Establishing A Nursing School in Florida: 2 Essential Steps

September 17, 2021
Establishing A Nursing School in Florida: 2 Essential Steps
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Having had many clients that approach to ask about the process of starting a nursing school in Florida, I’ve decided to provide the first fundamental steps of this process in this blog post. Reach out to me if you’d like to learn more! When you start a nursing school or any healthcare school for that matter, there are two licenses you would need to obtain.

You would first need to get your state approval to operate a postsecondary educational institution. I’ve discussed this process in more depth here. Moving on, you would need to get approval for your program at the board that regulates this profession.

What’s important to note is that unlike other programs such as Business Administration, the process for getting your nursing school approval involves two steps as opposed to just one. Some states allow you to seek state approval as a first step, and then the program approval as a second.

However, Florida’s Commission for Independent Education, also known as CIE, requests applicants to first obtain the program approval before getting the state approval. There is a possibility to obtain both of these approvals simultaneously, but that takes time. You’ll have to ensure some components of your program are ready in place.

This means having a program director who is a certified nurse with some substantial working experience behind her back. Another element you will need is a program curriculum that checks the requirements of Florida’s (or any other state’s) Board of Nursing. A huge component of a strong nursing program is the clinical practice offered to its students.

You will have to secure affiliations, and agreements for externship programs with healthcare facilities in hospices or nursing homes to ensure your students will have access to nurse residency as part of your program. These agreements will have to be established well in advance of starting your approval process.

The Florida Board of Nursing will want to know your school’s purpose, program objectives, as well as information about the governing board, and the sponsoring institution. You’ll also have to provide information about your school policies, procedures, student attendance, grading processes, and record maintenance. Be ready to supply the Board with the information on your program coordinator or director’s qualifications, as well as the qualifications of all of your program instructors.

As a bonus, I’m including this comprehensive list to help you prepare the items that will be needed to get your approval from the Florida Board of Nursing:

Application For New Nursing Program


  • Information about the Governing Body/Sponsoring Institution Rule 64B9- 15.005(1), F.A.C.
  • Purpose, goals, and program objectives.
  • Proof of sufficient finances and resources, per Rule 64B9- 15.005(4), F.A.C.
  • Written policies and procedures: student attendance, grading, record maintenance, fees, and financial aid, as well as student rights, responsibilities, and grievances.
  • Faculty rules:

                       (i) Qualifications of the program coordinator must meet Rule 64B9-15.005(2), F.A.C

                       (ii) Qualifications of the program instructor must meet Rule 64B9- 15.005(3), F.A.C

                       (iii) Teaching load/ratio Rule meeting Rule 64B9-15.005(4)(c), F.A.C.

  • Clinical Agency/Facilities meeting Rule 64B0-15.005, F.A.C.
  • Curriculum meeting Rule 64B9-15.006, F.A.C.

And here are the items that will need to be submitted along with your provisional license application to CIE:

  • Secretary of state documentation
  • Administrative Personnel Form
  • Transmittal of Criminal Justice Information Fee Form
  • Organizational Chart
  • Program Outline
  • Application for Admission and Enrollment Agreement
  • Refund Policy
  • Financial Statement
  • Finances

                 -Form 605 - Business Plan

                 -Form 606 - Budget

  • Faculty Listing
  • Faculty Handbook
  • Institutional Catalog
  • Catalog
  • Other Publications
  • Advertisements
  • Lease Agreements or Documentation to Show Ownership of Facilities
  • Zoning Compliance
  • Accreditation Status
  • Fee Transmittal
  • Student protection Fund Fee Transmittal Form

Closing Thoughts

There are many parts that you’ll need to complete to get from A to Z in fully establishing your Nursing School, but the key point that I would like to leave you with is how this process involves two distinctive steps as mentioned earlier.

Both of the applications for state approval and program-specific approval are to be treated as separate processes. Getting your nursing school approval will take longer than other types of schools, so be ready to invest an average of a year to two years to complete both of these processes.

And if you need help along the way, reach out to us. We provide turnkey school setup services in the United States, which means we take care of everything from approvals, licensing, and accreditation, to school program development and faculty hiring.

Book your free, zero-commitment consultation by emailing me here to get on the pathway of opening your university in the USA.

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