Florida has been identified as one of the areas within the United States at risk for a shortage of nursing professionals by 2020. In response, newer nursing programs and accelerated BSN programs have opened throughout Florida to help train the next generation of nurses. With all these options to choose from, how do you find the best nursing school in Florida?
There are empirical criteria you can look at, such as NCLEX pass rates, graduation rates, tuition costs, etc., and there are also personal factors—things that are important to you—that you should pay attention to.
It’s important to find the right accelerated nursing school in Florida that fits everything you’re looking for in a program. We’ve broken it down into five factors that sum up what you should pay attention to the most.
- ABSN Program’s Admission Requirements
- ABSN Program’s Format
- ABSN Program’s Reputation
- ABSN Program’s Location
- ABSN Program’s Logistics
What are the Accelerated BSN Program’s Admission Requirements?
Because an ABSN program will solely focus on nursing-specific coursework, these types of nursing programs often require several liberal arts and natural science prerequisites. Not only must these prerequisites be completed, but a minimum GPA is also often a requirement.
In addition, many accelerated BSN programs will actually require applicants to have a previous bachelor’s degree.
Utica College’s Accelerated BSN program in Florida does not require students to have a previous bachelor’s degree. However, there are other ABSN admission requirements that must be met, including GPA requirements as well as specific prerequisites courses.
If you have any concerns or questions about the admission requirements for Utica’s accelerated nursing program in Florida, you can contact an advisor at 866-890-9340.
Do you want an on-campus or online accelerated BSN program?
This is another personal-preference criteria when it comes to choosing the best accelerated BSN program in Florida. You’ll have to decide for yourself if you want to travel every day to an on-campus setting to sit through a traditionally-formatted nursing lecture or if you’d rather take online courses on your home computer.
There are benefits to both. Some students prefer the structured, scheduled format of a traditional nursing program. Other ABSN students need a more flexible schedule to fit in around their families, friends, and current jobs, so they prefer an online format.
Utica’s ABSN program is technically a hybrid program. Students complete coursework online through Utica’s online platform and supplement their coursework with hands-on, instructor-supervised labs in St. Petersburg and in-hospital training in the Tampa Bay area.
This format gives Utica’s students the best of both worlds:
- A flexible schedule to complete coursework online, and
- Hands-on training to prepare them for a successful nursing career.
If you like the idea of taking coursework online, but aren’t sure what it would be like, you should take a look at Utica’s Online Learning Demo. You’ll see what an interactive module would look like and how you’ll interact with peers and instructors through the platform.
What is the Accelerated BSN program’s reputation?
The best accelerated nursing program in Florida should have a good reputation, which is a sum of three factors:
- NCLEX Pass Rates
- Testimonials & Student Reviews
The national average NCLEX pass rate for students who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is 88 percent. The best accelerated BSN program in Florida should either meet or exceed this number.
NCLEX pass rates are public knowledge. If the school you are researching does not tell you what their NCLEX pass rate is, you can find it on the Florida State Board of Nursing. They have a list of all programs and let you compare several.
While Utica College has been around since 1946, Utica’s Accelerated BSN program in Florida is relatively new. However, the curriculum is based on the ABSN program in New York, which consistently has a better-than-national average NCLEX pass rate of 92%.
ABSN Testimonials & Program Reviews
You should do some research on what other students have to say about the program(s) you are interested in. You’ll probably find both positive and negative reviews—all that you should take with a grain of salt. No two nursing students will have the same exact opinions of their experience, but it is a good way to find out what it would be like.
This current Utica College student shared her accelerated nursing program review and talks about her experience with Utica’s ABSN program.
ABSN Program’s Accreditation
Every credible accelerated nursing program should be accredited. While accreditation is technically an optional process for colleges and universities to go through, being accredited is a hard fact that says the accelerated BSN’s curriculum will give you a good education.
Utica College is accredited by the following respected organizations:
- Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and School
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Florida Commission for Independent Education
Where is the Accelerated BSN program located?
Not many people realize that Florida is a big state. It is almost 450 miles long—a 9 hour drive—from the panhandle to Miami. Just because you’ve found an ABSN program in Florida you like, it may not be convenient for you to get to.
Utica’s Accelerated BSN program is in St. Petersburg, conveniently located about half-way between the northern and southern parts of Florida, just minutes from Tampa and approximately two hours from Orlando. You could easily commute from Orlando to Tampa Bay for your clinicals and take coursework online with Utica’s ABSN program.
What other ABSN program logistics are there?
It may seem by now that we’ve covered everything you need to pay attention to when selecting the best accelerated BSN program in Florida, but there is one more aspect you should consider: How big is the school/program? Is it so large that it will make you just another number in the system, or are classrooms still small enough to give you the personal attention you deserve?
Utica’s accelerated nursing program’s online format automatically gives our students immediate access to their instructors through the eLearning platform. There is no waiting for office hours or in line after class to ask a question. You can email, call, or message your instructor directly—no waiting.
What is the best Nursing School in Florida?
Deciding on who has the best nursing school in Florida is up to you. Do your research and compare nursing programs based on what you need to become a great nurse.
Utica College’s 16-month Accelerated BSN program in Florida may be the best fit for you. To find out, contact one of our advisors to get more information.