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

Nurses with the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), the highest clinical practice degree available in nursing, remain a hot commodity throughout the U.S. as an aging population and more insured patients put unprecedented demands on the nation’s healthcare system.

This rings particularly true in Florida, where primary care physician shortages (largely due to a swiftly aging population) threaten to cripple an already-strained healthcare sector.

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The DNP prepares provides nurses with the knowledge and technical know how they need to succeed at the highest levels of nursing administration and clinical practice and help fill the void of a lack of primary care physicians.

Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Florida

Florida nurses who want to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) must possess either an MSN or BSN:

  • 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, Miami Shores
    • Also available as a BSN-DNP
    • Specializations in:
      • Family nurse practitioner
      • Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner
  • Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton
    • Also available as a BSN-DNP
    • Specializations in:
      • APRN roles
      • Nurse administration
      • Clinical nurse leader
  • Florida International University, Miami
    • Also available as a BSN-DNP
    • Specializations in:
      • Adult gerontology nurse practitioner
      • Family nurse practitioner
      • Pediatric nurse practitioner
      • Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
      • Nurse anesthetist
  • Florida State University, Tallahassee
    • Specialization in family nurse practitioner
  • Jacksonville University, Jacksonville
    • Also available as a BSN-DNP
    • Specializations in:
      • Adult gerontology nurse practitioner
      • Family nurse practitioner
      • Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • NOVA Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale
    • Advanced practice nursing focus
  • University of Central Florida, Orlando
    • Also available as a BSN-DNP
    • Specializations in:
      • Adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (BSN-DNP)
      • Family nurse practitioner (BSN-DNP)
      • APRN roles (MSN-DNP)
      • Nurse executive (MSN-DNP)
  • University of Florida, Gainesville
    • Also available as a BSN-DNP
    • Specializations in:
      • Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner
      • Family nurse practitioner
      • Pediatric acute care nurse practitioner
      • Pediatric primary care nurse practitioner
      • Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • University of Miami, Coral Gables
    • Specializations in APRN roles
  • University of North Florida, Jacksonville
    • Also available as a BSN-DNP
    • Specializations in:
      • Family nurse practitioner (BSN-DNP)
      • Nurse anesthetist (BSN-DNP)
      • Clinical nurse specialist
  • University of South Florida, Tampa
    • Also available as a BSN-DNP
    • Specializations in:
    • Also available as a BSN-DNP
      • BSN-DNP concentrations include:
        • Adult gerontology acute care
        • Adult gerontology primary care
        • Family health
        • Dual occupational health/adult-gerontology primary care
        • Dual oncology/adult-gerontology primary care
        • Pediatric health
      • MSN-DNP concentrations include all APRN roles

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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