The Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program (RN-to-BSN Program) provides a registered nurse who has an associate's degree in nursing or diploma in nursing with the opportunity to advance in his or her educational and career goals. Through this program, the student builds 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 the registered nurse into a leader who is 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).
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3343 Peachtree Road, Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326
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 with General Education courses from a regionally accredited institution; and at least a cumulative 2.5 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 point scale in all postsecondary coursework. Each enrolling student must meet the requirements for college-level mathematics, reading, and writing and 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 one that 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. The student is 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 attest to good moral character and pledge to adhere to the professional standards of conduct set forward in Florida Statute 464, The Nurse Practice Act. Prior to enrolling in courses with a clinical component, the student must have current CPR certification, a current screening for TB exposure (PPD), and all appropriate vaccinations to protect against occupational exposures (i.e., Tdap, MMR, Hepatitis B, and Varicella). Each student is expected to adhere to safe and accepted use of prescribed drugs and avoid the use of illicit substances. Clinical agencies may require documentation of these requirements and may institute additional items in order for the student to be compliant with the agency requirements.
A student who has started an RN-to-BSN Program at another institution may be eligible to transfer to Polk State College. The transcript is 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 to progress. A student is 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. Each student must take NUR 3825 Professional Role Transformation as the first upper-division nursing course, and must take NUR 4940C 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 the student 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 an 8-week Fasttrack format. This format allows a part-time student to complete the upper-division credit hours in five semesters, and the full-time student to complete these courses in three semesters. Suggested course sequences for the full-time and part-time student are located on the Nursing Program website (or these can be obtained from an advisor). Due to the pace and rigor of courses, the student should not enroll in more than two Nursing Program courses during each 8-week Fasttrack session.
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 and management to promote evidence-based decision making and 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 communities to provide for multidimensional comfort and safety.
- Explore various levels of healthcare advocacy in diverse settings.
- Value continuous learning that empowers personal and professional growth.
Concurrent Enrollment in the AS and BS in Nursing Degree Programs (V6110)
A student 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, the student must meet the following requirements: (1) have a completed AA degree or the equivalent (equivalency is accepted only if the transfer student with insufficient credits to meet residency requirements earns a degree from a local institution); (2) complete NUR 1020C Foundations of Nursing Practice, and NUR 1140C Pharmacology (or alternatively NUR 1051C Health Professional to RN:Transition I and NUR 1140C Pharmacology) with at least a grade of B during the first enrollment; and (3) have at least a 3.0 overall cumulative GPA. A student who earns less than a grade of B in subsequent courses is encouraged to suspend concurrent enrollment until he or she has completed the AS degree. Once a student is accepted as a concurrently enrolled student, the student must commit to taking BSN classes each semester; however, the student can take no more than one BSN course at a time concurrently with AS courses. Students cannot take NUR4638C Community Nursing and NUR4940C Capstone until after graduation and earning the RN license. A student who earns less than a grade of C in any AS courses is not permitted to continue with concurrent enrollment in the program until completion of the AS degree and receipt of the RN license.