Most individuals are familiar with the prototypical registered nurse (RN) position. The nursing profession is much broader, however, encompassing roles like “CNA” and “LPN” as well as other important acronyms like “NCLEX.”

Registered nurses play a vital role in providing care to patients. They dispense medications, carry out medical procedures, and often coordinate teams of junior nursing staff. Florida’s RNs must complete an accredited prelicensure program that results in either an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree. All candidates must then pass a national licensure exam, the NCLEX-RN. Miami-Dade County employs 26,000 RNs at a median annual salary of $59,000.

Like RNs, licensed practical nurses (LPNs) qualify by passing a national licensure exam; theirs is called the NCLEX-PN. To prepare, Florida’s LPNs must complete an accredited certificate program, typically 12 to 18 months in length. LPNs are charged with monitoring patients’ vital signs, dressing wounds, and providing direct patient care. Just under 5,000 LPNs work in Miami-Dade County, earning $42,000 in annual pay.

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) perform vital tasks that tend to the basic quality-of-life needs of sick and injured patients. Florida’s CNAs must complete a brief certificate program and pass the Florida certification exams. Miami-Dade County is home to 10,000 nursing assistants who typically make $20,000-26,000 per year.

The Miami metropolitan area has a wealth of nursing employers, including esteemed healthcare institutions like University of Miami Health System, Miami Jewish Health System, and Catholic Health Services.


For our 2024 rankings, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac collected data on nearly 3,000 nursing schools and campuses throughout the United States. We evaluated each school on three dimensions:

  • The institution’s academic prestige and perceived value
  • The breadth and depth of nursing programs offered
  • Student success, particularly on the NCLEX licensure examination

We then combined these assessments into an overall score and ranked the schools accordingly. For a detailed description of our assessment methodology and dimension weights, please see here.

  1. #1: University of Miami

    The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) is home to the Simulation Hospital for Advancing Research and Education (SHARE), one of the nation’s first education-based simulation hospitals. The school frequently ranks among the top 25 nursing schools nationwide in National Institutes of Health research funding. A member of the respected UHealth family, SONHS offers BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD degrees. Post-master’s certificates are also available in several nurse practitioner specializations. The school graduates approximately 200 students annually from its flagship prelicensure BSN program. During the past decade, more than 95% of these students passed the NCLEX-RN licensure exam on their first try.

  2. #2: Nova Southeastern University

    Nova Southeastern University’s College of Nursing enrolls more than 1,300 students from coast to coast. Nursing programs are offered at the university’s primary campus in Fort Lauderdale, through satellite campuses in Miami and Fort Myers, and online. The prelicensure BSN program graduates more than 300 new nurses annually, who have passed the NCLEX exam at rates as high as 92% in recent years. NSU also offers RN-to-BSN and RN-to-MSN bridge programs through its undergraduate nursing department. Graduate nursing students can pursue three nonclinical MSN tracks, two clinical MSN tracks for aspiring nurse practitioners, an online DNP, or a PhD focused on nursing education.

  3. #3: Florida Atlantic University

    FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing educates 1,600 students across its three campuses in Boca Raton, Davie, and Harbor Branch. The college offers four undergraduate pathways: traditional BSN, freshmen direct admission, accelerated BSN, and RN-to-BSN. The prelicensure tracks graduate approximately 100 BSN students annually, with a 92% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX exam over the past decade. At the graduate level, FAU offers both DNP and PhD programs, plus a rich breadth of MSN specializations including administration, holistic nursing, education, clinical nurse leader, and two nurse practitioner roles. Indeed, FAU has the largest graduate nursing enrollment of any university in Florida.

  4. #4: Florida International University

    The Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences at Florida International University offers a variety of degree pathways. The undergraduate curriculum has five tracks: a generic BSN, an accelerated BSN, an online RN-to-BSN, a medic-to-nurse BSN for veterans, and an accelerated combined BSN/MSN for foreign-educated physicians. Over the past decade, FIU has graduated approximately 200 prelicensure BSN students annually, and they have achieved an 89% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. At the graduate level, FIU offers a BSN-to-DNP program with tracks in nurse anesthesia and four nurse practitioner fields (adult-gerontology, family, pediatric, psychiatric-mental health). Students seeking an MSN degree may add a certificate in any nurse practitioner track. FIU also offers a research-focused nursing PhD program with both BSN and MSN entry points.

  5. #5: Barry University

    The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Barry University is the first and only institution in Florida to be named a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing. At the undergraduate level, the college offers both a traditional BSN and an accelerated 15-month program for students with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline. Barry University typically graduates 100-130 prelicensure BSN students annually, with a solid 82% NCLEX-RN exam pass rate over the past decade. MSN students can pursue a nurse practitioner specialization in either family practice or adult-gerontology acute care, with post-master’s certificates also available in both specializations. Doctoral candidates have four options: a four-year post-baccalaureate DNP, a two-year post-master’s DNP, a newly launched DNP in anesthesiology, and an interdisciplinary PhD program that features classes from both the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the School of Education.

  6. #6: Palm Beach Atlantic University

    The School of Nursing at Palm Beach Atlantic University offers a traditional four-year BSN, an online RN-to-BSN, an MSN in health systems leadership, and a multifaceted DNP. PBA’s traditional BSN program graduates 40-60 students annually, with an outstanding 92% NCLEX exam pass rate over the past decade. The DNP program has entry points for both BSN and MSN degree-holders. Candidates in the BSN-to-DNP pathway can select a concentration in either executive leadership (71 graduate credits) or family nurse practitioner (74 graduate credits). The post-master’s option requires 38 to 44 graduate credits. Programs are offered in a hybrid combination of online delivery and monthly in-person classes at PBA’s West Palm Beach campus.

  7. #7: West Coast University

    West Coast University Miami is the newest addition to the WCU family. Occupying more than 46,000 square feet, the university provides students with access to computer labs, internet stations, nursing skills labs, and science labs. The Miami campus also features a 5,000-square-foot simulation center with high-fidelity simulators. Programs for aspiring nurses include a traditional prelicensure BSN and an LPN-to-BSN bridge program. The traditional BSN can be completed in 39 months with a daytime schedule or 44 months with an evening and weekend schedule. The LPN-to-BSN bridge program allows students to shave five months off these timelines. Since the program’s launch, BSN graduates from Miami have posted an incredible 96% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

  8. #8: Miami Regional University

    Miami Regional University offers five distinct nursing pathways: an ADN program, a prelicensure BSN, an RN-to-BSN degree completion option, a direct-entry MSN, and an MSN degree for aspiring family nurse practitioners. The ADN program graduates 150-300 students annually. Since the program’s inception, students have passed the NCLEX licensure exam at a 72% first-try rate. The school’s BSN students have performed similarly, averaging a 74% first-time NCLEX pass rate since the program’s recent launch. Graduates of both prelicensure pathways develop the skills to analyze clients, communities, public health, and health technology.

  9. #9: Keiser University

    Keiser University offers degree pathways for current and aspiring nurses at nearly twenty campuses across the state of Florida. Options include an associate of science degree, four BSN pathways (traditional, accelerated, FastTrack, and RN-to-BSN), an MSN degree with an option for family nurse practitioner focus, and a DNP program. The school offers working nurses the opportunity to concurrently integrate educational principles into their direct practice. Practicum activities include community agency visits, approved conferences, volunteer activities, interagency site visits, technological field trips, simulation labs, leadership activities, and interdepartmental study in current employment systems.

  10. #10: Chamberlain University

    Chamberlain University offers a BSN program at its Jacksonville and Miramar campuses. The program has no prerequisites and is designed to be completed in just three years of year-round study, instead of the traditional four years. Students obtain hands-on experience both in the Chamberlain SIMCARE Center and through on-site clinical settings. The Jacksonville location also offers a military-to-BSN option, which is designed for those who wish to transition from a healthcare role in the military to a civilian role as a registered nurse. Since the program’s launch, Miramar students have passed the NCLEX-RN licensure exam at a 79% first-time pass rate, while Jacksonville students have scored an 85% first-time pass rate.

  11. #11: Mercy Hospital

    Mercy Hospital is Miami-Dade County’s only Catholic hospital and a two-time recipient of the prestigious Magnet award for nursing excellence. The institution houses both the School of Practical Nursing and the College of Nursing. The School of Practical Nursing offers two pathways for aspiring LPNs: a 12-month daytime program and a 14-month evening program. Either curriculum is designed to be completed in three trimesters. The College of Nursing builds on this foundation with a one-year LPN-to-RN bridge. This associate degree program is designed for working students with convenient evening and weekend hours. Mercy Hospital graduates have consistently performed well on their licensure exams over the past decade, including an 86% NCLEX-PN pass rate for LPN graduates and an 87% NCLEX-RN pass rate for ADN graduates.

  12. #12: Academy for Nursing and Health Occupations

    The Academy for Nursing and Health Occupations began in 1978 as a nurse assistant training school. The college launched its LPN program in 1997 and added a two-year ADN curriculum in 2011; both programs award an associate of science degree upon completion. ANHO boasts nearly 18,000 square feet of modern classroom space and a wide variety of clinical partnerships throughout Palm Beach County. The administration also places a heavy focus on student outcomes. For example, last year’s ADN graduates passed the NCLEX-RN licensure exam at an 84% rate, while LPN graduates passed the NCLEX-PN licensure exam at a 96% rate. ANHO students also enjoy strong on-time graduation and job placement rates, with typically an 85-95% success rate on each metric.

  13. #13: Broward College

    Broward College offers an ASN degree with three options: the generic option, for applicants with no previous nursing education; an LPN-to-RN transition, for students who already hold a current Florida LPN license; and a hybrid online option for students who prefer a blend of online and on-campus learning. The program consists of 72 credits. There are 56 hours of clinical practicum and 16 hours of theory for each credit. Clinical hours are conducted in both acute care and extended care facilities as well as nursing campus lab settings. For the past decade, approximately 300 ADN graduates annually have achieved an outstanding NCLEX-RN exam pass rate of 94%.

  14. #14: St. Thomas University

    St. Thomas University’s School of Science, Technology, and Engineering Management offers three avenues for admission to its BSN program. High-achieving high school seniors may apply for direct admission, while high school graduates who do not meet the direct admission requirements may follow the traditional BSN pathway. Finally, registered nurses with an active and unencumbered license can enroll in STU’s RN-to-BSN completion program. The university also offers an MSN degree with a family nurse practitioner specialization, featuring 100% online coursework.

  15. #15: Antigua College International

    Antigua College International focuses exclusively on nursing education. The school offers multiple pathways to enter the nursing profession, including a 16-month practical nursing diploma, a 28-month associate of science in nursing (ASN) degree, and a 42-month bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. ACI also offers an RN-to-BSN pathway for existing nurses as well as NCLEX preparation and remediation classes. Graduates consistently perform strongly on their licensure examinations. Since the college’s inception, BSN students have scored a 74% NCLEX-RN pass rate, ASN students have averaged a 78% NCLEX-RN pass rate, and LPN students have achieved an 87% NCLEX-PN pass rate.

  16. #16: International College of Health Sciences

    International College of Health Sciences offers three distinct nursing programs that collectively provide a range of pathways through the healthcare field. Students just entering the nursing profession can pursue an associate of science in nursing (ASN) degree that will prepare them for initial licensure. The college graduates approximately 100 ASN students annually, with a solid 77% first-time NCLEX pass rate since the program’s inception. Existing registered nurses can enroll in the school’s RN-to-BSN program, which uses synchronous online learning to cover the baccalaureate curriculum at an accelerated pace. Both the ASN and BSN programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. At the graduate level, ICHS offers an MSN degree designed for aspiring family nurse practitioners.

  17. #17: Miami Dade College

    With more than 92,000 students enrolled, Miami Dade College has the largest undergraduate enrollment of any college or university in the country. The school also confers more associate degrees than any other community college in the nation. MDC’s Leon School of Nursing offers an ADN program that focuses on hands-on training in state-of-the-art labs. Approximately 500 students graduate from the program annually. These students have averaged an 81% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination over the past decade. The college is fully accredited to offer baccalaureate degrees as well, including a BSN for Florida-licensed nurses who have already completed an ADN program.

  18. #18: Palm Beach State College

    Palm Beach State College was founded in 1933 as Florida’s first community college. Today, the school serves nearly 50,000 students across five campuses in Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Lake Worth, Loxahatchee Groves, and Palm Beach Gardens. The college’s Health Sciences Division offers the full breadth of undergraduate nursing pathways, including a practical nursing career certificate, an associate of science in nursing, and an RN-to-BSN completion program. The LPN program graduates 20-30 students annually, with a stellar 94% NCLEX-PN pass rate over the past decade. The ASN program graduates more than 200 students annually across the Lake Worth and Belle Glade campuses, with a strong 86% NCLEX-RN pass rate over the past decade.

  19. #19: American Medical Academy

    American Medical Academy began as an EMS-focused institution in 2006. Today, AMA serves more than 400 students enrolled in over a dozen certificate, diploma, and degree programs. For aspiring nurses, the academy offers both traditional BSN and RN-to-BSN pathways. The RN-to-BSN curriculum focuses on traditional and emerging topics in nursing, including informatics, research, business concepts, and nursing education. This option may be completed online in less than two years. The traditional BSN is a three- to four-year program that covers a broad range of coursework, including health promotion, illness prevention and wellness, and diagnosis and therapeutic interventions. Upon completion of the traditional BSN program, graduates are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. American Medical Academy is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.

  20. #20: Atlantic Technical College

    Atlantic Technical College has a fast-track LPN program that takes just 12 months to finish fulltime. Students in the program will complete five terms, or approximately 1,350 hours of study. LPN classes are held at the school’s Fort Lauderdale campus, not at the main campus in Coconut Creek. Graduates of the program are prepared to take the NCLEX-PN licensure examination. Over the past decade, graduates of ATC’s practical nursing program have achieved an excellent first-time NCLEX-PN pass rate of 90%.

  21. #21: Ana G. Mendez University

    Ana G. Mendez University is the largest private university in Puerto Rico, with three additional campuses in the state of Florida. AGMU awards the full gamut of diplomas and degrees at its campuses in Metro Orlando, South Florida, and Tampa Bay. The School of Nursing offers pathways both for individuals who are interested in becoming a nurse and for professional nurses seeking advancement in their careers. Available programs include a traditional ADN, two BSN pathways (prelicensure and RN-to-BSN), an MSN degree with an executive nursing specialization, and a DNP program. The graduate programs may be completed either on campus or online. AGMU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and approved by the Florida Commission for Independent Education.

  22. #22: Southeastern College

    Southeastern College began as the Cruise Career Training Institute in 1988. Today, the school operates across five campuses in Charleston, Charlotte, Columbia, Miami, and West Palm Beach. The college’s nursing and allied health programs are offered at both Florida campuses. Students may attend either in-person or through a hybrid format. The college offers both LPN and ADN programs, preparing graduates to sit for the respective NCLEX licensure examination. Over the past decade, Southeastern College students have posted an 82% first-time NCLEX-PN pass rate and a 77% first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate.

  23. #23: Homestead Senior High School

    Homestead Senior High School is a unique institution that offers magnet programs designed to prepare students for immediate employment in industries ranging from culinary arts to nursing. The nursing magnet program offers practical nursing, medical assisting, and pharmacy technician pathways. Students in the LPN pathway may also complete dual enrollment coursework that leads to an associate of arts degree upon high school graduation. The curriculum provides extensive clinical hours at area hospitals and other healthcare environments. In addition to immediate employment in the healthcare industry, LPN graduates are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-PN licensure examination. Over the past decade, Homestead Senior High School students have achieved an impressive 88% first-time pass rate on the exam.

  24. #24: McFatter Technical College

    McFatter Technical College offers vocational programs for individuals seeking careers in areas like business, information technology, and health sciences. For aspiring nurses, MTC has a practical nursing program that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The program’s 1,350 hours of study can be completed in 12 months on a daytime, Monday through Thursday schedule. The curriculum combines coursework on practical nursing foundations, medical-surgical nursing, and transitional skills with extensive hands-on experience in simulation, laboratory, and clinical environments. Graduates are qualified for positions in outpatient care facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, and physician’s offices. McFatter Technical College graduates 50-80 LPN students annually, with a commendable 86% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past decade.

  25. #25: Robert Morgan Educational Center & Technical College

    Robert Morgan Educational Center & Technical College operates across two campuses that provide GED preparation, English instruction for speakers of other languages, and career and technical education. Approved by the Florida Board of Nursing, the LPN program features instruction and clinical experience in acute and long-term care, nutrition, and basic nursing. At least 50% of the program is dedicated to clinical experience. While the program requires 1,350 hours of study, students are eligible to receive a certificate of completion after finishing two practical nursing foundations courses totaling 600 hours. LPN graduates are well prepared for the NCLEX-PN licensure examination, averaging an 86% first-time pass rate over the past decade.

  26. #26: Blanche Ely High School

    Blanche Ely High School houses the most National Academy Foundation institutes under one roof. The school’s Academy of Health Sciences offers pre-medical, electrocardiogram, patient care technician, certified medical administrative assistant, and licensed practical nursing programs. The LPN program is the only practical nursing program in a comprehensive high school in the state of Florida. The curriculum includes several computer and business certifications, patient care physician certification, and the army practical nursing specialist credential. Critical topics include health science, professional ethics, and global health. The LPN program graduates a tight-knit cohort of 6-12 students annually. Over the past decade, these graduates have averaged an 84% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure exam.

  27. #27: Sheridan Technical College

    Sheridan Technical College operates across campuses in Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Fort Lauderdale. Most of the school’s career and technical education programs are housed at the 18-acre main campus in Hollywood. Pathways are concentrated in clusters such as Business and Information Technology or Health Sciences Education. The college’s LPN program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The curriculum explores nursing fundamentals and focused areas such as blood-borne diseases, infection control, and computer literacy. Hands-on clinical experiences take place at local hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities. Sheridan Technical College graduates 80-90 LPN students each year. Over the past decade, these graduates have averaged an 82% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure examination.

  28. #28: Lindsey Hopkins Technical College

    Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education, Lindsey Hopkins Technical College provides adult general education programs, such as the GED, as well as career and technical programs in a broad range of vocations including commercial art, construction, and practical nursing. The college’s LPN program is approved by the Florida Board of Nursing. Coursework covers important topics like acute and long-term care, geriatric nursing, maternal and newborn care, medical-surgical nursing, mental health, pediatric nursing, pharmacology, and the administration of medications. Clinical experience accounts for at least 50% of the curriculum. Graduates are prepared to pursue positions in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and home healthcare once they have passed the NCLEX-PN licensure examination. Lindsey Hopkins Technical College graduates approximately 30-40 LPN students annually, with an average 82% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past decade.

  29. #29: Florida National University

    Florida National University is the first and only university in Hialeah. The university holds regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. FNU offers degree, diploma, and certificate programs in online, on-campus, and hybrid formats. Nursing programs include two prelicensure options (ADN and BSN) and an MSN with both traditional and RN-to-MSN pathways. The MSN curriculum has three concentrations: family nurse practitioner, nurse educator, and nurse leadership and management. The university’s nursing graduates have performed admirably on their certification and licensure examinations. For several years in a row, FNP graduates have scored a pass rate between 90% and 100% on the AANP certification exam. BSN graduates have averaged a 70% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination since the program’s inception.

  30. #30: Bethesda College of Health Sciences

    Bethesda College of Health Sciences is a department of Bethesda Hospital East, which serves 80,000 patients annually as the flagship of Bethesda Health. The hospital serves as the primary clinical site for the college’s ADN program, which is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. This five-semester program covers coursework on maternity nursing, medical-surgical nursing, nursing informatics, pediatric nursing, and psychiatric-mental health nursing. Students complete five laboratory exercises, a seminar, clinical experiences, and a nursing internship. The ADN program graduates a small cohort of approximately 20 students annually. Since the program’s recent inception, these graduates have averaged an 82% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure examination.