Associate of Science
Associate in Science in Nursing Degree Program
The Polk State Associate in Science (AS) in Nursing degree program prepares students to be entry-level clinical generalists capable of providing nursing care in a variety of settings to patients across the lifespan and of diverse backgrounds. A graduate of the Nursing Program is awarded the Polk State Associate in Science (AS) in Nursing degree and is eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) to become a licensed registered nurse. A Social Security Number (SSN) is required to be issued a certificate or license by the Florida Department of Health, the state’s healthcare licensing authority. Additionally, the graduate is eligible to apply to Polk State’s RN-to-BSN Program to complete a baccalaureate in Nursing, which is required within a specific timeframe of hire by most employers.
Nursing is a limited-admission program. An applicant must first be admitted to the College and meet pre-admission requirements before being eligible to apply. The College reserves the right to change program and admission requirements as need dictates. The College seeks to provide as many qualified graduates as possible, subject to the availability of clinical and academic resources, community need, and the number of qualified applicants.
There are two program options offered within for Associate in Science in Nursing degree program. The Generic Option is for an individual without a current healthcare license. The Transition Option is for the individual who holds a current license or certificate as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), paramedic, or respiratory therapist (RT), or who is a qualified military medic (as verified through the DD 214, Member Copy 4 Form). The Transition Option is an accelerated track. An individual with qualifying current licensure is not required to apply to the Transition Option; he or she may opt to enroll in the Generic Option if a slower pace is preferred.
Choose Degree Program for More Information and How to Apply:
Program Information Flyers
Note: Proctored exams for the Assessment Technologies Institute Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) are available for individuals applying to the Polk State Associate in Science in Nursing Program during the Fall 2021 Semester. The applicant can take the test online or in a traditional in-person setting. For online testing, a computer with a webcam and microphone is required, as well as a stable internet connection and a private testing space.
Opportunities to take the test on the Winter Haven Campus are available on select Wednesdays. Prospective test takers should monitor the registration page to schedule in-person testing. Test availability is posted approximately two weeks prior to in-person testing opportunities. Additional ATI TEAS sessions are be available at later dates for prospective students applying for later admission cycles.
The Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) is an admission requirement for the Polk State Associate in Science (AS) in Nursing Program (i.e., both the Generic and Transition options). This is true even if the student already has a prior degree. The following provides information about the ATI TEAS:
- The ATI TEAS is a computerized exam assessing a student’s ability and knowledge in reading, English conventions and language, mathematics, and science.
- The ATI TEAS must be taken in a proctored environment at an educational institution that offers the test, or it must be taken via ATI remote-proctored testing. At Polk State College, the exam is offered at the Winter Haven Campus testing center (TLCC) at various times during each term.
- A student may take the exam up to three times a year, with the initial attempt serving as the start of the year. There must be at least 30 days between any two attempts.
- Note: The attempt restrictions apply even if the test is taken at a location other than Polk State College.
- The test can take up to 4.5 hours to complete.
- At Polk State College, the current cost per in-person exam attempt is $85. Remote attempts are $90. Testing fees are non-refundable. Other institutions may charge different testing fees. It is important to check the policies at any institution prior to testing. If a student tests at a different institution, he or she must request that the ATI send the score to Polk State College.
- Financial aid does not cover the cost of the ATI TEAS.
- To be considered for entrance to the AS in Nursing Program, the minimum overall composite score needed is 70; however, a score of 70 may not be competitive for admission, as many applicants score higher. Most accepted students have a score in the high 70s or above.
- Some testing centers give the ATI TEAS in parts; however, there is no way for the ATI to compute a composite score unless all parts of the test are taken at the same time. For this reason, a student must take all parts at the same time for the test score to be acceptable to Polk State. This rule applies to initial testing, as well as any repeat attempts.
TEST PREPARATION FOR THE ATI TEAS
The ATI TEAS Manual and online practice resources are available for purchase from the Assessment Technologies Institute (www.atitesting.com). Self-paced, interactive, online tutorial assistance is also available for purchase (www.mometrix.com), and Polk State students are able to get a 50 percent discount by using the code: POLK-50-OFF.
The study manual can also be purchased at a Polk State College bookstore. A prospective program student is encouraged to prepare for the test using the aforementioned resources, rather than just attempting to take the test blindly without preparation (thus potentially requiring more attempts and an elongated pathway to program application). During preparation, it is important to ensure that the materials used are for the current version of the test, which may be designated as the ATI TEAS or TEAS-6.
REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR THE ATI TEAS
To register, the student must first visit the ATI website and follow these steps to create an account (www.atitesting.com):
- Select the option to “Create an Account” (top right link on the ATI website).
Note: The student cannot select “Register for TEAS” or he or she is then instructed to choose a test site elsewhere.
- Complete all items in blue, including the Polk State College Student ID number. It is essential to include this information to enable the College to post the score to the academic record.
- Uncheck the “Non-degree” box and enter the expected graduation date calculated based on program acceptance for the expected semester of application.
- Make note of the user name and password created. These items are needed on the testing day.
To test at Polk State College, the student must register through the College’s Continuing Education webpage (registration page). This involves the following steps:
- Select “Testing” from the left-hand menu on the Polk State College Continuing Education webpage, then select “Testing” again from the drop-down menu that appears.
- Choose the TEAS from the testing options listed.
- Choose the date and time preferred and then click “Add to Cart.”
- Note: All available dates and times appear on one or more pages in this area.
- The webpage prompts the creation of a login. At this point, the student must follow the webpage instructions to create an account and pay for the test.
Note: Questions related to ATI TEAS testing and scheduling can be addressed through the Winter Haven Campus TLCC (863.292.3674 or WHTLCCtesting@polk.edu).
If a student registers for the test but decides not to take it when scheduled, he or she MUST email the TLCC Testing Manager, Debi Immel (firstname.lastname@example.org), before the time of the scheduled test to avoid financial liability.
If a student is hoping to pursue an AS in Nursing degree at Polk State College, he or she must follow specific directions to create a Polk State account to gain admission to the College (https://www.polk.edu/admission-aid/admissionsteps/). Creating a Polk State student account enables the College to post ATI TEAS scores to the Polk State academic record. This saves the student an extra fee that would otherwise be incurred by needing to have TEAS records sent to Polk State College.
It is important to be aware that if the student tests at a location other than Polk State College, the testing results are sent to that facility. The student cannot print the results to turn in to Polk State College. Additionally, the College cannot accept results posted to a transcript from another institution. In such a case, the student must contact the ATI and request that an official transcript of the scores to be sent to Polk State College. The ATI charges a fee for this service, after which, it sends the scores electronically (most commonly on the same day of the request). The ATI also sends the student an email of the results; Polk State requests that the student save this email as a record until the scores are posted to the Polk State academic record.
If the student is requesting that scores to be sent to Polk State College, he or she must have previously applied to the College in order to create a Polk State College academic record and Student ID number for the results to be posted. If a student requests scores and does not see them posted to the Polk State academic record, he or she must contact the Nursing Program Director. It is possible that the score report has been received, but not enough identifying information exists to place the results into the correct student record.
Effective August 31, 2016, Polk State College uses the ATI TEAS for application and entrance to the program. Any student who applies for admission on or after the May 2017 application period is required to present satisfactory scores from this version of the test.
In the event of a technical problem during testing, the student has the option of waiting to see if the technical issue can be resolved in a reasonable time period or if the test must be discontinued (i.e., as determined by the test administrator). If a student continues with testing after resolution of a technical issue, the testing attempt counts and the score earned is posted to the academic record. If the technical issue cannot be resolved and it is necessary to discontinue testing, the test attempt does not count and rescheduling is arranged for the student.
The Polk State College Associate in Science in Nursing Program, offered on the Lakeland and the Winter Haven campuses, is accredited by the:
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), Inc.
3390 Peachtree Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
Polk State College has achieved Continuing Accreditation status through the ACEN Board of Commissioners for both the Associate of Science in Nursing Program and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program. The next accreditation visit for both programs is in the fall of 2025. Publicly disclosed information regarding ACEN accreditation can be viewed online (http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programsearch.htm).