Admission Process for Practical Nursing (PN) Occupational Certificate Program

Applicants must submit separate applications to South Florida State College and to the SFSC Nursing Education Department for the Practical Nursing (PN) occupational certificate program.

The Nursing Education Department accepts applications to the PN program the second week in January until the second Friday in April. In May, the department notifies candidates by email of their initial acceptance into the program.

This is a limited-access program. Applicants are not guaranteed acceptance because they have completed prerequisite courses, completed their application package, or met the minimum requirements for admission. For a complete explanation of how the selection process is conducted, consult the College Catalog.

South Florida State College Admission Requirements

Complete these requirements through the SFSC Admissions Office.

Complete the Application for Admission to South Florida State College and pay the non-refundable application fee. 
Submit your official high school transcript, GED, or equivalent, verifying that you have graduated from high school. Each transcript must come directly from your school to the SFSC Admissions Office via the mail or by electronic transfer.
Complete any developmental courses you are required to take. This is determined by your results on the TABE.
If you have been convicted of certain crimes, you may be disqualified from admission to an SFSC nursing program. Before you complete prerequisite courses and other pre-admission requirements, read material on Program Disqualification Due to Past Convictions so that you may determine whether state laws allow you to work as a health care provider.

Nursing Program Application Process

Provide an official college transcript showing that you have completed HSC 0003C – Introduction to Health Care (90 contact hours within the last two years) and all other course work attempted. Applicants must achieve a grade of C or higher in prerequisite.
Take the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE), Level A, and earn minimum scores of 11-Reading; 11-Mathematics; and 11-Language. You may schedule this test through the Testing Center.
Meet with your academic advisor in the Advising and Counseling Center to request a signed PDF of the Health Sciences Advising Referral Form: Nursing (Practical) (LPN) – 3400. Your advisor will send this to you by email.
Using the SFSC Nursing Department Student Reference Form, obtain references from the following sources: One reference from your current or most recent employer or instructor; and two additional professional references who are not family members. Mail references to the Health Sciences Division, Attn: Health Sciences Specialist, or deliver them in a sealed envelope with the reference author’s signature across the flap.
Once you have submitted your application and uploaded a testing referral form online, you will be emailed a testing referral form, which allows you to make an appointment to take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) at the Testing Center. The cost is $55, payable at the time the test is scheduled.

Requirements After Acceptance into Practical Nursing Program

Applicants are notified of acceptance by email. Once you notified that you have been accepted into the program, you must:
checkboxAttend the mandatory information session.
Complete the forms described in the Nursing Student Checklist and submit them to the Health Sciences specialist, located in the Health and Science Education Center, Room 133.
After all forms have been submitted and a background check has been completed, you will receive a registration referral form to take to the Advising and Counseling Center and register for classes.

Selection Process

Students who meet the minimum requirements by the application deadline will be ranked in order, from highest to lowest, on a product score devised by multiplying the ATI TEAS Test score by the cumulative prerequisite GPA. Selection criteria is explained in the College Catalog.

In cases where all credentials are equal, the following criteria will be used in the given sequence to determine who will be admitted into the program:

  • Resident of SFSC’s service district (DeSoto, Hardee, or Highlands county)
  • Date the student submitted application

SFSC reserves the right to deny admission to anyone who lacks the required qualifications for the Practical Nursing (PN) program. Candidates must reapply if they wish to be considered for a subsequent class. Each class is selected from a new applicant pool.

Completion of all or part of the general education courses required in the degree does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

General Information

The Practical Nursing (PN) program has a strict attendance policy. This policy is published in the Nursing Student Handbook, which specifies the number of allowable absences for each portion of the program. If you have life or health conditions that might hinder attendance, you may wish to consider another program or delay your application until you are confident you can attend classes.

A Level 2 Fingerprinting Background Check and a drug screening are required of all nursing candidates. Some providers of clinical experience do not allow individuals with certain types of criminal history into their facilities. This may deny entrance into the program, because such individuals would not be able to complete clinical portions of the nursing program. The Florida Board of Nursing has the authority to deny a license to any applicant who is found guilty of violating Florida Statute 456.0635. For more information or questions regarding your status, visit the Florida Board of Nursing’s website or call 850-245-4125.

SFSC is a drug-free campus. Nursing students are required to submit to random drug testing.

Computer literacy must be demonstrated prior to graduation.

Additional Costs

Laboratory fees1,500
Graduation pin125
Travel expense500
NCLEX Exam fee404


Eleven months (8 credit hours / 1,350 contact hours / 45 occupational credits)