and 3 others)
# South Florida State College $11,859 97.3% Avon Park (and 1 other)
# South University Online $15,304 69.12% Multiple Locations
# Southeastern University $26,620 92.59% Lakeland
# St. Johns River State College $10,347 82.88% Palatka (and 2 others)
# St. Petersburg College $9,286 93.2% Clearwater
# Tallahassee Community College $8,062 93.41% Tallahassee
# University of Central Florida $22,467 95.24% Orlando (and 7 others)
# University of Florida $28,659 95.93% Gainesville
# University of North Florida $20,793 96.4% Jacksonville
# University of Phoenix $9,552 90.0% Nationwide
# University of South Florida - Sarasota-Manatee $16,501 Not Reported Sarasota
# University of South Florida Online $17,324 94.44% Tampa
# University of St Augustine for Health Sciences $17,864 Not Reported St. Augustine
# The University of West Florida $19,241 95.97% Pensacola
# West Coast University $27,488 90.55% Multiple Locations

Becoming a Nurse in Florida

Nursing programs in Florida focus on biology, anatomy, chemistry, physiology, and nutrition so that students have a well-rounded education in the healthcare field. The Florida Board of Nursing is in charge of distributing licenses to future nurses, renewing licenses, and granting licenses to nurses who already have one from another state.

Florida is one of the nation's top employers of nurses, with the second highest number of nurse anesthetists, the third highest number of nursing assistants, the fourth highest number of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse practitioners.

How To Become a CNA in Florida

Certification for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in Florida can be obtained through a partnership with the Florida Board of Nursing and Prometric, which administers Florida's CNA exam. To be eligible for CNA certification, candidates must meet the requirements listed below.

CNA Certification Requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Submit an application for CNA certification, along with a $155 exam fee.
  • Transfer fingerprints electronically through an approved provider.
  • Achieve a passing score on the CNA exam.

Individuals must pass both the written and skills portions of the CNA exam within three attempts or they will have to complete another board-approved training program.

Once licensed, CNAs often work in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, helping patients with everyday tasks and providing basic care. It can be a physically demanding job that may require lifting and moving patients as well as helping them bathe, dress, and eat. 

CNA Renewal in Florida

CNA licenses must be renewed every two years in Florida. Renewal requires that the CNA licensee has performed and been paid for duties related to nursing within the last two years. Those with an active license can renew before their license expires for $55 and after for $105.

How To Get an LPN License in Florida

Students hoping to receive their licensed practical nurse (LPN) license in Florida need to graduate from an accredited state-approved program and follow the process outlined below.

LPN Licensure Requirements:

  • Submit an application for licensure and a $110 fee to the Florida Nursing Board.
  • Register for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) exam and pay the $200 exam fee.
  • Send fingerprints electronically through an approved provider.
  • Receive the authorization to test.
  • Schedule a test date and pass the NCLEX-PN exam.

Students have three opportunities to pass the NCLEX exam. Those who do not pass after the third try must complete an additional nursing education program approved by the board before applying for another test.

After licensure, many LPNs seek nursing careers in nursing and residential care facilities, hospitals, and physicians' offices, providing basic medical care under the supervision of RNs and doctors. They monitor and record patients' health, listen to their concerns, and offer comfort. 

Florida LPNs earn an annual mean wage of $47,860, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment to grow 6% nationwide between 2021-2031.

LPNs interested in becoming RNs may be able to apply their previous experience towards credits in an online LPN to RN bridge program. These programs are available in LPN to ADN (associate degree in nursing) or LPN to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) formats.

LPN Renewal in Florida H3

The mandatory renewal date occurs every two years on July 31. LPN license holders must complete their continuing education requirements, send in their complete applications for the license renewal, and pay a fee. The fee is $75 for individuals with active licenses who pay before their license expires. Fees increase based on if the individual's license is still active and/or if the individual has paid after the renewal deadline. Fees increase considerably 120 days after the deadline.

How to Get an RN License in Florida

Students hoping to obtain their Florida RN license must graduate from an accredited nursing program and meet the requirements listed below. Individuals who already have an RN license in another state may apply for licensure by endorsement.

RN Licensure Requirements:

The RN licensure requirements are the same as those listed above for LPNs. The only difference is that prospective RNs register for the NCLEX-RN. Similar to the LPN instructions, those who fail the exam can apply to retake it, but failing three times requires the student to complete another educational program before trying again.

Licensed RNs work in various medical settings, including hospitals, schools, and care facilities, collaborating as integral parts of medical teams. RNs assess medical conditions, administer treatment, observe and record health information, operate medical equipment, and teach patients and families how to treat illnesses and injuries. 

RNs in Florida earn an annual mean wage of $72,000, and job opportunities across the country are expected to increase by 6% over the next decade.

RN License Renewal in Florida

Florida RN licenses expire every two years. Nurses hoping to renew their licenses must complete continuing education courses, send in their completed renewal application, and pay a $75 fee.

How To Get an APRN License in Florida

Florida advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licenses can be obtained through the Florida Board of Nursing. APRN licenses are only awarded to those who already hold an RN license, have completed a master's degree — or higher — in nursing, and received certification in their chosen nursing specialty. 

Florida recognizes a nurse practitioner (NP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), certified nurse midwife (CNM), and certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA) as APRN specialties.

To apply for APRN licensure, candidates need to complete the steps listed below.

APRN Licensure Requirements:

  • Submit an application and $110 fee to Florida's nursing board.
  • Practitioners interested in dispensing medication must submit an additional dispensing application and a $100 fee.
  • Send fingerprints electronically through an approved provider.
  • Submit proof of malpractice insurance or exemption.
  • Submit proof of certification through a national certifying body.

After licensure, an APRN may seek career opportunities coordinating specialty and primary patient care in physicians' offices or hospitals. They may diagnose and treat various conditions and create patient care plans. Nurse anesthetists, which are generally the highest paid nursing specialization, earn an annual mean wage of $170,950 in Florida, and nurse practitioners in the state earn $104,830 annually.

APRN License Renewal in Florida

APRN licenses expire every two years on April 30 and July 31. To renew, APRN license holders must complete required continuing education credit hours, send in their completed renewal application, confirm their primary practicing address, and complete a form confirming their financial dependability.

It costs $60 to renew an active APRN license before it expires. The cost increases if the Florida nursing license has become inactive and/or the individual has not renewed before the license expired.

FAQs About Online Nursing Programs in Florida

Is It Possible to Get a Nursing Degree Online in Florida?

Yes, you can earn a nursing degree online in Florida. Schools offer traditional, bridge, and accelerated programs. Traditional online BSN programs can take full-time students up to four years to complete, RN to BSN and RN to MSN bridge programs may take up to three years, and accelerated online BSN programs may take as little as a year. 

Many of Florida's online nursing programs are accredited. The most notable and recognized accrediting organizations for nursing schools include the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). You can search the Department of Education's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to find institution and program accreditation records.

How Many Nursing Schools Are in Florida?

There are 49 schools with nursing programs in Florida. Many of these offer online nursing programs. Additionally, there are many kinds of online nursing certification programs you can consider.

How Long Is a Nursing Program in Florida?

A nursing program's length depends on the type of nurse you want to become. It can take between 2 and 4 years to complete. You can become a licensed nurse through an online associate nursing program in Florida, but a BSN takes four years. There are several 2 year nursing programs in Florida online.

How Long Does It Take To Become an RN in Florida?

An RN must complete an accredited Florida nursing program, which can be an online nursing program or online RN program. Then, it may take a few weeks to have your license application approved and schedule your NCLEX exam. Once you’ve passed your exam, it takes a few more weeks to receive your license.

How Do I Become a Nurse in Florida?

You can become a nurse in Florida by attending an online nursing school that’s been accredited by the Florida Department of Education. After graduation, apply for a license, pass the NCLEX exam, and pay all associated fees. Then, you’ll receive your nursing license.

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