Apr 23, 2024  
Catalog 2009-2010 
    
Catalog 2009-2010 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing (Transition Option), A.S.


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Program: AS-25610

Unless otherwise noted, all nursing courses are typically 15 weeks in length. Students should refer to the course description section of the catalog for specific information regarding the required courses.

Nursing


The purpose of the Nursing program is to participate as an active partner in meeting the health care needs of the community by educating and preparing entry-level professional nurses to practice in a variety of settings. The faculty is committed to the professional development of the student, the support of the institution within the community, and the enhancement of the nursing profession.

The Nursing Program fulfills responsibilities to the students, the broader community, and the nursing profession by:

  • Fostering and developing creative, innovative, and positive learning experiences that support the profession’s defined standards of care.
  • Providing faculty who serve as role models and mentors for the students, the community, and the profession.
  • Creating a learning environment in which students are provided the opportunity to develop the cognitive, affective,and psychomotor skills necessary to assume the role of a professional nurse.

Graduates of the Nursing Program are awarded the Associate in Science in Nursing degree and are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination-RN to become a licensed registered nurse. The PSC Nursing Program is approved by the Florida Board of Nursing and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), 61 Broadway, New York, NY, 10006; telephone: 1-800-669-1656.

Two program options are offered: the Generic option for individuals without a current Florida Health Care license, and the Transition option for individuals holding one of the following current Florida licenses or certificates in a direct patient care health field: Licensed Practical Nurse, Paramedic, Respiratory Therapist, Physical Therapist Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, X-ray Technician, or Cardiovascular Technician. The College seeks to provide as many qualified graduates as feasible, subject to the availability of clinical and academic resources, the existence of community need, and the number of qualified applicants.

Nursing is a limited admission program and each applicant must first be admitted to the College and meet pre-admission requirements. Applicants with the best qualifications according to the selection criteria and who meet and comply with all other admission policies, procedures, and requirements will be admitted to the program. The College reserves the right to change program and admission requirements, as need dictates.

As part of the program, students are assigned to clinical experiences in various health care facilities in Polk County, and to a limited extent, facilities in neighboring counties. For the required clinical experiences, students may be assigned to a day shift (6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.), or evening shift (2:30 p.m. to - 11:00 p.m.), or a combination thereof, throughout the week or on weekends. Students are expected to acquire many skills and competencies in the program which necessitates individual time in the on-campus nursing laboratory with a minimum of 2 hours per week required. Students are also advised that assignments of clinical days, times, and facilities are made by the nursing faculty, and flexibility is expected. Nursing class and clinical time usually demand a minimum of 3 days per week. Study time and practice time necessary to be successful are at least equivalent to the class and clinical requirements. Applicants are encouraged to arrange individual and dependable transportation prior to admission. Students interested in the program are encouraged to consider completing all of the non-nursing course requirements prior to application.

Students are also strongly encouraged to investigate financial aid eligibility (Pell grants, etc.) at the time of application to the College and/or to the program. Students who wait until the time of college registration or until acceptance to the program are generally too late to qualify for funds for that term. Students need to be aware of financial aid limitations regarding minimum credit hours taken per term so that plans can be made to accommodate any adjusted financial resources. Information regarding assistance is available through Financial Aid. In addition to the tuition and fees, there are additional expenses such as textbooks and other course materials and uniforms, which may possibly not be covered by financial aid.

The Florida Board of Nursing has the authority to deny licensure as a registered professional nurse to applicants with a conviction, a plea of no-contest, or guilty plea, regardless of adjudication, for any offense other than a minor traffic violation. Applicants for admission with any record of a criminal charge must report this information to the Program Director at the time of application. Any charges which arise after admission must also be reported to the Program Director .

Florida Nursing Students Association (FNSA)

The FNSA is a pre-professional student organization that is affiliated with the National Student Nurse Association. Students interested in nursing as a career, but not yet admitted to the nursing program, are eligible and encouraged to join the association after successfully completing 9 credit hours of program requirements. For further information, students may contact the Nursing Recruiter at 863-292-3689 or nursing@polk.edu.

Health Requirements

Potential applicants for admission should be aware that there are health requirements for admission and continued enrollment in the Program. Students are encouraged to get the required immunizations early so as to avoid a large financial burden at the time of admission. These requirements include:

  • Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) vaccination: Once received, this immunization is good for 10 years. Students should make sure the vaccine received contains Pertussis; a normal tetanus immunization given to adults does not contain pertussis.
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccination: Individuals born before 1957 are required to have physician-documented evidence of disease or an MMR titer to verify immunity. Individuals born after 1957 must have documentation of receiving MMR immunizations (a 2-step process), and if that cannot be verified, then the MMR titer must be done. Once completed, additional vaccinations or titers are not needed.
  • PPD Tuberculosis skin test: If an individual has never had a PPD or if it has been more than a year since a PPD, the initial testing is a 2-step process, two tests up to 1 to 3 weeks apart. The subsequent PPD is a single test repeated annually. The student must always maintain a current PPD. Individuals who have had a positive PPD must have documentation of a negative chest X-ray within the past year.
  • Hepatitis B vaccination: This immunization is not required, but is strongly encouraged. It is a 3-step process. The series does not have to be completed at the time of admission, but should be in progress. Following the third injection, a
  • titer is required to verify immunity. The titer is a one-time procedure.
  • Hepatitis C test: A titer is required. This is a one-time procedure. Individuals who test positive must meet with the Nursing Director to discuss any further requirements.
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox) test: A titer is required. This is a one-time procedure. If the titer is negative, a Varicella immunization is required.

In addition to the immunization requirements, potential applicants should be aware that nursing is a physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding profession. In order to be admitted and retained in the program, all applicants and students must be able to demonstrate the ability to independently perform the following essential cognitive, affective, and psychomotor functions and expectations of nursing performance. These functions are:

  • Sufficient visual acuity, such as is needed in the accurate preparation and administration of medications, and for the observations necessary for safe patient assessment and nursing care.
  • Sufficient auditory perception to receive verbal communication from patients and members of the health team, including occurrences where face masks are worn by personnel (which precludes lip reading), and to assess health needs of people through the use of monitoring devices such as cardiac monitors, stethoscopes, infusion pumps, fire alarms, and other equipment with alarms or auditory signals.
  • Sufficient gross and fine motor coordination to respond promptly, and to implement the skills required in meeting health needs including the manipulation of equipment and supplies.
  • Sufficient communication skills in speech, reading, and writing in the English language to interact effectively and safely with individuals, and to communicate patient needs promptly as may be necessary in rendering patient care.
  • Sufficient tactile ability to conduct physical assessments, to distinguish significant temperature differences, and to determine the safe use of objects in a person’s environment.
  • Sufficient physical abilities to quickly move from room-to-room, to maneuver in small spaces and in spaces containing numerous pieces of patient care equipment, and to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other life-saving skills in typical patient care situations.
  • Sufficient interpersonal abilities to interact therapeutically and professionally with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds, as well as with individuals with emotional or psychological illnesses.
  • Sufficient coping and communication skills to handle stressful situations in a calm and professional manner .
  • Sufficient intellectual and critical thinking skills to make safe and rapid clinical decisions, identify cause and effect relationships, and to develop safe and effective nursing care plans.
  • Sufficient stamina to provide patient care and related responsibilities for extended periods of time (8-12 hours or more).
  • Sufficient ability to quickly and safely implement written or verbal medical and nursing plans of care.
  • Sufficient ability to effectively handle multiple priorities in a stressful situation.

Selection Criteria

The Nursing Selection Committee will consider all eligible applicants and select the most qualified applicants for admission based on completed courses, current enrollment, and cumulative grade point average in program courses and overall courses taken. Final acceptance and enrollment is based on the completion with a “C” or better of required courses that are in progress at the time of application, and the completion of other requirements listed below. If the number of applicants exceeds the available positions, selection will be based on a point system that considers factors such as grades earned in the first enrollment in program courses, overall GPA, credit hours completed at PSC, residency in Polk County, current employment in a health care facility in Polk County, and obtainment of a previous college degree. This list is not meant to be all inclusive; PSC reserves the right to make changes in the admission criteria as circumstances require. Every reasonable effort will be made to communicate changes in the program to interested students.

Additional Admission Requirements

After a student is notified of acceptance for admission, the following requirements must be completed and current in order to finalize the admission process and remain enrolled in the program.

  1. Physical examination and evaluation of essential functions
  2. Immunizations and communicable disease screenings
  3. Current American Heart Association (or similar provider) CPR Certification for Health Care Providers
  4. Drug screening by department-approved vendor
  5. National background checks by department-approved vendor
  6. Signed affidavit attesting to the non-committance of specific criminal acts
  7. Nursing Orientation

The Department of Nursing provides information regarding the completion of these additional admission requirements with the acceptance letter. Applicants with specific conviction histories or positive drug screenings may ultimately not be accepted into the Nursing Program. Specific conviction histories or positive drug screenings occurring after full admission and matriculation in the program will be addressed by Department policy and may result in dismissal from the Program.

NOTE: Once admitted to the nursing program, there are program restrictions and requirements which must be met for the student to remain enrolled in the program. Admitted students should see the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Policy Manual for details.

Program Cost

The approximate cost of the nursing program is $10,000. This includes everything from the prerequisite courses and lab fees, to program-support courses, uniforms, physical examinations, immunizations, nursing course materials, application for licensure, etc., and the PSC Nursing Pin, which is awarded upon successful completion of the program and graduation. This figure does not include the cost of any college preparatory courses.

Potential Earnings

Graduates of the program can expect a beginning base pay of approximately $40,000-$50,000.

Transfer Students from Another Nursing Program

A student requesting transfer into the Polk State College (PSC) Nursing Program must be in good academic standing in the program from which transfer is desired and must be eligible to continue in that program.

Transfers are accepted on the basis of space availability and are determined by the Director of Nursing. Students are required to make an appointment with the Director as the first step in the transfer process. Course documents or other materials which outline in detail the content of courses completed must be available for the Director’s review to determine potential appropriate placement. Competency testing may be required for demonstration of theoretical knowledge and skills proficiency. Transfer students must meet all of the same requirements as other PSC students.

Dual Enrollment Option with Florida Southern College (FSC)

The dual enrollment agreement between PSC and FSC offers selected students the opportunity to complete a baccalaureate degree in nursing from FSC in a shorter period of time. Students will take the nursing courses of FSC’s RN to BSN program as evening classes while enrolled in the PSC nursing program. To qualify for this program, students must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 at the time of admission to the dual enrollment program and must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the dual enrollment program. Students must apply for admission to FSC and meet FSC requirements for admission into the FSC Evening Program. Students must have satisfactorily completed the first clinical course of the PSC nursing program (NUR 1211C, Adult Health I, or its equivalent) to be eligible to enroll in the first baccalaureate nursing course at FSC.

Although the general education courses required by PSC will satisfy some of the general education courses required by FSC, additional general education courses are required. The left column in the following chart lists the FSC course; the right column lists the PSC courses which FSC has determined to be equivalent. Those marked with an asterisk (*) are also required by the PSC nursing program. Students interested in this accelerated program are encouraged to have all general education courses completed prior to beginning the program.

FSC Requirements for RN-BSN PSC Equivalent Courses
ENG 101 (3) ENC 1101*
ENG 102 (3) ENC 1102
HIS 101 or 102 (3) WOH 1012 or 1022
Literature (3) Any LIT course
Fine Arts (3) HUM 2020*
Social Science (6) PSY 2012* and DEP 2004
Biological Science (4) BSC 2085C*
Computer Science or Math or Natural Science (4) BSC 2086C*
Natural Science (4) MCB 2010C*
Interdisciplinary/cultural studies (6) REL 2300
REL 205 or 206 (3) Religion or Philosophy (3) REL 2300 or PHI 2010 or PHI 2600
Mathematics (3) Nursing requires a statistics course to satisfy the math requirement

STA 2023 or STA 2122 (STA 2023 will meet PSC’s math requirement; PSC also accepts MAC 1105,
MGF 1106 or 1107 for its math requirement but these are not acceptable for FSC)

The baccalaureate courses required for the nursing major at FSC consists of 45 hours of nursing and other core courses for the major which must be taken at FSC. Students must take an additional 14 hours of credit of general education or elective courses taken at FSC to meet FSC credit hour requirements to receive a degree from FSC. Students should keep this requirement in mind when taking the general education courses listed above.

Students who have met the general education requirements and who enroll in the nursing courses in the sequence planned by FSC would be able to complete 30 hours of the nursing courses while enrolled in the PSC nursing program. The remaining hours are taken after PSC graduation and will require the graduate to have successfully passed the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Interested students should contact the FSC College of Nursing for an advising appointment. These requirements noted above are established by FSC, and PSC has no authority to waive any requirements or approve any course substitution.

Admission Information: Transition Option


The application for admission to the Transition Option must be submitted to the Polk State College (PSC) Admissions Office during the application period in early spring for an August admission. For exact dates, please see the nursing department webpage on PSC’s website: www.polk.edu. Polk County Residents, individuals who work for Polk County health care facilities, and/or students completing the majority of the required credit hours at PSC are given preference in the selection process when all other academic requirements have been met. The general education courses required for the Generic option will also be required for the Transition option.

The following prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better (or be in progress) at the time of application to the Transition option.

Exemptions for the Reading Requirement:


A reading score exempting enrollment in college preparatory reading courses, or satisfactory completion of these preparatory courses is also required. Other exemptions for the reading requirements include: (1) an ACT score of 18; (2) an SAT score of 440; (3) EAP 1520C with a “C” or better; (4) a previous college degree; or (5) other demonstration of reading ability and aptitude for college-level work as determined by College standards.

Students are strongly encouraged to also complete the following additional courses prior to admission:


Additional Information:


All other information regarding the Transition Option is the same as for the Generic option except:

  1. The seven-year limit regarding completion of science courses is waived for licensed/certified health care workers who have been actively working in the health care field.
  2. A copy of the applicant’s unrestricted current Florida health care license or certificate must be submitted along with the completed Nursing Program Application during the indicated period.
  3. Applicants must submit evidence of at least one year employment in the field of the license/certificate after receiving the license/certificate.

All students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 at the time of admission to any of the program options. Students who are eligible for the Transition Option  may apply for admission to the Generic Option if preferred. The Transition program is an accelerated program and a student who has significant work or family responsibilities or who does not have acute care experience is encouraged to consider the Generic Option. If that option is chosen, the applicant must follow admission requirements and program progression requirements for that option.

Program Prerequisites


Exemptions for the Reading Requirement:


A reading score exempting enrollment in college preparatory reading courses, or satisfactory completion of these preparatory courses is also required. Other exemptions for the reading requirement include: (1) an ACT score of 18; (2) an SAT score of 440; and (3) EAP 1520C with a “C” or better; (4) a previous college degree; or (5) other demonstration of reading ability and aptitude for college-level work as determined by College
standards.

Course Sequence


Courses designated with an (*) must be taken in the following order if not completed with a “C” or better prior to admission, or prior to the nursing course with which it is sequenced in the list below. Students are encouraged to complete these courses prior to admission.

January (13 Credit Hours)


May (12 weeks) ( 10 credit Hours)


  • Following completion of NUR 2057C, Transition III, and all program requirements for eligibility for graduation, students in the Transition program will be awarded 7 credits on the basis of current certification/license.

Total Program Hours; 72


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