Nursing Degrees: Top Ranked Nursing School - Jacksonville, FL

Few schools in the Jacksonville area have top ranking nursing programs. Read on to find out more about what these top schools have to offer for nursing, as well as tuition and degree information.

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Top Nursing Programs in Jacksonville, FL

There are only three schools that offer nursing programs within 20 miles of the Jacksonville, FL area. These schools are the University of North Florida, Jacksonville University, and Florida State College - Jacksonville. The University of North Florida is the best option because it has the highest-ranking nursing program and has the highest graduation rate. Jacksonville University has the next-highest ranking and graduation rate, so it is a better choice than Florida State College - Jacksonville.

To obtain licensure as a registered or practical nurse in Florida, aspiring nurses must complete an accredited nursing program and past the appropriate NCLEX examination. Applicants must also submit to a criminal background check and be fingerprinted. Advanced practice nurses must have a Florida state RN license, complete an accredited training program, and have certification from a nursing special board. They must also obtain malpractice insurance.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of North Florida Jacksonville University Florida State College - Jacksonville
Ranking(s) Graduate nursing program ranked #193 among national universities in 2011
Nursing anesthesia program ranked #63 among national universities in 2011*
Graduate nursing program ranked #295 among national universities in 2011* Unranked*
Location Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $6,235 (undergraduate, in-state)
$20,694 (undergraduate, out-of-state)
$10,144 (graduate, in-state)
$21,302 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$29,100 (undergraduate)
$11,628 (graduate)**
$2,790 (undergraduate, in-state)
$9,903 (undergraduate, out-of-state)**
Nursing Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees** Bachelor's and master's degrees and post-graduate certificates** Associate and bachelor's degrees and undergraduate certificates**
Nursing Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 216** 442** 385**
Most Popular Nursing Program (2011-2012) Bachelor of Science in Nursing (160 awarded)** Bachelor of Science in Nursing (396 awarded)** Associate of Science in Nursing (355 awarded)**
Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2006 Entering Class 48%** 41%** 33%**
Noteworthy Forbes Magazine named UNF the No. 19 Best College Buy, a Best College in America and a Best College in the South*** Emergency Nurse Practitioner program is one of just five in the nation**** N/A

Sources: *US News and World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***University of North Florida, ****Jacksonville University.

Winner: University of North Florida

  • Ranked #51 among regional universities in the south on the 2014 list, according to US News and World Report
  • School of Nursing accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and nurse anesthesia program accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Education Program
  • Students can become members of the Student Nurses Association

The University of North Florida (UNF) offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with three tracks. The Pre-licensure BSN track is available for college juniors and above who wish to pursue nursing and consists of courses in professional, clinical, and lab courses. There is also an accelerated Pre-licensure BSN track for students who have already completed a bachelor's degree and wish to complete the program in 3.5 semesters. The RN-BSN track is catered for Registered Nurses (RNs) who wish to complete a BSN, which can be completed in three semesters online or on-campus. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with concentrations in Primary Care Nurse Practice, Nurse Anesthesia, and Clinical Nurse Specialist is also offered at UNF. An RN-MSN track is also available, as well as a Family Nurse Practice (FNP) certificate. UNF also offers a Doctor of Nurse Practice (DNP) degree, which is primarily an online program with two courses taught online and on-campus.

Runner-Up #1: Jacksonville University

  • Has state-of-the-art nursing lab with 13 simulation manikins, 12 beds, and critical care and medical-surgical stations
  • Students in 2012 had a 98% pass rate for nursing licensure exam
  • Bachelor's and master's nursing programs accredited by CCNE

Students at Jacksonville University (JU) can earn a BSN in three years or in 16 months in the accelerated Second Degree Program. There is also an RN-BSN program available to students online. Students in the MSN program take courses in nursing theory and research and choose concentrations in Clinical Nurse Education (CNE), Leadership in Healthcare Systems (LHS), FNP or FNP/Emergency Nurse Practice (ENP). Students earning an MSN degree with an emphasis on LHS or CNE can earn the degree online. JU also offers a DNP program, which consists of 39-48 post-Master's credit hours. Students in this program complete 27 credit hours followed by a clinical practice project and almost 300 of residency hours. Students may also earn FNP, ENP, Adult Gerontology, or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification while completing the DNP degree.

Runner-Up #2: Florida State College - Jacksonville

  • School has open admissions policy
  • Students can become members of nursing honor society Alpha Delta Nu, the Nurses Christian Fellowship, and the Student Nursing Student Association
  • Associate and bachelor's nursing programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

Florida State College - Jacksonville (FSCJ) offers an Associate in Science in Nursing (ASN) degree, which consists of 16 general education, 14 professional, and 42 nursing credit hours and allows students to complete the NCLEX licensure exam to become an RN. An ASN track for paramedics and licensed practical nurses is also available at FSCJ. Students who have already completed an associate degree (or are close to completing one) may enter the BSN program, a four-semester part-time program where students take professional nursing courses. BSN students must complete 120 credit hours, which includes the ASN credit hours. Students can also earn an Advanced Technical Certificate in Case Management (ATC-CM), which is a 21-credit hour program where students learn about working in hospitals, home health care facilities, and ambulatory services.

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