Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway

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The Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway was created to provide USF St. Petersburg or USF Sarasota-Manatee students pursuing a BS in biology to enjoy a seamless transition into USF College of Nursing's accelerated Bachelor of Science program. This joint effort by the USF System institutions enables students to have the unique combination of 1) a science-focused background in the STEM discipline of biology and 2) the academic and clinical rigor of the baccalaureate nursing degree.

About this Degree

Students will have opportunities for local clinical rotations in Pinellas, Sarasota or Manatee counties and the opportunity to engage in nursing research and global nursing experiences. The accelerated program prepares graduates to fill the employment demand for nurses and a provides the opportunity to transition into USF's nursing Master’s, PhD and DNP programs.

Accreditation - The baccalaureate, master's, and DNP programs at the USF College of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Visit our Accreditation page to learn more.


  • Admission Requirements

    Prerequisites and More

    The Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway is a student-centered program that provides access to an accelerated degree pathway for registered nurse education in the USF System. This is a full-time limited access program, as mandated by the state, and is structured sequentially. Admission is competitive.

    Information sessions are conducted at USFSP and USFSM throughout the year, with the application process taking place in Fall of the sophomore year. 

    Undergraduate admission to the College of Nursing is a limited-access program and uses selective criteria for the admission of students. Admissions are determined on the basis of availability of sufficient qualified faculty, laboratory and classroom facilities, and clinical teaching resources.

    Admission Requirements
    • Full-time, matriculated student with a major in biology at USF St. Petersburg or USF Sarasota-Manatee
    • Minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA on all undergraduate coursework
    • Application to USF College of Nursing by the published application deadline
    • If selected, participation in an interview with respective faculty from USF College of Nursing and USFSP or USFSM Department of Biology  

    Please note: Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission, as admission is competitive for limited-access programs.

    Progression Requirements
    • Maintain a 3.0+ GPA with grades of C or better in all state-mandated nursing common prerequisites
    • Adherence to approved program plan of study
    • Completion of BS in biology by accelerated nursing program start (Note: spring start only)
    The state-mandated nursing common prerequisites are required to be completed before the intended term of entry. A grade of C or better is required. USF courses are listed for planning purposes.
    • BSC 2085/L Human Anatomy & Physiology I, 4 semester hours
    • BSC 2086/L Human Anatomy & Physiology II, 4 semester hours
    • Any Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Biochemistry course (CHM, BSC, PHY, PCB, or BCH), 3 semester hours
    • DEP 2004 Human Growth & Development, 3 semester hours
    • HUN 2201 Human Nutrition, 3 semester hours
    • MCB 2000/L Microbiology, 4 semester hours
    • Any PSY, SYG, or SOP (Psychology, Sociology, or Social Psychology), 3 semester hours
    • STA 2014 Statistics, 3 semester hours 

    Important Notification:

    All admitted nursing students are required to complete a Background Check, Immunization Verification, and Drug Screening. Admitted students will be provided with the steps to complete this process.

    Complete By: First week of class
    Required Immunizations: MMR, Varicella, Hepatitis B, Tdap Booster (Documentation), TB Skin Test, CPR Certification (American Heart Association), Flu Shot

    Note: This requirement is not the same as the USF Student Health Services (USF Health Form) and cannot be submitted as a substitute.

    For more information about this program, contact your biology advisor at USF St. Petersburg or USF Sarasota-Manatee.

  • Curriculum

    USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) has one entry point and USF St. Petersburg (USFSP) has two entry points into the Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway program. The curriculum for both institutions is listed below. Please refer to the curriculum for your respective institution or contact your academic adviser.

    College of Nursing Progression Program Plan: Courses listed are published for information purposes and may be subject to change, dependent on catalog year. Upon acceptance into the program, a program plan is provided to each student.

    Total Nursing Credit Hours 62: includes 690 clinical and simulation hours, as well as 60 lab hours

    Total Biology Credit Hours 120: additional prerequisite courses may be required


    Select Your Entry Point:

    Curriculum (Nursing/Biology, USFSM) –
    • State-mandated nursing prerequisites (Fall Year 1 – Spring Year 3)
    • Nursing courses begin (Summer Year 3 – Spring Year 5)
    • Click here to download the full program plan.
    Curriculum (Nursing/Biology General, USFSP) –
    • State-mandated nursing prerequisites (Fall Year 1 – Fall Year 4)
    • Nursing courses begin (Summer Year 3 – Spring Year 5)
    • Click here to download the full program plan
    Curriculum (Nursing/Biology Biomedical Sciences, USFSP) –
    • State-mandated nursing prerequisites (Fall Year 1 – Fall Year 4)
    • Nursing courses begin (Summer Year 3 – Spring Year 5)
    • Click here to download the full program plan
      Note: The listed courses are published for informational purposes only and are subject to change.

    • Apply

      Application Process

      Interested students who meet the minimum published criteria are encouraged to apply by deadline for each year. Follow the steps below to successfully apply for the Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway.

      1. Students must be admitted and matriculated to USF St. Petersburg (USFSP) or USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) as a full-time degree-seeking undergraduate student with a major of biology. 
      2. Attend an information session at USFSP or USFSM. Please see your academic advisor for more information. 
      3. Meet with your academic advisor at USFSP or USFSM to confirm eligibility for program and discuss plan of study.
      4. Submit the Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway application.


      If accepted to the Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway, complete the College of Nursing Student Online Application Request (SOAR) in your semester of graduation. This application requires an active university identification number (UID) to apply. All students receive their UID after admission to the university.

      Apple users, please note: The SOAR application is not compatible with the Safari internet browser; please use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as an alternative.

    • Application Deadlines

      Deadlines & Orientation Dates

      All steps in the application process must be completed by 5 p.m. on the deadline for the application term. 

      Biology Majors (Graduating after Fall 2017)

      Timeline for biology majors at USFSP and USFSM who will follow the SNAP Program plan of study

      Term Application Opens Deadline to Apply
      Spring 2020 TBA TBA
      These requirement listings are for informational purposes only and are superseded by the academic catalog for your intended term of entry. Be sure to reference the catalog for more information.

    • FAQs

      1. I want to become a part of the USF Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway. How do I apply?

        We are excited to formally announce this innovative partnership, applications opened the Fall 2017 semester. Advisors from USF St. Petersburg or USF Sarasota-Manatee will begin sharing information about the program during new student orientations and academic advising sessions this summer. The USF College of Nursing will be holding information sessions on campus at USFSP and USFSM to provide more information about the pathway and application process for interested students. Be sure to talk with your USFSP or USFSM advisor about this new program, and look for us on campus in the fall semester. Additional details and communication will be shared through the website and the biology departments.

      2. What makes this program special?

        The Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway creates an opportunity for students from USF St. Petersburg or USF Sarasota-Manatee to earn a Bachelor of Science in Biology from their respective institutions, followed by a seamless transition to USF College of Nursing’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing program. The two USF degrees can be completed in five years.

        This joint effort by the USF System institutions will enable students to have the unique combination of a science-focused background in the STEM discipline of biology and the academic and clinical rigor of the baccalaureate nursing degree. While in the accelerated nursing program, students will be provided clinical opportunities in their local community (Pinellas, Sarasota or Manatee counties) and will also have the opportunity to engage in nursing research and global nursing experiences. Graduates of USF's Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway will be ready to fill the high employment demand for nurses and will also be prepared for graduate or doctoral education.

        According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2013), “graduates of accelerated programs are prized by nurse employers who value the many layers of skill and education these graduates bring to the workplace. Employers report that these graduates are more mature, possess strong clinical skills, and are quick studies on the job.”

      3. What extra opportunities will I have as a part of this pathway?

        Students in the USF Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway will be provided specific programming opportunities only afforded to those participating in the program. This may include undergraduate research, specialized programming, early connections with USF Nursing faculty, sessions held on campus at USFSP or USFSM, and collaborative academic advising from USFSP/USFSM and USF Nursing.

      4. What does limited access mean?

        The undergraduate program in the USF College of Nursing is designated as "limited access " because we have a limited number of seats available due to clinical placement, faculty-to-student ratios, and classroom/lab space. Because we have far more qualified applicants than seats available, admission to the program is highly competitive and meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

      5. If selected, will I be a USF Tampa student or a USF St. Petersburg / USF Sarasota-Manatee student?

        The unique nature of this partnership is that you will remain an active, degree-seeking student at your home institution until graduation with the bachelor's degree in biology. While not a USF Tampa student until graduation, you are eligible to take USF Tampa courses. In particular, the USF College of Nursing offers online sections of Human Anatomy & Physiology (both I and II), Microbiology, and Nutrition each semester. These courses are state-mandated nursing prerequisites that must be completed as a part of your program of study.

      6. Where will I go for academic advising?

        Students will have academic advising available to them from both USFSP or USFSM and USF Nursing. Your primary academic advisor is your biology advisor at USFSP or USFSM. Your number one goal is developing a plan to set you on the right track to earn the bachelor's degree in biology, and he/she will be the best resource for you. Advisors at the USF College of Nursing will work collaboratively with you as a student, and the academic advisors at the USF system institutions, to ensure a seamless transition from the biology degree to the accelerated nursing program.

      7. What will my plan of study look like?

        Be sure to review the Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway curriculum. This program of study outlines all requirements for the BS in biology from USFSP/USFSM and the BS in nursing from USF Tampa. If you are bringing in credits (AP, IB, CLEP, dual enrollment/transfer, etc), you can work with your academic advisor on what credits will meet these requirements.

      8. Can I move through the program quicker than the proposed curriculum outline?

        As you can see from the curriculum plan, this is an intensive program of study, designed to complete two bachelor's degrees in just 5 years. You will want to work with your academic advisor to develop a plan of study that will ensure your success and keep you on track for the Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway. If you are bringing in AP, IP, CLEP and/or dual enrollment credit it could help to lighten the course load for you. Remember that, currently, the Accelerated Nursing program has only a spring start. Accelerating your timeline to complete the biology degree does not necessarily mean that you would accelerate your start in the nursing program.

      9. Can I transfer to USF Tampa without completing the biology degree?

        Students in the Suncoast Accelerated Nursing Pathway must follow the program plan and meet progression requirements to continue into the USF nursing program. This means that the bachelor's degree in biology must be earned from USFSP or USFSM to be eligible to progress on the accelerated pathway. Students who transfer prior to degree completion will no longer be eligible and would need to follow the application process and deadlines for the Upper Division nursing major.

      10. What happens if I don't meet the progression requirements?

        If the progression requirements are not met, you will not be able to continue on the pathway into nursing. You would work with your academic advisor at USFSP or USFSM to identify other avenues to achieve your goal, which could possibly include applying to the USF College of Nursing after graduation and/or looking at applying to other nursing programs in the area.

      11. Are scholarships available?

        You can visit your respective institutions scholarship website page for information: