The cost is approximately $12,000 total including tuition, fees, and textbooks for all courses including the pre-requisite courses and other program related expenses. Some of these other expenses and the approximate estimated cost includes fingerprinting, background check, and drug testing done by the Department approved vendor ($200); PPD testing for Tb ($25); CPR class ($40); and a physical exam and immunizations required on admission ($400). The total cost for health requirements will depend on what is needed, where they are done, and whether or not the student has health insurance which might cover some of the cost. Other costs include unitorms and uniform shoes, stethoscope, and a watch with a second hand ($300) and textbooks ($1500). Most texts are purchased in the first term of the program and used throughout the program with a few additional texts required in later courses. Upon graduation, students apply to take the NCLEX-RN licensing exam and apply for a licence to practice as a Registered Nurse. The approximate cost for this process is $400 to the testing service and to the Board of Nursing. These post-graduation fees are not fees of Polk State and thus not covered by financial aid.
Students should refer to the Financial Aid information on the website or meet with a Financial Aid advisor to determine eligibility for programs such as Pell Grant, Stafford loan, and others. Once a student is admitted to the program there are opportunities for nursing-only scholarships. Most financial aid assistance will cover tuition and fees only and students are responsible for other fees such as the health requirements, uniforms, and licensing fees.
There are a number of pre-requisite courses required for admission and it will take a minimum of three terms to complete these courses. Most students take longer. Once admitted to the program, the Generic option is four semesters (Fall and Spring terms, no summers) and the Transition option is three semesters (August to August including the summer term).
The non-nursing courses are available on both campuses with a variety of schedule options including online. All nursing classes are face-to-face and during the day only. Depending on the course, class in the Generic option will normally be two days a week from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, although there may be individual course variations. The actual class days will differ depending on the course. Classes for Nursing 1 and Nursing 3 are on the Winter Haven campus and classes for Nursing 2 and Nursing 4 are on the Lakeland campus. In the Transition option, class is one day a week with one section from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on one day and another section from 12:00 to 6:00 pm on another day. Both sections are taught on the Lakeland campus. Schedules and class locations are subject to change if necessary.
Each course in both options requires a clinical day each week. Clinical may be day (usually 6:30 am to 3:00 pm) or afternoon/evening (usually 1:00 pm to 9:30 pm). The exact days and times will vary depending on the course and the clinical facility. Clinical may be on any non-class day of the week, including weekends. There can be no guarantee of a particular clinical day or shift and no guarantee of a particular facility.
In the first semester of the Generic option, students are enrolled in 12 credit hours, which is officially fulltime. All other semesters in both the Generic option and the Transition option are less than 12 credit hours and thus officially part-time unless the student is enrolled in other classes. However, the clinical credit of the courses requires 3 hours of contact per credit hour, resulting in an obligation of at least 17 hours per week in class and/or clinical. These additional hours do not qualify one for fulltime for financial aid or other situations in which fulltime enrollment is determined based on credit hours.
The hospitals will not normally accept a student for clinical if the student has a felony record, regardless of adjudication. This will thus prevent admission to the program. Theft-related misdemeanor charges within the past five years may potentially prevent admission but other charges will not normally be a problem. Individuals with a criminal history should make an appointment to meet with the Director of Nursing for further information. To facilitate a decision, you should bring copies of court papers related to any charges and the final disposition of these charges to this meeting. You may make an appointment by calling the Nursing Administrative Assistant at 863-297-1039.
Application to the program is a separate application from application to the College and details on admission requirements and the application process can be found on the other pages on this website. Admission is competitive and a points system is used to rank applicants. The higher the score on the TEAS-V admission test and the higher the GPA, the more the points. We do not use a waiting list; applicants not accepted must reapply.
Non-nursing courses taken at a regionally accredited college should transfer. The Registrar’s office will need an official transcript to review and make that decision. The Nursing Department does not make the decision on transfer of credit. It does not matter when the courses were taken except for the science courses and they should have been taken no more than seven years prior to admission; however, the Nursing Director can waive this restriction is certain situations, depending on the individual’s work or educational history since having completed the science courses. A student who has science classes older than seven years should contact the Director of Nursing. The seven year restriction does not apply for students eligible for the transition option as it is presumed these individuals have been using that knowledge in their work in the healthcare field.