There is only one educational institution in Florida that offers an online graduate program for nurses seeking licensure as family nurse practitioners (FNPs). Keiser University’s online master of science in nursing is designed for registered nurses (RNs) interested in this specialization. The degree is open to RNs who possess a bachelor’s degree in nursing with at least one year of recent clinical experience with patients. Keiser also offers an online RN-to-BSN pathway for diploma and associate nurses in need of obtaining a bachelor’s degree before enrolling in the master’s program.

The FNP program at Keiser University is aligned with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) Population Focused Nurse Practitioner Competencies. It is accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). All of the coursework in the program can be completed online; however, students are also required to complete more than 600 clinical hours at a local healthcare facility and two, four-day on-campus residencies.

For more information on this degree program, as well as details regarding FNP licensing requirements in Florida, please see below.

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Program Information: Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs in Florida

Keiser University has several graduate options for registered nurses: a family nurse practitioner master’s and a nursing practice doctorate (DNP).

The school has an online BSN-to-MSN FNP that can be completed in 18 months if taken full-time. Substantive hours of clinical practice with an approved preceptor and two, four-day residencies at the Fort Lauderdale campus are also required. The degree can be taken in a part-time format, with completion strongly recommended within five years’ time.

Kaiser’s family nurse practitioner master (MSN FNP) program emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge and clinical skills in advanced practice nursing within the context of the family. Students also learn about health promotion and the prevention and the management of illness across the lifespan throughout the program. Course topics include primary healthcare of the family, health promotion and disease prevention, advanced pathophysiology for practice, advanced health assessment, quality improvement, and patient safety.

Graduates of the program gain knowledge and expertise in advanced practice nursing through in-depth coursework and extensive clinical practice. Along with the acquisition of collaboration and leadership skills, family nurse practitioners are prepared to return to the workforce to deliver quality care to those in the healthcare systems: individuals, families, and communities alike.

Upon completion of 56 credit-hours of coursework and a minimum of 630 hours of clinical practice, graduates can take the family nurse practitioner board certification exam to become licensed to work as family nurse practitioners in the state of Florida. Registration for the exam must be completed before the end of the last course to be eligible for degree conferral.

Admission requirements for the Keiser MSN FNP program include:

  • Graduate school application
  • NursingCAS application (recommended)
  • Official transcripts documenting successful completion of a bachelor’s in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 at the undergraduate-level (exceptions may be made by the dean)
  • Current resume stating education and at least one year of recent clinical practice with patients
  • Active and unrestricted professional RN license
  • Clear criminal background check and drug screening
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Interview with faculty
  • Writing assessment

Florida FNP Licensing Requirements

To become licensed to practice as a family nurse practitioner in Florida, it is necessary to adhere to the regulations of the Florida Board of Nursing.

The first stipulation is that an applicant has a valid, registered nurse license in the state of Florida. Second, all NPs must have completed a state-approved graduate degree program. The degrees must be from a school with current accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or another recognized accrediting agency, by the United States Department of Education.

After earning a graduate degree in nursing, applicants have to pass a national certifying exam. Two certifying entities can be utilized: the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To qualify for the exam, RNs must have completed at least 500 clinical hours of supervised direct patient care.

Candidates are then eligible to apply for state licensure to the Florida Board of Registered Nursing online or by mail once national certification has been achieved. The following documentation must be submitted: a completed application and a $100 fee, electronic fingerprints through a Livescan service provider, proof of national certification sent to the Board from a certifying body, and proof of malpractice insurance.

The board reviews applications within 30 days upon receipt of materials and the renewal process may take from 7 to 10 business days. The following must be submitted online or by mail to renew an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) license:

  • Completed renewal application and $149 fee (active, current licenses)
  • Electronic submission of CE requirements to the department of health
  • Address of primary place of practice
  • Verified online practitioner profile
  • Completed financial responsibility form
  • Copy of current national certification

All CE/CEU courses can be fulfilled in-person or through qualifying home study. Nurses who are certified by a healthcare specialty program accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies or the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification are exempt from continuing education requirements. However, FNPs with exempt status are still required to take the three-hour safely prescribing controlled substances and the two-hour human trafficking courses.