Associate of Science

Polk State College’s Associate Degree in Nursing is a limited-admission 72 credit-hour program and the number of available positions in the program can vary depending upon the availability of clinical and academic resources. There are usually more applicants for admission than can be accepted and therefore admission is competitive.

The Associate Degree Nursing program offers two options or tracks: the Generic track for individuals without a current healthcare license, and the Transition track for individuals holding a current license or certificate as Licensed Practical Nurse, Paramedic, Respiratory Therapist, or qualified Military Medic.

The Transition track is an accelerated pathway (doing two years in one year) and students who are eligible for the Transition track by virtue of their background are encouraged to consider the Generic track if they have significant work and/or family responsibilities or limited acute care clinical experience beyond that of their educational program.

Application for admission to nursing is a separate application process from the application to the college.
Please note that the nursing admission process is under review and updates will be posted by the end of November 2021. Please check back at that time and check news for updates.

Prior to applying for admission, carefully read the information provided below to determine your eligibility and readiness for admission.

  1. What are the eligibility requirements for admission?

    1. Acceptance to Polk State College: You must apply for and be accepted as a student at Polk State College.
      1. Request official transcripts from all colleges and schools attended to be sent to the Registrar’s Office.
      2. We cannot accept credits from one school based on being posted to the transcript from another school. We must have official transcripts directly from each school.
      3. We cannot accept AP or CLEP credits or any other type of accelerated credits posted on a transcript from another school. We must have a transcript of scores sent directly from the testing service sent to Polk State.
      4. Transcripts must be evaluated and grades posted to your Polk transcript prior to the nursing application in order to be eligible to apply for nursing. Transcript evaluation may take 6 to 8 weeks.
    2. GPA Requirements: You must have an overall cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 and at least a grade of “C” in program required courses. The pre-requisite courses must be completed with grades posted to your Polk State transcript or final courses in progress at the time of application.
    3. Courses Required: The following courses must be completed with at least a grade of “C” prior to beginning the nursing program.
      1. ENC 1101 English Composition I
      2. PSY 2012 General Psychology
      3. MGF 1106 Topics in Mathematics or MAC 1105 College Algebra (or higher MAC) or STA 2023 Statistics
      4. BSC 2085C Anatomy & Physiology I
      5. HUN 1201 Principles of Nutrition
      6. BSC 2086C Anatomy & Physiology II is required pre-admission for students applying for the Transition track. Applicants for the Generic track are encouraged to also complete this course pre-admission.
      7. Students are encouraged to complete other non-nursing courses pre-admission if possible or in summers between terms in order to lessen the academic load each term. The term listed is the term the course must be taken if not previously completed.
    • BSC 2086C Anatomy & Physiology II. Concurrent with Nursing 1 for Generic students. Pre-admission for Transition students.
    • MCB 2010C Microbiology. Concurrent with Nursing 2 or Transition 1.
    • DEP 2004 Human Growth and Development. Concurrent with Nursing 2 or Transition 1.
    • Humanities, Any HUM/REL/PHI. Concurrent with Nursing 3 or Transition 2.
    • ENC 1102 English Composition II. Concurrent with Nursing 4 or Transition 3.
    1. TEAS Requirements: You must have a minimum TEAS score of 70 posted to your Polk State transcript in order to apply.  Only the ATITEAS (ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills) is acceptable.  This version is commonly referred to as the TEAS-6.  If the test is taken at Polk State, the scores will be posted to your Polk State record no later than the day after testing.  If the test is taken at a different site, the student must contact ATI and request an official copy of the results be sent to Polk State. This may take several days. (TEAS Info)
    2. Criminal History: All students will be fingerprinted and have a background check performed when accepted for admission. A student with a criminal history background may be denied admission or dismissed from the program for charges occurring after admission. (Criminal History Info)
  2. How do I know if I am ready for the program?

    A nursing program is very demanding of your time and effort.  Two areas to consider in determining your readiness are finances and time commitment.

    1. Finances: A 9-credit nursing class is equivalent to three typical courses. The tuition and fees for the first semester are approximately $1800 plus approximately $1000 more for books, uniforms, and other needed supplies.  The tuition and fees for the remaining terms will be about the same.

     You need to determine eligibility for financial aid early.  As one progresses in credits earned, commonly it is more difficult to qualify for financial aid.  There are some scholarships available but usually not until one has completed the first semester of the program.

    The time commitment for class, clinical, and study usually does not allow a student to work full-time while enrolled. Although there may be financial assistance to cover the expenses for school, there is no assistance for living expenses.

    1. Time Commitment: Classes in the generic option will be usually two full days a week, such as 8:00 to 4:30, plus a clinical day. Classes in the transition option will usually be one full day a week plus a clinical day.  Most clinical days are 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. although there may be some afternoon/evening options such as 1:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Clinical assignments may be any day of the week including the weekend.  We can make no promises regarding the clinical assignment as what we are able to schedule varies from term to term.

    It is generally recommended that students plan for two to three hours of study for each credit hour of a class.  For 9-credit courses, this equates to 18 to 27 hours for study time.  This is just for the clinical nursing course and does not include any other courses that a student may be taking.

    In addition to class and clinical days, students are expected to spend time in the skills lab practicing the procedures which have been taught.  This time is most commonly on a day other than class or clinical, thus making the commitment generally four days a week. The time in class, clinical, and lab does not count study time.

    The time commitment also includes travel.  Currently, for the generic option classes are on the Winter Haven campus for Nursing 1 and Nursing 3 and on the Lakeland campus for Nursing 2 and Nursing 4.  Classes for the transition option are on the Lakeland campus.  Clinical assignment may be to any health facility in the county as well as some out of county facilities in Orange County (Orlando area), Hillsborough County (Tampa area), or Highlands County (Sebring area).

    Students in Nursing 1 and Transition 1 must also take Pharmacology.  Currently, that is on Thursday for Nursing 1 students and on Monday or Wednesday evening for Transition students. Students who have not completed non-nursing classes that are part of the program must enroll in the required courses at designated points in the program, which adds to the financial obligation and time commitment.

  3. What is the admission process and how do I apply?

    There are two application periods:

    • May 15-31 for an August start in both the Generic and Transition options
    • August 15-31 for a January start in the Generic option

    The application will be available only during these application windows.  It will be available via a link provided in the Online Application section. During the May application period, there is a separate application for each option.

    Applicants should have read the information regarding eligibility and readiness for admission prior to applying and determine that the requirements are met.  New information such as updated transcripts or TEAS score cannot be accepted after the application is submitted. These documents also cannot be submitted with the application but must already be posted to the Polk State transcript.

    Applicants applying for the Transition option will need to scan and upload a copy of their license or certificate with their application.  Those eligible for Transition but who are not sure about which option is best may also apply for the Generic option.  They will need to do both applications. Students are accepted into the program using a ranking system. Points are awarded for previous degrees (associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s) and service as a veteran.  Honorably discharged veterans with verified service need to upload a copy of the DD214 Member copy 4 with the application. There is no waiting list so students not accepted will need to reapply.

    It is important that all questions on the application be answered.  Incomplete applications will not be processed. The name and address provided on the application must match the data in the college records.  If necessary, do changes with the college before doing the nursing application.

    Applicants are ranked using a points system.  Currently the formula is TEAS score + (5 X overall GPA) + (5 X GPA in program required courses) + degree points if applicable (2 for previous AA/AS; or 4 for baccalaureate; or 6 for master’s and above) = Total points.

    The students with the highest number of points are accepted for admission, with the specific number dependent upon the number of slots available.  Each generic class is approximately 100 students and the transition class is approximately 50 students; however, this is not all new students as there may be returning students. The next several students on the list are designated as alternates and will be notified as soon as possible if a position becomes available. Any student not accepted for admission must reapply during the next application period.  We do not hold applications and carry them forward nor do we maintain a waiting list.

    Notice of acceptance or denial will be mailed approximately mid-June for a May application and mid-September for an August application. If you have not heard from the Department by June 20 or September 20, call the department administrative assistant at 863-297-1039. If you are offered a seat in the class but we have not heard from you, there is no guarantee that you can be accepted for the current admission cycle.

    If accepted for admission, final acceptance is contingent upon satisfactory completion of prerequisite courses before the start of the term as well as satisfactory completion of other program requirements. Potential applicants for admission should be aware they will be required to meet specific health requirements before being allowed to take clinical nursing courses.  This includes current certification in CPR for Healthcare Providers, current Tb screening, drug screening, and immunization and physical examination requirements.  The details are available in the College Catalog and will also be provided upon acceptance for admission.  Documentation of compliance with these requirements is not needed until one is actually accepted for admission.

  4. Instructions for Online Application in Etrieve

    1. Before you can apply you must have activated your Polk State College student email ( Go to The default password is your Polk student ID.
    2. Using Chrome or any browser other than Internet Explorer click “Apply Here” during the application window. This link will take you to the login page for Etrieve, which is Polk State’s electronic document system.
    3. On the Etrieve login page, your user name is the first part of your Polk student email. For example, a Polk email of would have a user name of marysmith22.
    4. Unless you recently established an Etrieve account and remember your password, click on the “forgot password” link and enter your email address. An email will be sent to this address providing you an initial password. Check your junk email if you don’t receive the message and add to your safe sender list if necessary.
    5. Once you have received the initial password, go back to the Etrieve login and sign-in with the user name as noted in Step 3 and the provided password. Once logged into Etrieve, change your password.
    6. In the Etrieve system, click on “Forms” and look for the nursing application. Choose Generic Application or Transition Application as appropriate. (Remember if you are eligible for Transition but want to also apply for Generic, you must complete one application, exit, and re-enter to do the other application.)
    7. Complete all parts of the application, attach any required documentation requested, and submit the form. Do not submit any other documents.
    8. Do not contact the Registrar’s Office or the Nursing Department to see if your application was received. You can go back into the Etrieve system at any time and under History, you can see that you submitted the application. It will say “pending” until it is processed.  When the application is processed, the pending will change to Ended. Please note that this is simply a notation that your application has been processed.  It is neither a note of completeness and acceptance of your application nor a note of acceptance for admission.