10 Best Nursing Schools in Orlando for 2020

When a person makes a decision to further his or her nursing education, the first step is to find potential nursing schools in Orlando. A person wants to search for schools that offer opportunities for his or her degree level. A prospective nursing student needs to look for accredited nursing schools in Orlando. These schools receive recognition from governing agencies that approve a school based on its ability to adequately prepare students for a career in their chosen field. Both the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) typically provide accreditation for nursing programs.

Besides looking for accredited nursing schools in Orlando, a person also needs to compare the nursing schools in Orlando based on other criteria, such as their ranking, average NCLEX scores, and tuition. After an individual conducts a search, he or she should look at the statistics and rank for each school. Additionally, he or she should take note of the average National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Different versions of the NCLEX exist based on a person’s degree level. For example, a person can take either the LPN or RN version. It’s a necessary test for a person to take and pass in “The Sunshine State.”

How We Ranked the Top Nursing Schools in Orlando

TopRNtoBSN editors focused the ranking of the best nursing schools in Orlando, FL and the surrounding area on trusted, accredited institutions. From there, programs are ranked according to data from IPEDS and Niche, including cost, salary potential, and student satisfaction.

1. University of Central Florida – Orlando, FL

The University of Central Florida has educated nurses for four decades. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, UCF has bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs for every level of career advancement. Students can attend courses online or on the school’s central Florida campus. The College of Nursing has innovative faculty and uses evidence-based approaches for its courses. Many programs are available entirely online. These are just some of the reasons that make this one of the best nursing schools in Orlando.

Central Florida ranks 4th among Florida’s public schools. This large university has more than 41,000 undergraduates. With a 43% acceptance rate, the school offers a competitive environment. The school receives an A rating for academics, campus life and diversity, and 73% of new students go on the graduate from UCF. Nursing is among the top 5 most popular majors at the school.

2. Seminole State College of Florida –  Sanford, FL

Seminole State College of Florida has an on-campus Associate in Science (A.S.) degree in Nursing. The program boasts a high NCLEX-RN pass rate. According to the school’s website, more than 98% of SSC’s graduates passed the licensure test on the first try. The statewide average pass rate is 72%. Additionally, the school matches 97% of graduates with jobs. Along with part-time and evening programs, the RN-to-BSN program can be completed online, making this a great option for students who plan to work and pursue a bachelor’s degree right after graduation. The job placement program helps make SSC one of the best nursing schools in Orlando.

Seminole State is a midsize public college with under 6,000 undergraduates. The school accepts 100% of applicants, giving all students an equal chance at furthering their education. SSCF is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by Florida’s Board of Nursing. The online RN-to-BSN program is also ACEN-accredited.

3. Southern Technical College – Orlando, FL

At Southern Technical College, students can earn an Associate’s Degree in Nursing within two years, and the curriculum is approved by the state’s Board of Nursing. Nursing students can opt for specialized training in perioperative nursing. The school reports an 83% pass rate among students taking the National Council Licensing Exam (NCLEX-RN). Graduates typically seek jobs in hospitals, physician’s offices, and other healthcare settings, and this is one of the best nursing schools in Orlando.

The ACEN-accredited college accepts 100% of students who apply. Southern Technical College is a small school with over 1,300 students. Students give the professors an 86% approval rating for class preparation and effort. The school’s open enrollment policy gives many students an opportunity to start their higher education, including many who major in medical fields. Southern Technical College receives high rankings in campus life and location. The faculty consists of industry professionals and boasts small class sizes for an ideal learning environment.

4. Lake Sumter State College – Leesburg, FL

Lake Sumter State Colleges’s Nursing, Associate in Science (ASN) Degree has received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), as well as the approval of the Florida Board of Nursing. Some of the coursework offered includes nutrition, sciences, medical terminology, maternal newborn and pediatric nursing. The ability to continue on to obtain a bachelor’s degree via the RN-to-BSN program makes this one of the best nursing schools in Orlando.

Lake-Sumter State College received its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school has a 100% acceptance rating and ranks highly for campus safety. Students have an opportunity to finished their associate’s degree and continue on with their education without switching schools. Nursing is among the top selected majors and about 1,700 undergraduate attend this small public university. Students report that 87% of them found jobs within two years of graduation.

5. Orange Technical College – Orlando, FL

Orange Technical College offers a practical nursing program. Students study practical and surgical nursing and are eligible to continue their education at the 12-credit accelerated associate in nursing track at Valencia College. After completing the Practical Nursing program, students can take the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) test. The versatility and small student-to-faculty ratio make this one of the best nursing schools in Orlando.

Orange Technical College – Orlando is a tiny public college in Orlando. There are just over 200 undergraduate students, and the 100% acceptance rate gives students a chance to continue their education, even if they didn’t do well in high school. Orange Technical receives high ratings for location and value for money. The faculty-to-student ratio is 9:1.

6. Osceola Technical College – Kissimmee, FL

Osceola Technical College prepares students for jobs as Licensed Practical Nurses. This program has received the approval of the Florida State Board of Nursing, and graduates can go on to sit for their Licensed Practical Nursing exam. Courses include Practical Nursing Foundations, Medical Surgical Nursing and Comprehensive Nursing and Transitional Skills. Students learn basic life support and first aid skills, making it one of the best nursing schools in Orlando.

Osceola Technical is a small Florida public college with just over 300 undergraduate students. The school accepts everyone who applies, and the LPN program is one of the most popular majors. It ranks #7 among community colleges in Florida, and the campus received high ratings for campus safety and value for money.  With a student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1, students have a great opportunity to obtain one-on-one input from teachers and mentors.

7. Valencia College – Orlando, FL

Valencia College offers an associate’s degree in nursing that includes a traditional track and an accelerated track for students who are already EMTs, LPNs, RRTs or other health care workers. The traditional track can be completed in five semesters and the accelerated track can be finished in three semesters. Valencia’s program is coordinated with the State Department of Education, and it has been approved by the  State Board of Nursing. The nursing program is accredited by the ACEN. Students learn how to assess patient health and needs, as well as provide care for injured or disabled patients, making this one of the best nursing schools in Orlando.

Valencia is of the top 59 safe campuses among more than 1,300 surveyed. Students looking to apply to Valencia College can breathe a sigh of relief since it has an open acceptance policy. Most students give faculty members high marks for class preparation and feel that the course load is easy to handle. ACT and SAT scores are considered but not required, which may be welcome news to applicants who do poorly on standardized tests.

8. Ana G Mendez University –  Orlando, FL

The Orlando, FL campus of Ana G. Mendez University has a BSN program that prepares students to be nurse generalists. Graduates move on to become members of interdisciplinary teams that achieve positive health outcomes for patients. Upon finishing the BSN, students can fulfill the job requirements of successful professionals or attend graduate studies. The program fosters professionalism and helps graduates learn to apply theory through practical experience, and it’s one of the best nursing schools in Orlando.

Ana G. Mendez University has received accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. It is also accredited by the CCNE and approved by the Florida Board of Nursing. The school is a dual-language university that embraces English and Spanish. All course content and classes are a mixture of 50% English and 50% in Spanish.

9. City College – Altamont Springs, FL

City College – Altamont Springs offers an associate degree in nursing. This program gets students ready to become professional caregivers. The curriculum focuses on core medical procedures and takes a holistic approach to nursing. This means that students learn to treat the whole patient, including the body, spirit and mind. This results in a compassionate care focus. Program highlights include a number of practical skills, such as administering medication, drawing blood, patient triage and IV maintenance.

City College’s nursing program has received accreditation by the ACEN. The school’s stated mission includes educating students to prepare them for careers in their major. Touchstones of the college’s educational approach include relevance, growth, integrity and culture. The commitment to practical skills makes this one of the best nursing schools in Orlando.

10. Advent Health University

Students who already have an associate’s degree in nursing can attend Advent Health University Online’s RN-BSN program to earn their bachelor’s degree. The online program prepares graduates for leadership roles such as nurse manager. Getting a BSN enables nurses to increase their earning ability. The flexibility to finish the program completely online makes this one of the best online nursing schools in Orlando for working students.

Advent Health University is a small, Christian university with just 528 undergraduate students. Its acceptance rate of 87% makes the university highly available to hopeful applicants, and nursing is one of the most popular majors. The school ranks seventh in best value colleges in Florida and is CCNE-accredited.

How Do I Find a Nursing School in Orlando?

A prospective student should look into the student-to-teacher ratio of an educational institute. A student who chooses a school with a low student-to-teacher ratio can benefit from more individualized attention during his or her time in school.

Additionally, a prospective nursing student may want to compare nursing schools in Orlando Florida based on online reviews. A person can find legitimate reviews of nursing schools to help him or her make a decision. A student may find information about the difficulty of the classes and the personality of the instructor’s as well as other tidbits of information about the school from someone who attended from the online reviews.

Finally, a person also wants to compare nursing schools in Orlando Florida based on tuition. Although financial aid is available, a person wants to make sure a school’s tuition is financially manageable if he or she should happen to have to pay close to the full tuition.

How is the Job Market for Nurses in Orlando?

Nursing jobs in Orlando for both LPNs and RNs are plentiful and expected to grow over time. As of May 2019, Florida ranked as one of the top five states in terms of the highest level of employment. In 2019, Florida had 181,670 positions for registered nurses. This number of registered nursing jobs in Orlando Florida and across the nation is expected to grow. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the number of positions will grow by 12 percent from 2018 to 2028 throughout the nation.

The need for registered nursing jobs in Orlando Florida is plentiful in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. However, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other medical facilities will continue to offer nurse jobs in Orlando.

In addition to registered nursing jobs in Orlando Florida, nurse jobs in Orlando are also available at a licensed practical nurse level. As of May of 2019, nurse jobs in Orlando Florida included a total of 45,960. Florida makes the list of the top five states for the highest level of nurse jobs in Orlando Florida for LPNs. The number of nursing jobs in Orlando FL is expected to grow by 11 percent from 2018 until 2028. Nursing homes are a primary location for nursing jobs in Orlando Florida for LPNs. However, a nursing school graduate may find finds in other healthcare facilities as well.

How Much Do Nurses Make in Orlando?

The average salary for an RN in $73,300 per year or $35.24 per hour. The average nurse salary in Orlando is $67,610. Although the nurse salary in Orlando is slightly less than the national average, a person has room to grow and further his or her salary by either earning a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or obtain management positions. For instance, the nurse salary in Orlando for a department director or a facility director is harm in terms of the nurse salary in Orlando.

Nurse salaries in Orlando for an LPN is $45,580. These nurse salaries in Orlando are the equivalent to $21.91. The nursing salary in Orlando Florida is slightly less than the national average of $23.32 or $48,500. However, a person can increase their nursing salary in Orlando Florida by either furthering your education or earning promotions. In some facilities, an LPN may take on a leadership role where he or she is charge of other LPNs and/or certified nurse’s aides (CNA). Another option to earn  more money as an LPN is to take on roles in the office of facilities. Some assisted-living facilities hire LPNs to take on office roles in a nursing home.

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