3 Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Jacksonville, Florida

Take your career to the next level with the best Nurse Practitioner (NP) programs in Jacksonville, Florida. Programs

Article fact-checked by our Editorial Team.

Whether you're a practicing nurse seeking to advance your career or generally curious about the role of Nurse Practitioners (NPs), you've come to the right place. Discover the best NP Programs in Jacksonville, Florida, as we explore their nuances, costs, salary expectations, and more.

What Is an NP Program in Jacksonville, FL?

NP programs in Jacksonville are designed to prepare registered nurses (RNs) to become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who can provide a higher level of patient care.

Typically, NP programs offer specializations in areas such as family practice, psychiatric-mental health, pediatrics, geriatrics, women's health, and acute care, among others, either through a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), or Post Graduate Certificate, depending on previous nursing education.

Jacksonville NP Coursework

NP programs in Jacksonville generally include the following subjects:

  • Advanced Health Assessment: Skills for comprehensive patient assessments across the lifespan.
  • Advanced Pathophysiology: Deepening understanding of disease processes and their effects on the body.
  • Advanced Pharmacology: In-depth knowledge of pharmacological therapies and their application in clinical settings.
  • Primary Care: Focus on outpatient, primary healthcare, including diagnosis and management of common acute and chronic health problems.
  • Specialty Courses: Depending on the specialization, courses may focus on pediatric care, adult-gerontology, psychiatric-mental health, or women's health.
  • Health Policy: Understanding of health policy, its development, and its impact on healthcare practice.
  • Research Methods: Training in research methodologies applicable to the clinical setting.

Jacksonville NP Clinical Training

Clinical training is an essential part of NP programs, allowing students to apply their learned knowledge in real-world healthcare settings under the supervision of experienced practitioners. Clinical training typically includes:

  • Direct Patient Care: Hundreds of hours spent in various healthcare settings, managing patient care from assessment to treatment and follow-up.
  • Specialty Clinical Rotations: Depending on the student's chosen specialty, rotations might include pediatrics, emergency medicine, family practice, and others.
  • Simulation Labs: Use of high-tech simulation labs to practice and refine advanced clinical procedures in a controlled, supervised environment.
  • Mentorship with Experienced NPs and Physicians: One-on-one mentorship to develop clinical reasoning and decision-making skills.
  • Interdisciplinary Team Experience: Collaboration with other healthcare professionals to provide holistic care to patients.

Best NP Programs in Jacksonville, FL - Online & On-Campus

The following schools have been selected based on allnurses' methodology of surveying our readers to understand what they value most with the addition of graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, price, mode, duration, and admission rates of hundreds of the most prominent nursing schools in the United States.

1. Jacksonville University

Jacksonville University's Keigwin School of Nursing offers an MSN with several NP tracks including Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). These programs are designed to accommodate both full-time and part-time students and offer post-graduate certificate options for further specialization. The curriculum focuses on extensive clinical training, ensuring students meet the rigorous demands of advanced nursing practice.

MSN NP Program Overview 

  • Duration: 24 months
  • Tuition: $700 per credit hour 
  • Accreditation: CCNE 

JU's MSN NP concentrations include:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Program Highlights:

  • Flexible Pacing: Available in both full-time and part-time study formats.
  • Post Graduate Certificates: Options available for further specialization after MSN completion.
  • Admission Requirements: Includes online application, transcripts, GRE scores, a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited BSN program, resume or CV, statement of intent, valid RN license, and professional nursing experience.
  • Annual Admissions: Only admits students once per year for the fall semester.
  • Clinical and Background Checks: Clinical participation is required, with background checks as mandated by clinical affiliates.

2. University of North Florida

The University of North Florida offers a BSN to DNP program focused on treating common health problems and preventing disease across all ages, preparing graduates to meet the healthcare needs of individuals and families effectively. Upon completion, graduates are eligible for FNP certification examinations and licensure as APRNs in Florida.

DNP NP Program Overview

  • Duration: Eight semesters to complete. 
  • Tuition: $494 per credit hour for FL residents or $1,044 for non-residents
  • Accreditation: CCNE

UNF's NP concentrations include:

  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP); 68 credit hours 
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP); 83 credit hours 

FNP Program Highlights:

  • Program Focus: Prepares FNPs to handle healthcare across the lifespan, focusing on disease prevention and treatment of uncomplicated health issues.
  • Certification and Licensure: Graduates are eligible for FNP certification exams and state licensure as APRNs.
  • Program Length and Credits: The program requires completion of 83 credit hours.
  • Admission Requirements: Applicants need to have a BSN degree and meet the university's admission criteria including application fees, college transcripts, and specific documentation for international students.
  • Delivery Mode: The program is delivered in person, ensuring direct engagement and practical learning experiences.
  • Application Deadline: Applications are accepted until December 1 for fall semester enrollment.

3. Keiser University

Keiser University's MSN FNP program is structured to provide a comprehensive education in advanced practice nursing, focusing on health promotion, illness prevention, and management of acute and chronic illnesses across the lifespan.

MSN NP Program Overview

  • Duration: 18-24 months
  • Credit Hours: 49
  • Accreditation: CCNE

Program Highlights:

  • Curriculum: Coursework includes primary health care across multiple family health aspects, advanced pathophysiology, behavioral health across the lifespan, and integrated practicum experiences.
  • Flexible Learning Options: Keiser offers both on-campus and online options, providing flexibility to accommodate students' diverse needs and schedules.
  • Capstone and Certification: The program culminates in a capstone project and prepares graduates for the Family Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Examination.
  • Experienced Faculty: Students benefit from faculty who are not only well-prepared but actively engaged in their fields of teaching.

Prerequisites & Requirements of NP Programs in Jacksonville, FL

NP programs in Jacksonville come with specific prerequisites and requirements, ensuring candidates are prepared for the demands of advanced education and practice.

Jacksonville NP Prerequisites

The prerequisites for entering an NP Program in Jacksonville typically include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): A BSN degree from an accredited nursing program is generally required.
  • RN License: Active and unrestricted RN licensure in the state of Florida.
  • Work Experience: Some programs require applicants to have clinical experience, often a minimum of one to two years of full-time nursing practice, preferably in a setting relevant to the chosen NP track.
  • Minimum GPA: A minimum undergraduate GPA, often around 3.0 or higher, is usually required.
  • Standardized Test Scores: Some programs may require Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores, though this requirement is increasingly being waived by many programs.
  • Prerequisite Courses: Completion of specific undergraduate courses such as statistics, health assessment, and others, with a minimum grade, may be required.

Jacksonville NP Requirements

The requirements for successful admission and completion of an NP Program in Jacksonville typically include:

  • Application: Completion of an application form, which may include essays or a personal statement.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Letters from academic and/or professional references, often highlighting the applicant's clinical skills and academic potential.
  • Interviews: Some programs conduct interviews to assess candidates' motivations, communication skills, and suitability for the profession.
  • Background Check and Drug Screening: Due to the clinical nature of the training, applicants often need to pass a criminal background check and drug screening.
  • Clinical Rotations: Completion of required clinical hours in designated specialties, which vary by program and specialization.
  • Academic Standards: Maintenance of a certain GPA throughout the program to remain in good standing.
  • Certification Examination: Upon completion of the program, graduates must pass a national certification examination relevant to their specialty area to practice as an NP.

NP Responsibilities & Specialties in Jacksonville

Core Responsibilities of Nurse Practitioners:

  • Perform comprehensive assessments of patients' physical health.
  • Initiate and interpret diagnostic tests, such as X-rays and laboratory tests.
  • Identify and manage a spectrum of health issues, ranging from acute conditions to chronic diseases.
  • Prescribe medications and devise treatment plans.
  • Educate patients on preventive health measures, effective treatment options, and self-management strategies.

The roles and duties of NPs can differ markedly depending on the chosen specialty.

NP Specialties in Jacksonville

Nurse Practitioners in Jacksonville can pursue various specialties, each contributing uniquely to healthcare. Prominent specializations include:

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP): FNPs are pivotal in providing family-centered healthcare, offering comprehensive and personalized care to individuals of all ages. They excel in disease prevention and health promotion, significantly extending beyond basic care duties. As proponents of overall wellness, FNPs collaborate closely with patients to cultivate a comprehensive approach to health.

Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP): AGNPs focus on the healthcare needs of adults as they age, from young adulthood through senior years. Skilled in managing both acute and chronic conditions, they advocate for preventive health measures and tailored patient education. AGNPs are crucial in promoting healthy aging and addressing the unique health challenges that arise with older adults.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP): PMHNPs lead in managing mental health conditions, offering extensive care that includes assessment, therapy, and advocacy. They are key in challenging mental health stigmas and enhancing community mental wellness. PMHNPs ensure comprehensive support for individuals dealing with mental health challenges, thereby advancing mental health care.

Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP): WHNPs specialize in women's health, providing specific care throughout the various stages of a woman's life. Essential in reproductive health, they address distinct gynecological concerns and support women from their reproductive years to menopause. WHNPs emphasize education and preventive care to enhance women's health outcomes.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP): NNPs focus on the care of newborns, particularly those who are premature or have significant health issues. They are integral to neonatal intensive care teams, offering specialized care adapted to each infant's needs. NNPs also provide vital support to families, combining medical expertise with emotional support.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP): PNPs are dedicated to the healthcare of children from infancy through adolescence. They extend beyond merely treating illnesses by performing developmental screenings and promoting healthy lifestyle habits, such as proper nutrition and disease prevention. PNPs are instrumental in advancing pediatric health and act as trusted consultants to families, aiding in the holistic development of children.

Each specialization allows Nurse Practitioners in Jacksonville to refine their skills and knowledge in particular health areas, advocating for preventive care and patient education, and playing a significant role in the overall well-being of their patients. By selecting a specialization, NPs can become authorities in their fields, thus enhancing patient care and health outcomes.

Costs of NP Programs in Jacksonville

The financial aspects of Nurse Practitioner (NP) programs in Jacksonville, FL, vary depending on factors such as the institution, program format, and specific location. Here's a detailed breakdown of the primary financial considerations:

  • Tuition: Often the largest expense, public universities in Jacksonville usually offer lower tuition rates compared to private institutions. Tuition fees can vary significantly, especially between in-state and out-of-state students, and may be charged per credit hour or per semester.
  • Fees: These may include application fees, registration fees, technology fees, and lab fees, all of which can significantly increase the overall cost of education.
  • Books and Supplies: Necessary items such as textbooks, medical equipment, and uniforms can represent a considerable expense throughout the duration of the program.
  • Clinical Expenses: These might include travel costs if clinical placements are not conveniently located near the student's home or campus.
  • Certification and Licensing: After graduation, students need to budget for certification exams and state licensure fees.
  • Living Costs: Expenses related to housing, food, and transportation are substantial, particularly for full-time students who may have limited opportunities to earn money.
  • Additional Costs: Other potential expenses might include health insurance, maintenance of technology, travel for campus visits, and ongoing education to maintain licensure.

To mitigate these costs, students should look into financial aid options such as scholarships, grants, and work-study programs, which can help reduce the financial strain. It's also wise for prospective students to evaluate and select the Most Affordable NP Programs in 2024 to make well-informed decisions. For precise and current details on program costs, students should directly contact the educational institutions.

Salary Expectations of NP Programs in Jacksonville, FL

Recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides important details about NP salaries in Jacksonville. Florida, with the highest employment rate for NPs nationally at 22,270 has an average annual mean wage of $119,710 for Nurse Practitioners, which is less than the national average of $128,490.

In contrast, ZipRecruiter lists the average annual salary for NPs in Florida at $90,634, and in Jacksonville specifically, the average stands at $113,307 per year.

The top-paying states for NPs are:

  • California: $158,130
  • New Jersey: $143,250
  • Massachusetts: $138,700
  • Oregon: $136,250
  • Nevada: $136,230

It's important to note that these figures are influenced by additional factors including specialization, years of experience, employer, and more. For a greater understanding of salary expectations, it's important to consider the context of your employment.

Are NP Programs in Jacksonville Worth It?

Deciding whether an NP Program is worth it in Jacksonville requires considering its various advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of NP Programs in Jacksonville

  • Increased Earning Potential: Nurse Practitioners typically earn a higher salary compared to registered nurses. The investment in an NP Program can lead to greater long-term financial benefits.
  • Expanded Job Opportunities: Graduates have the qualifications to work in various settings, including private practices, hospitals, and specialized clinics, with the ability to specialize in areas like family medicine, pediatrics, or geriatrics.
  • Autonomy in Practice: NPs in Florida, including Jacksonville, have considerable autonomy in patient care, which includes diagnosing conditions, prescribing medication, and initiating treatment plans.
  • High Demand for Healthcare Professionals: Jacksonville, like much of the country, has a growing demand for healthcare services, especially primary care, which increases job stability and opportunities for NPs.
  • Supportive Professional Community: Jacksonville offers a strong network of healthcare facilities and a professional community that supports continuous learning and professional growth, enhancing the work environment and career development for NPs.

Cons of NP Programs in Jacksonville

  • High Costs of Education: NP programs can be expensive, with costs including tuition, fees, and materials. This can be a significant financial burden without scholarships, grants, or employer support.
  • Intensive Time Commitment: The program requires a significant time investment, including classroom learning, clinical hours, and studying, which can be challenging to manage, especially for those with personal or professional obligations.
  • Competitive Admission Process: NP programs can be highly competitive, with more applicants than available spots, requiring high academic and professional standards for admission.
  • Regulatory Constraints: While NPs have considerable autonomy, they still face regulatory limits in Florida compared to some other states, which can affect their scope of practice.
  • Pressure and Responsibility: The role of an NP comes with high levels of responsibility in patient care decisions, which can be stressful and demanding, particularly in specialized medical areas.

Whether an NP Program in Jacksonville is worth it ultimately depends on how these pros and cons align with your personal and professional goals. If the career benefits align with your aspirations and you're prepared for the challenges, it can be a very rewarding path.

Importance of Picking an Accredited NP Program in Jacksonville, FL

Attending an accredited NP Program in Jacksonville is crucial for several reasons:

  • Adherence to National Education Standards: Accreditation ensures compliance with rigorous educational standards, covering curriculum, faculty qualifications, student resources, and clinical training.
  • Meeting Clinical Hour Requirements: Accredited programs fulfill minimum clinical hour requirements, which range from 500 (MSN) to 1000 (DNP) hours, essential for a comprehensive education.
  • APRN Certification and Licensure: Graduating from an accredited program is often a requirement to obtain advanced practice nursing certification and licensure requirements.
  • Enhanced Career Opportunities: Accredited NP Program graduates get priority with employers. They get a high-quality education, meet national standards, and can boost career prospects.
  • Facilitating Credit Transfer: Accredited nursing programs ensure credits are recognized by reputable institutions, easing transitions for further education or changing schools.
  • Professional Credibility: Completing an accredited NP Program adds professional credibility by meeting national standards for advanced nursing practice.

Aspiring nurse practitioner students should prioritize programs accredited by reputable organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Jacksonville NP Scope of Practice & Licensing

As you consider embarking on a nurse practritioner program in Jacksonville, understanding both national certification requirements and the specific practice regulations of Florida is crucial. This knowledge is not merely procedural for licensure but is fundamental in strategically planning your future healthcare career, whether in Florida or elsewhere.

Essential Certifications for Florida NPs

Achieving national certification is your initial major step towards licensure in any state, confirming your expertise in your chosen specialty. Key certifying bodies include:

Navigating NP Practice in Jacksonville

The Florida Board of Nursing maintains a restricted practice authority, requiring NPs to collaborate with supervising physicians. This setup contrasts with states that offer less restrictive or full practice authority, underscoring the importance of understanding Florida's specific regulations. 

Planning Your Career Path

In Florida, your role and responsibilities as an NP will be shaped by these state-specific regulations. Given that Florida is among the states with restricted practice, it's imperative to understand these rules thoroughly, especially if you plan to practice in states with different levels of NP autonomy. Aligning your education with both Florida standards and the requirements of any other states where you might consider working is essential.

Preparing for a Dynamic NP Career

While national certification is a uniform requirement across the U.S., Florida's distinct practice environment necessitates a comprehensive understanding of various state licensure landscapes. With initiatives like the APRN Compact potentially simplifying multi-state practice, ensuring your education and credentials are adaptable across different regulatory frameworks is beneficial. Staying informed and adaptable is crucial for success, enabling a rewarding and versatile career as an NP, whether you choose to remain in Jacksonville or move elsewhere.

NP Programs Near Me

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What financial aid options are available for students in NP programs in Jacksonville?

Many NP programs offer a variety of financial aid options to help manage the costs of education. These may include federal and state grants, loans, scholarships from the institution or external sources, and work-study opportunities. Prospective students should contact the financial aid office of their chosen institution to explore what specific financial aid packages are available and how to apply for them.

Can I enroll in an NP Program in Jacksonville on a part-time basis?

Many NP programs in Jacksonville offer part-time enrollment options to accommodate students who may be working professionals or have other commitments. Part-time programs allow students to complete their coursework and clinical hours over an extended period, typically taking more semesters to finish than full-time students. It's important to check with specific programs for details on part-time schedules and any potential impact on financial aid eligibility.

How are clinical placements arranged in NP programs in Jacksonville, and what types of settings are typically available?

Clinical placements are a crucial part of NP education, arranged by the program to ensure that students gain hands-on experience in a variety of healthcare settings. These placements can include hospitals, primary care clinics, specialty practices, and community health centers. Programs often have partnerships with healthcare providers to facilitate these placements, ensuring that students can meet their clinical hours in environments that reflect their chosen concentrations.

What concentrations are available for NP students in Jacksonville, and how does choosing a concentration affect the practicum?

NP programs in Jacksonville commonly offer concentrations in fields such as family practice, psychiatric-mental health, pediatrics, geriatrics, women's health, and acute care. The chosen concentration directly influences the nature of the practicum, as students will complete their clinical hours in settings that provide relevant experience. For example, those focusing on pediatrics will have practicums in pediatric health settings, which is essential for gaining the specialized skills needed in their future roles.

What is the process of credentialing for newly graduated NPs in Jacksonville, and how does it relate to certification exams?

After completing an NP Program, graduates must undergo credentialing to practice as nurse practitioners. This process includes passing a national certification exam specific to their concentration, such as those offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). Successful certification is then followed by applying for an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license in Florida. Credentialing also involves verifying educational credentials and clinical experiences, a crucial step for employment in healthcare facilities.

Editorial Team / Admin

Erin Lee has 12 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, Procedural, Care Coordination, LNC.

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