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Nurse Practitioner Zone

Florida Nurse Practitioner Certification

Florida NPs are known as advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs). ARNPs are RNs who have obtained additional education in an area of specialization and who have earned certification in their field.

In order to become an ARNP in Florida, you must hold a valid RN license. You must also have graduated from a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) program or have successfully completed a Post-master's Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program. It usually takes about 2 years of part-time schooling in order to complete an NP program.

Schools in Florida that offer advanced practice nursing programs include: University of Miami, Barry University, University of Florida, Florida State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, University of North Florida, University of Central Florida, and Florida International University—all of which are approved by the Florida Board of Nursing. In addition, there are several approved online programs. Many RNs choose to attend online nursing schools, as they offer the flexibility RNs may need to continue working while attending school.


Within advanced practice studies, specializations include family health, pediatrics, geriatric health, adult health, school or college health, women’s and prenatal/postnatal health, psychiatric or mental health, anesthesiology, or nurse–midwife. Prior to entering your advanced practice program, it is recommended that you accrue 3–5 years of clinical experience.

The state of Florida does not offer a state examination for obtaining NP status, and you do not need to complete a national exam in order to become certified. However, you must successfully complete an exam offered by one of the approved national certifying organizations in the area of your specialty and carry malpractice insurance.

In Florida, ARNPs work at a wide variety of facilities, including hospitals, physician’s offices, nursing homes, student health clinics, schools, home health agencies, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), or community health centers. NPs may need to work more than 40 hours per week, but the salary rates are generally high. On average, ARNPs in Florida earn about $84,000 per year. The job market for NPs is expected to continue to expand as the population ages and requires more medical care.

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Last Updated: 05/19/2014