We found 9 Family Nurse Practitioner Programs in Florida.
Did you know that Florida is the state with the oldest population in the United States? That's right. Florida isn't just home to palm trees, oranges, and sandy beaches.
It's also home to over three million people over the age of 65 as well as over five million people who are approaching age 65. Now, what does this mean for those of us interested in public health? The answer is twofold. First, it means there is an increasing number of people in need of care.
Two, it also means that many of those currently responsible for providing such care are approaching retirement. In essence, Florida is in desperate need of primary care providers.
With time, Floridians are coming to understand that the demand for healthcare can be successfully met by incorporating more nurse practitioners into the health system.
Florida may then be a great place for nurse practitioners eager to take their skills and contribute to the health and well-being of communities in need. It may be particularly but not exclusively appealing to those looking to work with elderly populations.
What if you want to help out, but you don't already have the skills? No matter what your background, Florida has a program for you.
The state hosts many higher education institutes that together provide a range of options for those looking to become primary care providers and in particular, Family Nurse Practitioners.
Here, we'll take a look at some less traditional options such as online programs and hybrid programs, which consist of both online and on-campus courses.
What are the Academic Requirements for an FNP Degree?
As with most states, to become certified as an APRN in Florida, prospective FNPs should fulfill the requirements outlined by the Florida Board of Nursing which include:
- Hold a valid Registered Nurse License from any US jurisdiction
- Submit supporting documentation that demonstrates fulfilled education requirements and program compliance
- Provide proof of national advanced practice certification from approved nursing specialty board
- Deliver evidence of any malpractice insurance or exemption
Additionally, Florida is one of the twelve states, where nurses are restricted in their plenary authority to practice independently. Each state is unique in what element is limited and policies continue to evolve, so it is important to keep up to date with developments.
Online Degree Programs Available in Florida
We wanted to highlight some of the schools offering an online degree option for those trying to earn their Family Nurse Practitioner degree. We looked at program length, core concepts taught, and even the estimated cost of the degree to help you in your decision making process.
Keiser University is a private non-profit university committed to provid[ing] students with the opportunities to develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills necessary for successful employment.
The university is regionally accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It offers a full-time online Master of Science in Nursing over the course of nine semesters, which is typically completed in a year and a half. The university's Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The full-time program is generally broken down into approximately 15-16 hours per week of clinical practicum and about 6-8 hours per week of online coursework.
In addition to the MSN FNP track, Keiser also offers a post-Master's FNP track through its Doctor of Nursing Practice Program (DNP).
Through Keiser's MSN FNP program, students can participate in the program on a part-time basis so long as they strive to complete the program within a five years. In addition to taking part in online courses, students are required to perform 510 hours of clinical practicums and attend two four-day residencies on campus in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
This is a 36-credit hour track that includes 21 core credit hours, four credit hours of project courses, eight credit hours of immersion courses, and a three credit hour elective course in one of the following areas: education, clinical practice, or administration.
Both tracks prepare students to successfully complete the Family Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Examination and subsequently find employment in primary care clinics, physicians' offices, and outpatient primary care settings.
ECPI prides itself on its 100% online Master of Science in Nursing degree, in which students of diverse backgrounds holding Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees can concentrate as Family Nurse Practitioners.
The program follows guidelines put forth by the National League for Nursing's Certified Nurse Educator (CNE), and the American Association of Nurse Practitioner's (AANP) and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
In 49 credit hours
Students learn about theoretical foundations using a multidisciplinary approach, policy, politics and advocacy in healthcare, clinical leadership, and more common topics such as advanced pathophysiology and advanced pharmacology.
The program is perfect for those focused on gaining an understanding of the needs of various populations, as it requires students to participate in primary care courses focused on adults and older adults, children and adolescents, and women and families.
Upon completion of the program, ECPI MSN FNP graduates can work in any of the following settings: provider offices, public health departments, emergency room/urgent care, industrial settings/occupational health, and hospitals.
University of Central Florida (UCF)
For those looking for terminal degrees and professional expertise as a family nurse practitioner, UCF's Doctor of Nursing Practice may be exactly what you are looking for.
It is designed to take students from holders Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Doctors of Nursing Practice (DNP) through a mix of online and on-campus courses. However, the program is also open to those who do not hold a BSN so long as they complete the necessary prerequisites.
The 74-credit hour program can be done full-time in nine semesters or part-time in twelve semesters.
In addition to completing 1,020 clinical hours, students spend a significant amount of time focusing on specific areas including adults, women, children, and gerontology.
Student also learn about theory, research methods, leadership, health assessment and diagnostic reasoning, epidemiology, and other common FNP courses.
It should be noted that the program expects students to conduct their clinical practice in Florida. Therefore, out of state students must obtain a registered nurse license in Florida before commencing their clinical courses, which typically begin in the second or third semester.
MSN-FNP vs. CRNA Degrees in Florida
Another similar degree path that aspiring nurses consider is the CRNA degree. This degree stands for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
Although the certification and licensing process are similar for both professions, CRNAs are known to administer anesthesia to patients and are responsible for monitoring the levels of each patient before, during, and after surgery. Another key distinction is that CRNAs are more prevalent in rural settings and institutionalized settings, such as in the military.
The choice of one degree versus another should be based on perspective: while CRNAs are concerned with anesthetics, FNPs retains a focus on the aesthetics, that is they are more patient-focused and can provide insights for well-being beyond medicine.