Practical Nursing: Occupational Certificate (OC)

Application Period for 2019 Fall Term: Jan. 14, 2019 – April 12, 2019

Practical Nursing is a selective enrollment program that accepts students each fall term. All applicants must meet the minimum requirements to be considered for admission. Applicants are not guaranteed admission because they have met the minimum requirements.

Application Process

Complete the steps of the application process:

Apply to South Florida State College.
Demonstrate competency in English, Reading, and Math.
Apply to Practical Nursing program.
Achieve competitive scores on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS).
Submit student references.

I.  Apply to South Florida State College

  1. Complete a General Student Application to South Florida State College.
  2. Send official high school transcript or GED transcript to the Admissions Office.
  3. Send official transcripts from all the colleges or schools you have attended since high school to the Admissions Office.
  4. All new students and students returning to SFSC after an absence of two or more years are required to attend new student orientation, Guide to Personal Success (GPS). After you submit your application to SFSC, you will receive an email invitation that explains your options for attending orientation. You may select an orientation that is convenient for you; however, you must complete orientation before you can register for classes. If you need assistance completing orientation, email the Career Development Center or call 863-784-7412.

If you need assistance completing the steps for admission to South Florida State College, visit the Admissions Office, Building B, Highlands Campus, or call 863-784-7105.

II. Demonstrate Competency in English, Reading, and Math

Applicants to the Practical Nursing program must demonstrate that they are competent in English, Reading, and Math. You may satisfy this requirement by completing any one of these three options:

  1. Demonstrate that you have attempted college-level English and math.
  2. Show that you have earned an Associate in Arts (AA) degree or higher.
  3. Earn the minimum scores on the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE). Minimum scores are 11 in Math, 11 in English, and 11 in Language.

TABE exams are administered by the Testing and Assessment Center. If you need assistance scheduling your exam, email the Testing Center or call 863-784-7214.

III. Apply to the Practical Nursing Program

Complete an online application to the Practical Nursing program.

IV. Achieve Competitive Score on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)

SFSC’s Nursing Department uses the TEAS exam to determine whether applicants are academically prepared for learning nursing-related content. To be considered for admission to the Practical Nursing program, you must log into your ATI account and submit your TEAS transcript to SFSC before the application period ends.

You may schedule the TEAS exam through the Testing and Assessment Center, or submit scores from a TEAS exam you took within the past five years. Scores from TEAS exams taken at other colleges are also accepted.

You may take the TEAS at any time during the year. Once you complete the exam, you will receive instructions for accessing your results. If you wish to improve your scores, you make retake the TEAS up to three times during a calendar year while waiting three months between each attempt. However, you must retake the entire exam.

Practical Nursing target scores are 70% Reading, 65% English, 65% Science, and 65% Math.

Meeting TEAS target scores does not guarantee admission into the program.

If you need assistance scheduling your TEAS exam, email the Testing Center or call 863-784-7214.

TEAS study guides and are available at the SFSC Bookstore and through online retailers. Practice tests and assessments are available at

V. Submit Student References

Use the Nursing Department Student Reference Form and obtain three written references as follows:

  • One – from your current or most recent employer or instructor
  • Two – professional references

The Nursing Department prefers that the person providing the reference mails it directly to the SFSC Division of Health Sciences (address is provided on the form). However, references will also be accepted if they are hand-delivered by the applicant in a sealed envelope that contains the reference’s signature across the back flap. These hand-delivered references are to be placed in the dropbox located outside the Health Sciences division doors in the Health and Science Education Center, Highlands Campus.

Selection Process

Once applicants have completed all steps in the admission process and have been found to meet the minimum requirements for admission, they are ranked by their TEAS scores.

In May successful applicants receive an email that explains how they may reserve their seat. Any unclaimed seat is offered to the next qualified applicant. Once all seats are claimed, an email is sent to applicants who were not accepted.

Consult the College Catalog for more information about the ranking and selection process.

Program Compliance Requirements

All candidates accepted into a nursing program must submit to an official criminal history background check and drug screening. Some providers of clinical experiences do not allow individuals with certain types of criminal history into their facilities, in accordance with Florida Statute 468.3065. You may review an explanation of Program Disqualification Due to Past Convictions or contact the Florida Department of Health for more information.

Candidates are also required to submit program specific admission documentation to a third-party compliance management company, Castle Branch.