Top CRNA Schools in Florida | 2024

6 Min Read Published September 28, 2023
Top CRNA Schools in Florida | 2024

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)  are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) responsible for administering anesthesia medications and monitoring patients during surgical procedures.  Deciding where to attend CRNA school can be overwhelming, but Florida offers a variety of options to students, including a shortened CRNA program available to students with an MSN degree. 

This guide will discuss the CRNA programs available in Florida, including location and tuition, as well as how to become a CRNA, estimated salary, and job outlook. 

How to Become a CRNA in Florida

After graduating from an accredited CRNA program and passing the national certification exam, you must apply for state licensure in Florida. 

The Florida State Board of Nursing requires the following to apply for licensure: 

  • Valid RN license
  • Completion of an accredited CRNA program 
  • Proof of malpractice insurance or exemption
  • Proof of national advanced practice certification from an approved nursing specialty board
  • $110 application and licensure fee 

CRNA Schools in Florida

Here are all the CRNA programs available in Florida, including their location, program cost, and a little about each school. 

1. AdventHealth University

The anesthesia program through AdventHealth University is an intense 36-month program with clinical sites located throughout central Florida. Of note, the program does not follow a traditional trimester pattern with the typical academic breaks. Instead, there are pre-scheduled breaks throughout the program. 

  • Location: Orlando, FL
  • Program cost: $119,340
  • Degree offered: DNAP
  • School type: Private

2. Barry University

The program at Barry University is unique because it’s a DNP program with a specialization in anesthesiology versus a traditional DNAP CRNA program. This doesn’t make it any less accredited of a program. There are two pathways for interested students. Students can apply either with a BSN or a MSN. Depending on the pathway, it will dictate the curriculum the students will follow. 

  • Location: Orlando | Palm Beach | Ocala | South Florida, FL
  • Program Cost:  $105,150
  • Degree offered: DNP
  • School Type: Private

3. Florida Gulf Coast University

Students at FGCU can complete the MSN to DNP program in 6 semesters or 24 months, but they must have an MSN prior to applying. That is one reason the program cost is significantly lower than most other programs in the state. Interested students should take note of the limited clinical sites which may impact your decision. 

  • Location: Fort Myers, FL
  • Program Cost:  
    • In-state: $13,815.06
    • Out-of-state: $48,124.42
  • Degree offered: DNP
  • School Type: Public

4. Florida International University

The program at FIU is highly competitive, admitting only 45 students annually. Since its first graduating class in 2003, more than 400 CRNAs have graduated the program, with 100% finding employment within 4 months of graduation. Interestingly, the FIU Nurse Anesthetist program was inaugurated in 2001 as the first nurse anesthetist program in the State of Florida University System.

  • Location: Miami, FL
  • Program Cost:  
    • In-state: $84,480
    • Out-of-state: $142,908
  • Degree offered: DNP
  • School Type: Public

5. Florida State University

The program at FSU allows students to build on knowledge from previous courses over the length of the program. With only 32 students admitted each year, students can complete clinicals at over a dozen locations, with more being added each year. 

  • Location: Panama City, FL
  • Program Cost:  $92,595.25
  • Degree offered: DNAP
  • School Type: Public

6. Keiser University

The anesthesia program at Keiser University is a 90-credit, 36-month program that includes a DNAP capstone course and clinical experience. Courses are 16 weeks in length, and students are scheduled for two to five courses at the same time. The final capstone project must include either a manuscript submitted for publication, a poster presented at a national meeting, a design of an innovative clinical practice model, or other effective means of dissemination.

  • Location: Naples, FL
  • Program Cost: $74,777
  • Degree offered: DNAP
  • School Type: Private 

7. University of Miami

100% of graduates of the 2022 CRNA class at the University of Miami passed the certification exam on the first attempt. Students start the 36-month program in January each year and complete clinicals at 13 different sites. All clinical sites are located in South Florida, so students must be local to the University. 

  • Location: Coral Gables, FL
  • Program Cost:  $155,000
  • Degree offered: DNP
  • School Type: Public

8. University of North Florida

UNF is another solid choice for students interested in an accredited CRNA program. The program boasts impressive outcomes for the 2022 class, including a graduation rate was 100%; an attrition rate was 4%; an employment rate was 96% within six months of graduation; and a first-time pass rate was 88%.

  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
  • Program Cost:  
    • In-state: $601.70 per credit hour
    • Out-of-state:  $1,175.48 per credit hour
  • Degree offered: DNP
  • School Type: Public

9. University of South Florida

The program at USF has one of the largest classes in Florida, accepting 60 students in each class. Students start each summer in this 9-semester program that is completed full-time both in-person and online. Accepted students are required to attend an in-person orientation held each spring as well as intensives at the beginning of the summer. 

  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Program Cost: 
    • In-state: $40,413.42
    • Out-of-state: $82,312.98
  • Degree offered: DNP
  • School Type: Public

Admission Requirements for Florida CRNA Programs

Requirements do vary depending on the program, but all Florida CRNA programs require the following, 

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BSN) from an accredited program
  • Active and unencumbered RN licensure 
  • Critical care experience (applicable areas include the emergency room, CVICU, SICU, CCU, MICU, NICU (Level IV only), and PICU as well as trauma and burn intensive care units)
  • Current Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Certification (ACLS) Certification
  • Current Pediatric Advanced Life Support Certification (PALS) Certification
  • CCRN required
  • CRNA Shadow Experience 
  • Minimum required GPA
  • Application fee
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the last five years
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé
  • Official transcripts
  • Letters of reference (professional)
  • Personal statement
  • Interview 

How Hard is CRNA School in Florida?

CRNA programs in Florida are extremely competitive, only accepting 24 to 60 students in each cohort. 

The courses are challenging, and clinicals are demanding, oftentimes leaving students little time for personal lives. 

CRNA programs are fast-paced, with an immense amount of information, including advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology. 

How Long is CRNA School in Florida?

CRNA programs in Florida are roughly 36 months long; however, the program at Florida Gulf Coast University is only 24 months long. 

This is the shortest program available to students in Florida. The reason this is 12 months shorter is that students must already have an MSN before applying to the program. This cuts out some of the generic classes. 

What to Expect Working as a Nurse Anesthetist in Florida

CRNA Salary in Florida

CRNAs in Florida earn an average annual salary of $174,390 or $83.84 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top 10% earn roughly $122,320, while the top 90% earn $218,460 per year. 

Career Outlook

According to the BLS, the expected career growth for nurse anesthetists is 9% from 2022-2032. There will be a need for an additional 4,500 nurse anesthetists. 

Where Can You Work? CRNA Jobs in Florida

CRNAs can work in a variety of locations, specifically ones that have operating rooms, emergency rooms, and intensive care units. These may include,

  • Medical and surgical hospitals
  • Critical access hospitals
  • Mobile surgery centers
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Offices of plastic surgeons, dentists, ophthalmologists, pain management specialists, and other medical professionals
  • U.S. military medical facilities

Next Steps for Becoming a CRNA in Florida

Becoming a CRNA in Florida requires a significant time and monetary commitment. Before applying, ensure you have all of the requirements because if not, your application will not be considered. 

CRNAs work closely with other healthcare providers, and Florida offers a variety of public and private programs. 

Kathleen Gaines
Kathleen Gaines
News and Education Editor

Kathleen Gaines (nee Colduvell) is a nationally published writer turned Pediatric ICU nurse from Philadelphia with over 13 years of ICU experience. She has an extensive ICU background having formerly worked in the CICU and NICU at several major hospitals in the Philadelphia region. After earning her MSN in Education from Loyola University of New Orleans, she currently also teaches for several prominent Universities making sure the next generation is ready for the bedside. As a certified breastfeeding counselor and trauma certified nurse, she is always ready for the next nursing challenge.

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