10 Best Physician Assistant Schools in Florida | 2023

The job of a physician assistant (PA) is pretty straightforward: carrying out various medical procedures on patients under supervision or at the request of a licensed physician. Simply put, a PA is in charge of a patient’s health while being monitored by a supervising physician.

The influence of a good physician assistant school on the expertise of a PA can’t be underestimated. To become a professional PA, you must attend an excellent PA school. And that’s where physician assistant schools in Florida come in.

Florida has quite many schools that train students to become high-quality physician assistants. The schools use various approaches to ensure that to-be PAs are sound, experienced, and compassionate. 

Talking about the experience in Florida, you’ll gain helpful information that’ll help you across different medical fields. This way, you’ll be able to prescribe medications, examine patients, run tests on them, and even attend to them during emergencies.

If Florida’s your medical career location or better still, your preferred PA career location, this article is for you.

Read on as we take you through the 10 best physician assistant schools in Florida and related information.

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Are There Physician Assistant Schools in Florida?

Yes, there are physician assistant schools in Florida. In this article, we’ll be going through the best PA schools in Florida. These schools engage students in a series of classroom drills and clinical training sessions. This way, students gain detailed information and become professional PAs.

How Do I Get into A Physician Assistant School in Florida?

Before anything, you’re expected to earn an undergraduate degree at an accredited University in the United States. During this time, you’re to take approved science courses. Your overall GPA shouldn’t go below 3.0.

Although a high GPA doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be accepted, it boosts your chances. Also, you’re expected to get a reasonably high GRE score. However, not all PA schools require GRE.

Be ready for an interview. Prepare your letters of recommendation and do well to gather some clinical experience beforehand. These will ensure a smooth ride in your application.

How Long Are Physician Assistant Schools in Florida?

Averagely, PA schools in Florida take up to three years. The PA programs are split into segments where the beginning parts are dedicated to classroom training. In the latter years, students are taken through a series of clinical training.

Best Physician Assistant Schools in Florida

The following are the best PA schools you’ll find in Florida. These schools have so far maintained good records, and their teachers are primarily practicing PAs who’ll take you through real-life processes involved in the PA career.

#1. Nova Southeastern University

If you’re interested in attending a school that takes you through the PA career right from the rudiments, you can enroll at Nova. The school’s four locations are across Florida – Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando. At the school, you can earn two degrees at the same time.

The school offers students an undergraduate degree in any health-related field and a Master’s degree in PA. The school maintains a good reputation and has stellar facilities. Students get to learn from reputable PAs and physicians who’ll share their professional experiences and strings attached.

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#2. Barry University

The PA program at this Miami-based school isn’t just about patient care and medical vocabulary. It also extends to relating with patients and getting to how best to attend to them. The program allows this through a 2-day Medical Spanish Course. This way, students will be able to relate with non-English speaking patients. The PA program at Barry University covers courses like microbiology, anatomy, genetics, psychiatry, and surgical procedures.

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#3. University of Florida 

The University of Florida is located in Gainesville. The school doesn’t only rank among the best PA schools in Florida but also in the United States. Students get to learn various aspects of healthcare in a conducive environment. The program’s duration is about two years, during which you’ll attend classes, clinics, health talks, and seminars. Also, you’ll be required to handle projects to strengthen your skill as you progress in your PA career.

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#4. Kieser University

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Kieser University’s one of the best private universities that offer physician assistant programs. The school’s PA program takes two years to complete and is famous for its unique medical courses.

Students enjoy comprehensive classroom and laboratory sessions as well as detailed clinical experiences. Also, they get to complete clinical rotations in different areas. If you’re looking for a PA school where students get diverse knowledge, Kieser is the way to go.

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#5. Florida State University (FSU)

From program quality, conducive learning environment, and a fantastic location to teachers’ quality and cost, Florida State University is top-notch. The school’s to-be PAs are groomed by exceptional teachers, expert-level physicians, and physician assistants.

FSU is located in Tallahassee, FL, where the teachers take care of aspects like patient diagnosis, anatomy, infection and emergency treatments, surgeries, and drug prescriptions. The school’s program takes about two and a half years to complete and its facilities are top-class, especially its simulation lab.

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#6. AdventHealth University

Students at AdventHealth University are groomed to be compassionate and intelligent healthcare providers while being critical thinkers. The school’s environment is accommodating and safe for every student to practice concerning real-life situations.

Here, healthcare goes beyond the books. Classroom sessions are comprehensive and handled by qualified instructors who’re either PAs or physicians. Clinical sessions are also detailed, and facilities are student-oriented, top-class, and you name it! AdventHealth University is located in Orlando, Florida.

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#7. Gannon University

Coupled with detailed physical (or traditional) classes, students enjoy online classes at Gannon University. Located in Ruskin, FL, the school’s PA program allows students to learn and practice at the same time; thus, becoming acquainted with real-life scenarios beforehand. 

Also, you’ll engage in supervised practical sessions where you’ll be assessed by expert-level teachers. In the latter part of the program, you’ll handle a clinical project which is more technical than the preceding ones.

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#8. Miami-Dade College

In affiliation with Nova Southeastern University, Miami-Dade College runs two degrees simultaneously. The program is about 27 months long, and you can earn a Master’s degree in Health Science and a PA degree at the end of this period.

The Miami-based school combines traditional in-person classes and lab sessions with online courses. This way, students won’t only enjoy flexible classes but also keep up with the school’s academic pace.

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#9. Florida International University (FIU)

As critical thinking skills are of utmost importance, Florida International University ensures that to-be physician assistants are up to the task. Only then can they perform excellently and thrive well in interdisciplinary settings.

The school’s environment is spacious, and its facilities are top-class. Courses in the school include physiology, pharmacology, psychology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and surgery. FIU is situated in Miami, Florida.

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#10. South University

Kick-starting your PA can’t be better than enrolling at South University, Tampa, FL. The school maintains a reasonably high academic standard through rigorous classroom and laboratory sessions and clinical training—little wonder why most graduates from the school show exceptional professionalism and practical communication skills.

The PA program at the Tampa-based school emphasizes the need for patient care and positive relationships. Through continuous training and practice, students are prepared for various real-life situations, emergencies inclusive.

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What Are the Easiest Physician Assistant Schools to Get into in Florida?

Even though all physician assistant schools in Florida provide comprehensive PA training, some are not easy to get into. With criteria like GPA, GRE score, interviews, letters of recommendation, and clinical experiences, it’s unsurprising that getting accepted can be arduous. As a result, knowing the most accessible PA schools to get into in Florida can be relieving. They include:

  • University of Florida
  • Kieser University

What Are the Cheapest Physician Assistant Schools in Florida?

Undoubtedly, not all Florida-based PA schools require the same tuition or extra fees. And if you aren’t the too-much-money type, a cheap PA school might be a good option. They include:

  • University of Florida
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Florida State University
  • Florida International University

Can Physician Assistants Practice Independently in Florida?

Unlike some states in the U.S, PAs in Florida can’t practice independently. They can venture into medical healthcare practices under the supervision of licensed physicians.

How Much Does A Physician Assistant Make in Florida?

A Florida-based PA makes between $99,000 and $119,000 per annum. The salaries may differ due to years of experience, the post held at the workplace, employer, or type of healthcare sector (public or private).

Physician Assistant Schools in Florida That Don’t Require GRE

Not every student wants to pass through long screening processes and seeing PA schools that require GRE scores can spell stress. Whether you’re working part-time or not a fan of the GRE, check these PA schools out:

  • Miami-Dade College
  • AdventHealth University
  • Gannon University
  • University of Tampa

Are There PA Master’s Programs in Florida?

Of course, there are PA Master’s programs in Florida. The programs are top-notch, handled by expert-level PAs, and are worth the cost. Here are some PA Master’s programs in Florida:

  • Florida International University
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Miami-Dade College

Are There Online PA Courses in Florida for International Students?

While PA schools in Florida have flexible student-oriented programs, some students prefer online courses. Most international students – due to many reasons – seek to study remotely.

However, international students have no online physician assistant courses in Florida. Some of the abovementioned schools have online courses, but supplementary courses are taken together with other on-campus courses. 

How To Become A Physician Assistant in Florida

You should firstly earn an undergraduate degree in any program, preferably a health-related program like biology. Here, you’re expected to have good grades and earn a minimum GPA of 3.0. Afterward, you’re expected to take and pass the GRE. 

Coupled with your GRE, PA schools in Florida accept students with at least 500 hours of clinical experience (paid experience preferably). Don’t forget to prepare your reference letters – either from a licensed PA, an alumnus, a licensed physician, or any worthy person or organization.

When you’re accepted, take your classes and lab sessions seriously. You’ll handle supervised projects in your final years, qualifying you for the state’s PANCE examination. Should you successfully pass the PANCE exam, you can apply for licensure.

Physician Assistant Certification Council of Florida

The Council on Physician Assistants in the Florida Board of Medicine is responsible for policy formation regarding the activities of PAs in the state. It’s also in charge of recommending PAs for licensure.

FAQs

What Type of PAs Earn the Most?

According to research, PAs who venture into cardiovascular/cardiothoracic surgery earn the most. We’re not sure why, but many say it’s due to the technicality of the specialty.

Do You Call PA Doctor?

In a formal setting, the most appropriate way to address a physician assistant is by calling their last name after mentioning “PA.” For example, a PA whose last name’s Johnson can be addressed as “PA Johnson.” But you can call a PA doctor too.

Is It Worth Going to PA School?

Since a PA school trains you in various specialties, you’ll have higher employment chances once you graduate. This is because you can easily fit into any department, so it’s worth it.

Conclusion

The essence of PA school is to prepare compassionate healthcare providers for huge tasks ahead. And attending a good PA school in Florida will help strengthen your skill set.

With our list of the best physician assistant schools in Florida, we hope you find the best option for you. Good luck!

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