Nursing Degree Programs
The Florida healthcare industry continues to demonstrate a strong demand for registered nurses. A career in nursing requires an individual to provide compassionate, comprehensive care to patients in a variety of clinical settings. It is a dynamic profession supported by continuous learning and advancements in technology within a rapidly changing medical landscape. Polk State’s Nursing Program graduates are well-respected within the Polk County community, across the state of Florida, and beyond. The Nursing Schools Almanac 2021, which ranks of the best nursing programs in Florida, has placed the Polk State College Associate in Science in Nursing degree program as seventh in the state. More information on the Almanac’s ranking can be found online (https://www.nursingschoolsalmanac.com/rankings/adn/florida).
The Polk State Associate in Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs, which are offered on both the Lakeland and Winter Haven campuses, are accredited by:
The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), Inc.
3390 Peachtree Rd., NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
The ACEN Board of Commissioners has awarded both of Polk State’s Nursing degree programs with Continuing Accreditation status. The next accreditation visit is scheduled for the fall of 2025. The ACEN publicly discloses information regarding its accredited programs (http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm).
Degree Programs Offered
Success Indicators for the Nursing Program
The average completion rate for the past three years of the Associate in Science in Nursing degree program is 74% for the Genetic Option and 77% for the Transition Option.
Approximately 50% of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing students who start the program complete within three years. Students commonly stop-out of the program for a few terms for a variety of reasons, but they are easily able to return to the program when they are ready to continue.
National Council Licensure Examination—Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) Pass Rates:
Graduates of the Polk State Associate in Science in Nursing degree program consistently exceed the state and national averages on the NCLEX-RN. The most recent results are shown below.
Note: RN-to-BSN students do not take any additional licensing exams.
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate
2019 201920 2021 Polk State College 95.3 96.27 90.91 State of Florida 71.86 62.9 64.79 National 88.18 82.82 82.49
Employment and Continuing Education:
All Associate in Science in Nursing degree graduates are eligible for employment in a healthcare setting after passing the licensure exam. There are available positions locally for those desiring immediate employment.
The RN-to-BSN Program students are predominantly employed when they matriculate and generally maintain employment throughout the program and after graduation. Ninety percent of the currently enrolled RN-to-BSN students are Polk State Associate in Science in Nursing graduates, and most enter the baccalaureate program shortly after graduation. Polk State College frequently receives communication from baccalaureate graduates indicating that they have been accepted into master’s degree programs, and that they are satisfactorily completing program requirements. Polk State’s rigorous curriculum and emphasis on mastery provides the competencies for long-term success in healthcare and further academic pursuits.
Completion of the requirements for the Associate of Science in Nursing degree program makes the graduate eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) for a license as a registered nurse in Florida or one of the other 27 Nurse Licensure Compact states (i.e., if the student is applying for a multi-state license under the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC)). A list of current compact states is located on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) website (https://www.ncsbn.org/compacts.htm).
Polk State College cannot confirm whether its degree program meets the educational requirements for professional licensure in other specific states outside of the listed Nurse Licensure Compact states. Other states may have additional requirements beyond Polk State’s curriculum. If a graduate wishes to obtain a license in a non-compact state, he or she should contact that state’s board of nursing to determine whether a Polk State Nursing degree meets the licensure requirements.
Contact information for each state’s board of nursing is conveniently available online (https://www.ncsbn.org/contact-bon.htm).
Frequently Asked Questions
Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program (NSLFP) Information
Make a Donation
The Polk State Nursing Program gladly accepts donations in support of students. The following link provides information regarding donation to the Nursing Program Emergency Scholarship Fund: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/pscfd.