Online BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP Programs Available in Florida

Nurses with the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), the highest clinical practice-focused degree available in nursing, remain a hot commodity throughout the U.S. as an aging population puts unprecedented demands on the nation’s healthcare system. This rings particularly true in Florida, where primary care physician shortages threaten to cripple an already-strained healthcare sector.

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DNP-prepared NPs and other advanced practice nurses, clinical managers and administrators bring the experience, clinical expertise, and technical know-how needed to effect change at the highest levels of nursing administration and clinical practice, while at the same time helping to fill the primary care void being created by a growing physician shortage.

Whether it’s BSN-prepared RNs making the transition to advanced practice roles or existing advanced practice nurses looking to take on another patient population or specialty certification, the Doctor of Nursing Practice is becoming more popular all the time. Finding online DNP programs with either the BSN or MSN entry-point has become easier in recent years as more colleges and universities begin to offer these programs with at least some online curriculum.

Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Florida

DNP programs are designed with two entry points to accommodate both bachelor’s-prepared RNs and master’s-prepared APRNs:

  • BSN-DNP programs allow BSN-prepared nurses to first complete their MSN and then easily transition into the DNP program. This type of program is commonly used as a path to initial APRN certification and licensure and would consist of about 90 credits taken over 36 months of full time study depending on the specialization.
  • MSN-DNP programs allow MSN-prepared nurses who may already be certified and licensed as APRNs to complete a DNP in preparation for roles in clinical leadership and more. These programs can serve as a path for APRNs looking to advance their expertise within their current APRN role or add additional certification in another patient population focus or specialty. These programs would typically consist of 30-36 credits taken over at least 18 months of full time study depending on the specialization.

As of September 2016, nationally accredited DNP programs in Florida hold voluntary accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), while the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs (COA) handles specialty accreditation for nurse anesthetist programs and the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) accredits qualified DNP programs in nurse-midwifery.

CCNE accreditation is granted to programs that include at least 1,000 post-baccalaureate practice hours and offer students the ability to specialize in at least one of the following:

  • An advanced practice nursing direct care focus
  • An aggregate/systems/organizational focus (e.g., executive leadership, health policy, etc.)

In addition to campus-based DNP programs, students in Florida have access to a wide array of online DNP programs that allow for convenient, distance-based study. However, students of these programs must still complete the clinical requirements of the program at partner clinical sites. Depending on the institution, students may be limited to completing the program’s clinical requirements where established partnerships exist.

Many online and campus-based DNP programs offer flexible formats to accommodate student needs, such as part-time formats and accelerated formats:

  • Traditional DNP programs consist of about 18-24 months of study
  • Accelerated programs total about 12 months of study
  • Part-time programs take about 2 ½ years to complete

DNP programs consist of three main components:

  • DNP core – The DNP core (includes topics such as clinical scholarship and analytic methods for evidence-based practicetransforming the healthcare organization, epidemiology and social determinants of population healthscientific underpinnings for practice)
  • Specialty courses in line with the chosen focus  Specialty coursework focuses on an advanced practice nursing focus or an aggregate/systems/organizational focus
  • Final Project  A DNP program’s final project allows students to demonstrate and document their mastery of advanced specialty within the nursing practice. DNP projects usually consist of a written paper suitable for publication and a formal presentation

BSN-to-DNP Programs for BSN-Prepared Nurses

Many DNP programs, either on-campus or online, offer BSN students the opportunity to earn both their MSN and DNP in one, combined program. A BSN-DNP program allows students to effortlessly transition to their DNP program once they complete their MSN. These programs require about four years of study.

BSN-DNP programs specific to one of the four APRN roles (nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife, nurse anesthetist or clinical nurse specialist) require students to earn their MSN in a chosen advanced practice nursing specialty. This would also include satisfying all clinical requirements (usually about 500 hours) and, depending on the chosen specialization, earning national certification in a chosen APRN role and patient population focus.

Although MSN programs vary according to the chosen functional nursing specialty, the MSN core remains the same, encompassing study in the following topics:

  • Clinical prevention/population health
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Informatics
  • Interprofessional collaboration
  • Organizational and systems leadership
  • Policy and advocacy
  • Program evaluation for improving patient and population outcomes
  • Quality and safety

MSN programs in an APRN role also include an APRN core:

  • Advanced physiology/pathophysiology, including general principles that apply across the lifespan
  • Advanced health assessment, including the assessment of all human systems, concepts and approaches, and advanced assessment techniques
  • Advanced pharmacology, including:
    • Pharmacokinetics
    • Pharmacotherapeutics of all broad categories of agents
    • Pharmacodynamics

BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP Programs Available in Florida

Currently, there are 11 CCNE-accredited DNP programs in Florida, offering concentrations in advanced practice nursing roles and/or nurse executive/leadership roles. CCNE-accredited online programs are also available to advanced nursing students in Florida. Other DNP programs not shown here may hold regional accreditation or specialty accreditation through the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs or the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education.
 

Barry University

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Miami

Accreditation: CCNE and COA

BSN-DNP (campus)

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

MSN-DNP (hybrid)

  • Family Practice
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care
  • Anesthesiology

 

Florida Atlantic University

Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing

Boca Raton

Accreditation: CCNE

BSN-DNP (hybrid

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

MSN-DNP (hybrid)

  • Clinical Nursing Practice

 

Florida Gulf Coast University

School of Nursing

Fort Myers

Accreditation: CCNE and COA

BSN-DNP (campus)

  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Anesthesiology

MSN-DNP  (campus)

  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Anesthesiology

 

Florida International University

Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences

Miami

Accreditation: CCNE and COA

BSN-DNP (hybrid)

  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care
  • Family Health
  • Pediatric Primary Care
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health
  • Nurse Anesthetist

Post-Master’s-DNP (online)

  • Clinical Nursing Practice

 

Florida State University

College of Nursing

Tallahassee

Accreditation: CCNE

BSN-DNP (online)

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Master’s-DNP (online)

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

 

Jacksonville University

Keigwin School of Nursing

Jacksonville

Accreditation: CCNE

BSN-DNP (hybrid)

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Leadership

Post-MSN-DNP (hybrid)

  • Advanced Practice
  • Leadership

 

Keiser University

Nursing

Fort Lauderdale

Accreditation: CCNE and COA

BSN-DNP (campus)

  • Nurse Anesthesia

Post-Master’s-DNP (online)

  • Clinical Nursing Practice
  • Nurse Anesthesia

 

Nova Southeastern University

Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing

Fort Lauderdale

Accreditation: CCNE

Post-MS-DNP (online)

  • Clinical Nursing Practice

 

Palm Beach Atlantic University

School of Nursing

West Palm Beach

Accreditation: CCNE

BSN-DNP (hybrid)

  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Executive Leadership
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Care Nurse Practitioner

Post-Master’s-DNP (hybrid)

  • Practical

 

University of Central Florida

College of Nursing

Orlando

Accreditation: CCNE

BSN-DNP (hybrid)

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner

MSN-DNP (online)

  • Advanced Practice
  • Executive

 

University of Florida

College of Nursing

Gainesville

Accreditation: CCNE

BSN-DNP (online)

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

MSN-DNP (online)

  • Clinical Nursing Practice

 

University of Miami

School of Nursing & Health Studies

Coral Gables

Accreditation: CCNE and COA

BSN-DNP (campus)

  • Nurse Anesthesia

MSN-DNP (hybrid)

  • Clinical Nursing Practice

 

University of North Florida

School of Nursing

Jacksonville

Accreditation: CCNE and COA

BSN-DNP (campus)

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Anesthetist

Post-MSN-DNP (online)

  • Clinical Nursing Practice
  • Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

 

University of South Florida

College of Nursing

Tampa

Accreditation: CCNE and COA

BSN-DNP (campus)

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nursing
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nursing
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care/Oncology
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care/Occupational Health
  • Family Health Nursing
  • Pediatric Health Nursing
  • Nurse Anesthesia

MSN-DNP (hybrid)

  • Advanced Practice

 

University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

School of Nursing

Miami

Accreditation: CCNE

BSN-DNP (online)

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Executive
  • Nurse Informaticist

MSN-DNP (online)

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Executive
  • Nurse Informaticist

Opportunities Available to DNP-Prepared Nurses in Florida

Opportunities for DNP-educated nurses abound in Florida, as is evident by the impressive rise in DNP enrollment throughout the state in recent years. According to the Florida Center for Nursing, doctoral nursing programs in Florida saw an increase of 22 percent between 2017 and 2018. DNP graduates during this time increased by 47 percent.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), Florida is home to 23 DNP programs.

Graduates of DNP programs in Florida pursue practice leadership roles in a wide variety of settings. Just a few of the positions held by DNP graduates include:

  • Executives in healthcare organizations
  • Directors of clinical programs
  • Clinical faculty members
  • Managers of quality initiatives

The following job posts highlight some of the job opportunities available to Florida’s DNP-educated nurses:

Clinical Faculty, NP/DNP, Barry University, Miami Shores, FL

  • Master’s degree in nursing required; doctoral degree in nursing preferred
  • Board certified ARNP in family or adult gerontology/acute care NP
  • Current Florida ARNP license
  • 1-3 years teaching experience

Acute Nurse Practitioner Faculty/Palm Beach, Nova Southeastern University, Palm Beach, FL

  • Nursing MSN
  • Earned doctoral degree (EdD, DNP, or PhD) within six months from date of hire

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Faculty, Nova Southeastern University, Tampa, FL

  • Nursing MSN
  • Earned doctoral degree (EdD, DNP, or PhD) within six months from date of hire
  • Minimum 5 years of related experience and/or training, including research

Nurse Manager – Clinical Genomics/GIM/Psyche/Fibromyalgia, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL

  • Current RN license
  • Minimum 3 years of nursing practice experience
  • Preferred MSN or DNP

Pre-Op APRN, John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Saint Petersburg, FL

  • Current Florida license as ARNP or PA
  • Clinical MSN or DNP
  • Current national certification as a pediatric NP

 

Examples of DNP nursing positions were taken from a survey of job listings in January 2020 and are shown for illustrative purposes only. These examples do not represent job offers or positions that are currently available.

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