The Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program (RN to BSN Program) provides registered nurses who have an associate's degree in nursing or diploma in nursing with the opportunity to advance in their educational and career goals. Through this program, students build upon the foundational knowledge and skills attained in previous nursing courses and experiences. Upper-division coursework in the RN to BSN Program at Polk State College places emphasis on nursing leadership and professional development in order to transform registered nurses into leaders prepared to provide excellent, evidence-based care for diverse populations.
The Polk State College BSN Program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), located at 3343 Peachtree Road, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326; telephone: (404) 975-5000.
Admission to the BSN Program requires the applicant to have an active, unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse (which requires verification from the state that issued the license); an associate's degree in nursing from a regionally accredited institution, or a diploma in nursing from an institution accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission; and at least a cumulative 2.5 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 point scale in all postsecondary coursework. Students must meet the requirements for college-level mathematics, reading, and writing. Any deficiencies must be satisfied prior to admission to the baccalaureate program. If the student's associate's degree is from a non-regionally accredited institution, but is nationally accredited, the degree qualifies for admissions, but a course-by-course evaluation is done according to Polk State College's transfer practices and policies.
The RN to BSN Program coursework requires access to a reliable computer and Internet connection. Students are expected to have basic computer competence upon admission.
The student must maintain an active, unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse while enrolled in the RN to BSN Program. Upon admission, each student is required to sign an affidavit attesting to good moral character and pledging to adhere to the professional standards of conduct set forward in Florida Statute 464, The Nurse Practice Act. Registered nurses who are enrolled as students are expected to maintain current certification in CPR, obtain an annual screening for TB exposure (PPD), maintain appropriate vaccinations to protect against occupational exposures (i.e., Tdap, MMR, Hepatitis B, and Varicella), adhere to safe and accepted use of prescribed drugs, and avoid the use of illicit substances.
Students who have started the RN to BSN Program at another institution may be eligible to transfer to Polk State College. Transcripts are reviewed on a course-by-course basis to determine equivalency to Polk State College courses.
Course Progression in the RN to BSN Program
The RN to BSN curriculum provides a flexible format that minimizes the prerequisites needed for students to progress. Students are not required to complete all lower-division courses before enrolling in upper-division courses. Most upper-division courses may be taken in a non-sequential format; however, there is a recommended sequence. All students must take NUR 3825 Professional Role Transformation as the first upper-division nursing course, and must take NUR 4940 Professional Nursing Excellence as the last upper-division nursing course in the program. There is sufficient reinforcement of key concepts across the curriculum, without redundancy of material, to enable students to be successful if courses are taken in a variable order or on a part-time schedule due to work and family responsibilities. In order to promote timely progression toward graduation, most of the upper-division courses are offered in 8-week Fasttrack terms. This format allows part-time students to complete the 42 upper-division credit hours in seven semesters and full-time students to complete these courses in four semesters. Suggested course sequences for full-time and part-time students are located on the Nursing Program website (or these can be obtained from an advisor). Due to the pace and rigor of courses, students should not enroll in more than two Nursing Program courses during each 8-week Fasttrack term.
At the completion of the program, the graduate is expected to:
- Demonstrate high moral and ethical standards in professional nursing practice.
- Exhibit skills in nursing leadership to promote effective communication, thus building collaborative relationships in a variety of settings.
- Use emerging technologies to manage health information and guide professional decision-making.
- Integrate nursing science in making evidence-based clinical judgments to provide safe, cost-effective, high quality care.
- Cultivate a spirit of inquiry by using scholarly evidence and published theories or frameworks to implement changes in nursing practice.
- Implement a culturally competent, health-promoting plan of care for individuals, families, and community to provide for multidimensional comfort and safety.
- Advocate for the nursing profession with regard to health legislation and regulation.
- Value continuous learning that empowers personal and professional growth.
Concurrent Enrollment in the AS and BS in Nursing Degree Programs (V6110)
Students enrolled in the Associate in Science in Nursing degree program at Polk State may take selected baccalaureate nursing classes concurrently with associate-level classes as space is available. To be eligible for concurrent enrollment, students must meet the following four requirements: (1) have a completed AA degree or the equivalent; (2) complete NUR 1211C Adult Health I or NUR 1020C Foundations of Nursing Practice, and NUR 1140C Pharmacology (or alternatively, NUR 1033C Transition I or NUR 1051C Health Professional to RN:Transition I and NUR 1140C Pharmacology) with at least a B; (3) earn at least a B in all nursing courses in the first enrollment in each course; and (4) have at least a 3.0 overall cumulative GPA.