Most Affordable Nursing Degrees in Florida

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When was the last time you or someone in your life interacted with a nurse? How was the experience?

Chances are, they probably made you or that someone feel better, took care of them, gave them hope, or all of the above. After all, that’s what nurses are supposed to do, right? Nurses comfort us and care for us when we cannot.

What kind of Nursing Degree can you get in Florida?

So you want to be a nurse! Turns out, there are lots of ways you can go about achieving this dream in Florida. Recently, the Institute of Medicine started an initiative that recommended at least 80% of Registered Nurses in the country earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Schools around the country have modified their offerings and curriculum to help meet this standard. You’ll find that almost all of these programs offer an RN-BSN option. Oh, and did we mention these schools are the most affordable programs in the state? You’re welcome.

Top 10 Most Affordable Nursing Degrees in Florida

Rank School Location
1 Palm Beach State College Lake Worth, FL
2 Santa Fe College Gainsville, FL
3 College of Central Florida Ocala, FL
4 Indian River State College Fort Pierce, FL
5 Gulf Coast State College Fort Meyers, FL
6 State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota Bradenton, FL
7 Florida Gateway College Lake City, FL
8 Chipola College Marianna, FL
9 Northwest Florida State College Niceville, FL
10 Pasco-Hernando State College New Port Richey, FL
Advertisement CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

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How much money can you make with a Nursing Degree in Florida?

The country always needs more of these caregivers, and the expected job increase data supports that. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of registered nursing jobs alone will grow 16% from 2014 to 2024. Also encouraging is the fact that affordable online education has closed the quality gap with traditional face-to-face learning.

The most recently available BLS data indicates that the number of registered nurses in Florida is 168,870 — 4th place in the United States. The hourly mean wage for registered nurses working in the state is $30.75, which levels out to around $63,960/ year.

What are the Most Affordable Nursing Degrees in Florida?

Of the 42 colleges listed in the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) database as offering bachelor’s-level academic programs in nursing in Florida, we’ve filtered the statistics by affordability above all else.

If you are seeking to upgrade your nursing education, or are interested in entering a nursing career, this article lists the 10 most affordable bachelor’s of nursing programs in Florida. Hopefully this sets you off on the right path in your college search effort.

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Palm Beach State College
    Location

    Lake Worth, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Palm Beach State College (PBSC) is institutionally-accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The Lake Worth campus is one of five PBSC campuses, making PBSC the largest college in Palm Beach County by enrollment. PBSC not only encourages adult learners, special summer camps educate elementary, middle and high school students.

    Features

    PBSC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with one entry/ completion path. This track requires that students have an associates degree in nursing (AS or AAS) and are currently licensed Registered Nurses (RNs) in Florida. This is a 2+2 program, where students will have completed approximately two-years of lower division coursework in pursuit of their ADN, and will now complete two years of upper-division courses.Sample courses include:

    Advanced Pathophysiology for Nursing Nursing Research and Informatics Nursing Care for the Geriatric Patient and Other Vulnerable Populations

    Notables

    This 2+2 BSN program requires a total of 120 credits, including any transfer credits granted for holding an associates degree in nursing. This breaks down into 84 credits for lower-division courses and 36 credits for upper-division nursing and related courses. Students have the option of choosing to take courses either in-person at the Lake Worth campus, or online. The learning process combines coursework, clinical experience, skills-building and simulation exercises. The program prepares graduates for careers in nursing and health care, particularly in administrative and supervisory roles.

  2. Santa Fe College
    Location

    Gainsville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Santa Fe College (SFC) is a public institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. In addition to the main campus, there are six learning centers across two counties. Santa Fe won the prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence in 2015, and has been ranked in the top 10 since 2012 for community colleges in the U.S. by various publications.

    Features

    SFC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with one entry/ completion path. This program is designed for students who are licensed Registered Nurses having an associates degree in nursing. For students who do not yet have an associates degree, SFC offers an ASN (Associate of Science in Nursing) degree. Alternatives are the PN (Practical Nursing) and NA (Nursing Assistant) programs.Sample courses include:

    Culture in Nursing Pharmacology Nursing Leadership and Management Globalization of Health Care: Health Care Finance

    Notables

    In addition to coursework, SFC maintains a Nursing Simulated Lab for practical skills development, as well as a Health Sciences division Teaching and Learning Center (TLC). SFCs NCLEX-RN licensing exam pass rate for 2015 was 95% the third-highest rate among nursing programs in Florida for that year and 100% for 2014.

  3. College of Central Florida
    Location

    Ocala, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    College of Central Florida (CF), part of the public Florida College System, is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. CFs achievements include being nominated for the Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence (top 150 colleges in the USA) three times, including for 2017. It also ranks as #20 for affordability in the country as per U.S. Dept. of Education. As well, CF has been designated a Tree Campus USA winner seven times as of 2008.

    Features

    CF offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with one entry/ completion path. This is an RN track for Registered Nurses who hold an associates degree and are either currently-licensed for Florida or will be so before starting in semester two of the BSN program.Total credit requirement is a minimum 120, of which 39 credits are allotted to nursing courses, and another 39 credits to nursing technical courses. This includes labs and clinical experiences but not the Foreign Language requirement. Students may choose either a full-time (four semesters) or part-time (seven semesters) schedule. Sample courses include:

    Nursing Theory and Philosophy Global Health Care Issues and Trends in Professional Nursing Advanced Nursing Health Assessment Community Nursing Nursing Leadership and Management

    Notables

    The RN-BSN track is a generalist program designed to allow working nurses to simultaneously earn a bachelors degree in nursing. This outcome is in alignment with the Institute of Medicines recommendation that the percentage of nurses in the USA with a bachelors degree be increased to 80% by 2020. Programs in the Health Sciences division, including nursing, are Limited Access and therefore competitive. Pay attention to deadlines and apply on a timely basis. Students in the BSN program may collectively be eligible for over $1M in scholarships awarded annually (all programs total).

  4. Indian River State College
    Location

    Fort Pierce, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Indian River State College (IRSC), which is part of the public Florida College System, is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. IRSCs achievements include being ranked #3 most affordable college in the United States as per the U.S. Department of Education for 2015-16, based on tuition rate. The college was also a top 10 finalist in 2017 for the prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, in a competing pool of over 1,000 candidates.

    Features

    IRSC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with one entry/ completion path. This is an online RN track intended for currently-licensed Registered Nursing holding an associates degree in nursing (ADN, etc.) and seeking a BSN as well as the skills necessary to achieve leadership roles. Students with no previous nursing experience may be interested in the colleges ADN program. Sample courses include:

    Pathophysiology Pharmacology Nursing Research and Informatics Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Care Community Health Nursing

    Notables

    IRSCs BSN program provides a focus on health care research, professional leadership and public policy development. Successful graduates of this BSN might seek leadership or management roles in nursing.The BSN degree at IRSC requires a total of 121 credits. Of this, 72 credits is allotted to the lower-division courses of the associates degree that students must hold for admission. An additional 49 credits must be completed, which includes 31 credits for major courses and 18 credits for General Education.

  5. Gulf Coast State College
    Location

    Fort Meyers, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Gulf Coast State College (GCSC) is a public institution that is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Undergrad nursing programs are offered through the division of Health Sciences, with bachelors-level degrees additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The college boasts a high hiring rate of 98% within six months of graduation.

    Features

    GCSC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with one entry/ completion path. This is an RN track for currently-licensed Registered Nurses with an associates degree or diploma in nursing. While there is no full BSN program, GCSC has an LPN to ADN program that allows Licensed Practical Nurses to earn an associates degree in nursing, after which they can sit for and pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam and then apply for the RN-BSN program. The program is delivered in hybrid mode and offers a fast-track option which can be completed in three semesters. Sample courses include:

    Foundations of Nursing Practice Introduction to Pharmacology Nursing Care of the Adult Gerontological Nursing Maternal-Infant Nursing

    Notables

    The colleges RN track BSN program offers a combination of online and blended-delivery classes. Students graduating from this program are prepared for advanced degrees which in turn lead to nursing roles such as educator, researcher/ scientist, midwife, practitioner. These are roles which are expected to enjoy significant growth (in jobs percentage increase) over the next half-decade or longer.

  6. State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota
    Location

    Bradenton, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) offers nursing programs through the Department of Nursing, which is part of the Division of Health Professions. Undergrad nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). In addition to the Bradenton main campus, there are two other campuses and an online division, making it the largest public college in the region by enrollment.

    Features

    SCF offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with one entry/ completion path. This is an RN track for currently-licensed Registered Nurses with an associates degree in nursing. Students new to nursing may be interested in the colleges ASN program that prepares students for the NCLEX-RN professional licensure exam. Sample courses include:

    Dimensions of Professional Nursing Practice Health Assessment and Physical Appraisal Pathophysiology Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Care

    Notables

    Students can choose between a fully online format for the RN track, or opt for some blended courses as well. In addition to course work and clinical experiences, students have access to a Nursing Resource Lab.The BSN degree requires a total of 120 credits for completion, including any transfer credits granted for prior (associates degree) coursework. Most courses are in a 5-week format and the program can be completed in four semesters.

  7. Florida Gateway College
    Location

    Lake City, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Florida Gateway College (FGC) is part of the public Florida College System, receiving institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. In addition to FGCs Panama City main campus, there are classes at three other locations. The college is considered military-friendly and supportive for both active-duty and veteran military personnel.

    Features

    FGC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with one entry/ completion path. This is an RN track for currently-licensed Registered Nurses with an associates degree in nursing. Students with no nursing experience may be interested in FGCs ASN program. There are also LPN to RN and Paramedic to RN Bridge programs, after completion of which students can apply to the RN-BSN degree. Sample courses include:

    Nursing Theory Pathophysiology Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Care Nursing in Diverse Cultures

    Notables

    The RN-to-BSN program allows students to develop leadership and decision-making skills for nursing roles in different healthcare environments. The curriculum has an emphasis on community and population-focused care. as well as research and management. Upon completion of the degree, graduates may seek roles such as nurse manager and patient unit coordinator, amongst others.

  8. Chipola College
    Location

    Marianna, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Chipola College, which is part of the public Florida College System, is institutionally-accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Chipola College tied for 10th place onU.S. News World Reports Top Public Schools in the South and #52 on the Best Regional Colleges in the South lists.

    Features

    Chipola College offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with one entry/ completion path. This is an RN track for licensed Registered Nurses who have completed an associates degree in nursing. Students new to nursing may be interested in the colleges associates degree (ADN), which qualifies them to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam, and after which they can apply for the RN-BSN program. Sample courses include:

    Research Processes for Professional Nursing Health Assessment Legal and Ethical Issues in Nursing Practice Multicultural Practice

    Notables

    The RN track program prepares students for healthcare roles serving individuals, families and communities. Students learn research and analysis techniques to build upon their existing nursing skills. This BSN degrees completion requirements includes 60 credits for associates level coursework, as well as 30 credits of upper-division nursing courses, including a Capstone. It is possible to complete RN track portion in three semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer).

  9. Northwest Florida State College
    Location

    Niceville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Northwest Florida State College (NWF, part of the Florida College System) offers nursing programs through the Department of Health Sciences. While the college is institutionally-accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). As of 2011, the college has been pursuing their Vision 2020 plan, which consists of seven core values, primarily to improve the overall experience of students.

    Features

    NWF offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with one entry/ completion path. This track is for licensed Registered Nurses with a associates degree in nursing. For non-RNs, there is an ASN (Associate of Science in Nursing; six semesters) degree that prepares students to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam, after which they can apply to the BSN degree completion program. Sample courses include:

    Dimensions of Baccalaureate Nursing Practice Nursing Care of Complex Clients Nursing Leadership and Management Evidence-Based Practice: Incorporating Nursing Research

    Notables

    The RN track prepares students for advanced roles in nursing, as well as for advanced degrees that lead to leadership and management nursing careers. Students take the program online for coursework, plus in-person, guided clinical experiences. This BSN degree requires a total of 120 credits, with the RN track portion consisting of 30 credits of upper-division nursing courses. The RN track can be completed full-time in three semesters or part-time in about four semesters.

  10. Pasco-Hernando State College
    Location

    New Port Richey, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC), which is part of the public Florida College System, receives institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The college has an overall focus on a set of core values, with the intent of improving the student and community experience, which includes an exhibition space and art gallery in the Pottberg Library of the main campus.

    Features

    A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is a new offering from PHSC. This selected-admission BSN program requires a total of 120 credits, including any offered as transfer credits for holding an associates degree in nursing and an RN license valid in Florida. RN track students will complete 60 credits of upper-division coursework over three-five semesters, including both nursing courses and other requirements. This is an online RN track for students having an associates degree in nursing and a current Registered Nurse (RN) license. Sample courses include:

    Cultural Health Issues Nursing Theoretical Concepts Teaching and Learning for the Healthcare Professional Pathology for Nursing Practice Pharmacology for Nursing

    Notables

    Prerequisite coursework for this program can be taken either at the main campus in New Port Richey, Florida, or at any of the four branch campuses. The RN portion itself is fully online; however, a face-to-face orientation day is required for each term. Nursing courses have an emphasis on building leadership and management skills, as well as theory and research. Admission to the program takes place in Fall and Spring, with applications accepted a few months before each of these semesters start. Students have the option of 3-, 4- or 5-semester plans, which depend on start date and courses taken.

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