Associate in Science in Nursing – Transition Option

The Transition Option of the Polk State College Associate in Science in Nursing degree program is a limited-admission, pre-licensure program for the individual who already has a healthcare certificate or is a licensed practical nurse, paramedic, respiratory therapist, or military medic (I.e., as verified by DD 214, Member Copy 4 Form). The Transition Option is an accelerated program, with curriculum designed with the assumption that the individual has considerable experience in healthcare. An individual who is eligible for the Transition Option, but who has limited acute-care experience or who has significant work or family responsibilities, should consider applying for the Associate in Science in Nursing–Generic Option instead. 

The information below provides an overview for the student who wishes to apply to the Polk State College Nursing Program. Full health-related and additional program requirements are available via the Polk State College Catalog/Student Handbook within the Associate in Science in Nursing—Transition Option section (http://catalog.polk.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=45&poid=2537&returnto=1556 ).

  1. Admission Criteria

    The Nursing Program is a limited-admission program that uses a merit-based points system to determine selected applicants. To be eligible for consideration, the following minimum requirements* must be met prior to submitting an application. The student must:

    • Maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.5. 
    • Achieve a minimum score of 70 on the Assessment Technologies Institute Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS). 
      (Note: A score of 70 is required; however, a 75 or higher is necessary to be competitive, as discussed below).
    • Complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better (or the courses must be in-progress at the time of application and successfully completed prior to matriculation). 
      (Note: Prerequisite courses must be taken less than seven years prior unless the individual is currently practicing as a respiratory therapist, licensed practical nurse (LPN), paramedic, or military medic (as verified on the DD 214 Form, Member Copy 4)).  *Note: The Nursing Program is a competitive, limited-admission program. Most admitted students have ATI TEAS scores above 75 and GPAs above 3.0; this information represents the minimum requirements for consideration.
  2. ATI TEAS Admission Requirements

    Note: Proctoring for the Assessment Technologies Institute Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) is available for individuals applying for the Polk State Nursing Program. Opportunities to take the test on the Winter Haven Campus are available on select Wednesdays. A prospective test taker should monitor the registration page to schedule in-person testing. Availability is posted approximately two weeks prior to each in-person testing opportunity. 

    An applicant can also take the test as an online, proctored exam. A computer with a webcam and microphone is required, as well as a stable Internet connection and private space

    The  Assessment Technologies Institute 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 for the ATI to 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 scores 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 TEASThe 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 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.
    • Fill in 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 (dimmel@polk.edu), 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 submit 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 these 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.

  3. Application Process

    There is only one application period for admission to the Associate in Science in Nursing Program–Transition Option:

    •   May 15 to May 31 for the August class 

    An individual who is eligible for admission to the Transition Option may also apply for the Generic Option, but both applications must be completed separately. 

    The Transition Option Application is not available until the above period opens. During this timeframe, the application is available on the Nursing Program website (www.polk.edu/nursing). All transcripts, test scores, and any other documentation required in the admissions process must be on file at the time of application for the submission to be considered complete and eligible for evaluation.

    A student who applies for the Nursing Program for a given admission period and is not accepted must reapply for consideration during a future application window. There is no waiting list. The student should complete all prerequisite courses prior to applying (or be enrolled in final prerequisite course(s)).

    Instructions for Online Application in Etrieve

    Before a student can apply for the program, he or she must first activate the Polk State College student email (my.polk.edu). To do so, the student must use the Outlook site (http://outlook.com/my.polk.edu)The default password is the Polk State College Student ID. The student can then follow these steps to create an Etrieve account:

    1. Using Chrome (or any browser other than Internet Explorer) click the “Apply Here” link during the application window. This sends the student to the login page for Etrieve, which is Polk State’s electronic document system.
    2. On the Etrieve login page, a student’s user name is the first part of the Polk State College student email (e.g., a Polk State email of marysmith22@my.polk.edu would have a user name of marysmith22).
    3. Unless the student recently established an Etrieve account and remembers the password, he or she can click on the “forgot password” link and enter the my.polk.edu email address. An email is then sent to this address providing an initial password. If this is not received promptly, the student should check the junk folder, as he or she may need to add etrieve@polk.edu to the Safe Sender List.
    4. Once the initial password is received, the student can return to the Etrieve login page and sign-in with the user name and provided password. Once logged in to Etrieve, the student can change the password.
    5. The Nursing Program Application is in the Etrieve system under “Forms.” The student must choose the Generic Option Application or Transition Option Application. 
      (Note: If the student is eligible for the Transition Option, but would like to apply for both the Generic and Transition options, he or she must complete one application, exit, and then re-enter to complete the other application.)
    6. The student must complete all parts of the application, attach required documentation, and then submit the form. The applicant should not submit any other documents other than those required.

    Note: The student is asked NOT to contact the Registrar’s Office or the Nursing Department to determine if the application has been received. The Etrieve system preserves the submitted application under “History.” The application is listed as “pending” until it is processed. When the application is processed, the “pending” note changes to “ended.” This is simply a notation indicating that the application has been processed and is under review. It is neither a commentary on the completeness of the application, nor is it a note of acceptance for admission. The student receives a message of acceptance with further instructions if he or she is selected as a potential candidate.

  4. Selection Criteria

    If accepted for admission, final acceptance is contingent upon satisfactory completion of all prerequisite courses before the start of the term, as well as completion of other program requirements. The applicant is required to demonstrate specific health requirements before being allowed to take clinical practicum courses within the Nursing Program. This includes showing proof of CPR Certification for Healthcare Providers, a TB screening, a drug screening, various immunizations, and a physical examination. The details of these requirements are available in the Polk State College Catalog/Student Handbook and are also provided upon acceptance for admission. Documentation of compliance with these requirements is not needed until one is actually accepted for admission.

    Selection Criteria

    The following criteria are taken into consideration for applicant placement:

    • The ATI TEAS score (A minimum score of 70 is required; however, a score of 75 or higher is necessary to be competitive.)
    • GPA for prerequisite courses
    • Overall cumulative GPA

    Additional points are given for the following:

    • Completion of an Associate in Science or Associate in Arts degree
    • Completion of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree
    • Completion of a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree
    • Verification of military-based Honorable Discharge, as indicated on the DD 214 Form, Member Copy 4

    Note: For the April 2023 application cycle (Fall 2023 start date), the requirements for applicant placement include the following:

    • The ATI TEAS score (A minimum score of 70 is required; however, a score of 75 or higher is necessary to be competitive.)
    • GPA in program-required Science courses
    • GPA in program-required non-Science prerequisites
    • GPA in all prerequisite courses
    • Cumulative GPA

    Additional points are given for the following:

    • Completion of an Associate in Science or Associate in Arts degree
    • Completion of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree
    • Completion of a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree
    • Verification of military-based Honorable Discharge, as indicated on the DD 214 Form, Member Copy 4
  5. Curriculum Plan

    Prerequisite Courses 

    (These must be taken less than seven years prior to matriculation, or they must be completed prior to program admission.)

    Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
    BSC 2085CHuman Anatomy and Physiology I (with Lab)4
    BSC 2086CHuman Anatomy and Physiology II (with Lab)4
    ENC 1101College Composition I3
    MGF 1106 

    OR

    MAC 1105 (or higher-level math)

    OR

    STA 2023*

    Topics in Mathematics

     

    College Algebra

     

    Statistics* (*This course is a prerequisite for the RN-to-BSN course NUR 4775.)

    3
    PSY 2012General Psychology3
    HUN 1201Principles of Nutrition3
    Additional Non-Nursing Required Courses 

    (The Program recommends completion of these courses with the corequisites listed, during the summer term, or prior to the start of the program.)

    Course NumberCourse Title

     (Term for the course to be taken if not previously completed.)

    Credits
    MCB 2010CMicrobiology (with Lab)–Take with NUR 1051C4
    DEP 2004Human Development—Take with NUR 1051C3
    HUMAny HUM course—Take with NUR 2321C3
    ENC 1102English Composition II—Take with NUR 2762C3
    Nursing Core Courses
    NUR 1140CPharmacology3
    NUR 1051CHealth Professional to RN: Transition I9
    NUR 2321CHealth Professional to RN: Transition II9
    NUR 2762CHealth Professional to RN: Transition III8
    Total Credits72
  6. Criminal History Information

    Each applicant must go through fingerprinting and a background check from an approved vendor prior to enrollment in Nursing Program courses. This is specifically necessary for compliance with the requirements of the program’s clinical facilities. The student must not undergo fingerprinting and a background check until accepted for admission. Information regarding how these requirements are to be completed and submitted are provided with the acceptance letter and packet. 

    Any applicant with a felony charge (or selected misdemeanor charges) may ultimately be denied enrollment in the Polk State Nursing Program. A student must be free of offenses that would potentially disqualify the individual from working in a healthcare environment per Florida Statutes Sections 456.0635, 435.04, and 316.193. Pursuant to Section 456.0635 of Florida Statutes, the Florida Board of Nursing refuses licensure, certification, and registration, as well as admission to examination, to any candidate has been:

    • Convicted or plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to a felony violation, regardless of adjudication, per Florida Statutes Chapters 409, 817, or 893; United States Code (USC) 21 Sections 801-970; or USC 42 Sections 1395-1396.  
      (Note: Eligibility for a license can be denied unless the sentence and any probation or pleas ended five to 15 years prior to the application, depending on the level of the offense.)
    • Terminated for cause from the Florida Medicaid Program (unless the applicant has been in good standing for the most recent five years).
    • Terminated for cause by any other state Medicaid Program or Medicare Program (unless the termination was at least 20 years prior to the date of the application and the applicant has been in good standing with the program for the most recent five years).

    Admission to clinical practicum courses is at the discretion of the clinical agencies, and these agencies may require more stringent limitations than those outlined above; therefore, an applicant with a felony charge (or select misdemeanor charges) may ultimately be denied enrollment in the Nursing Program. Hospitals often require a student to provide a Social Security Number (SSN) and copies of the criminal history and background report, immunization records, and other data before accepting the student for participation in clinical experiences.

    A student accepted for admission who has a criminal history must meet with the Program Director and bring a copy of court papers showing the specific charge(s) and final disposition to determine eligibility for admission. An appointment can be scheduled by contacting the Nursing Program Administrative Assistant (863.297.1039).

  7. Frequently Asked Questions

    For convenience, Polk State College has provided an FAQ page regarding program details. FAQs