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Undergraduate Program

Veteran to VBSN (V-CARE)

Veteran to VBSN (V-CARE)

The V-CARE nursing pathway is designed for military medics, (health services technicians), and corpsmen to earn a baccalaureate nursing degree and enter the workforce as registered nurses.

About This Degree

The USF College of Nursing created the Veteran to BSN (V-CARE) pathway for service members and veterans who have completed training as Army and Air Force medics and Navy corpsmen. V-CARE is a student-centered program tailored to each veteran, acknowledging and recognizing the education and training that each student brings. V-CARE shortens the time to degree completion while maintaining the academic rigor, clinical quality, and high NCLEX pass rates for which USF College of Nursing is known.

This pathway was created in 2013 with the Veterans to Bachelor's grant support from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). V-CARE fills the need for those veterans who wish to pursue BSN coursework and continue their health care careers as nurses.

Like all our pre-licensure pathways, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing through the V-CARE nursing pathway provides graduates with the career opportunities of a registered nurse. The degree enables graduates to take the NCLEX-RN nurse licensure examination, and graduates of our program consistently exceed state and national averages in first-attempt pass rates. Our graduates are making an impact in hospitals in the Tampa Bay region, throughout the state of Florida, and beyond.

In addition to the hospital setting, career opportunities also exist in research, education, community and public health, government service, international health, and more. The degree also opens doors for the pursuit of graduate studies in nursing – MSN, DNP and PhD.

Accreditations - Visit our Accreditation page to learn more.

  • The V-CARE nursing pathway is 5 consecutive semesters and is meant for students who have completed nursing prerequisite courses and university general education requirements. This is a full-time, limited-access nursing pathway and is structured sequentially. Admission is competitive. Cohort size is determined by the amount of qualified faculty, laboratory and classroom facilities, and clinical teaching resources. To view our competitive undergraduate nursing pathway statistics, please click here.

    Criteria for Admissions

    • Admission to the University of South Florida by March 1st.
      • Apply directly to the semester you plan to begin classes at the university. Students who do not enroll in classes during the term they were admitted will have their admission to USF canceled for non-enrollment by the Office of Admissions.
      • Choose Nursing as your major and select Tampa as your campus as a degree-seeking student if you are applying directly to the fall semester when the V-CARE nursing pathway begins.
    • U.S. Army Medic, U.S. Air Force Medic, or U.S. Navy Corpsman training and experience.
      • Please submit your joint service transcript or Community College of the Air Force transcript directly to USF Admissions after submitting the university application to be evaluated for eligibility based on your training and experience.
      • All V-CARE nursing students are awarded credit for NUR 3225L Complex Health Nursing Clinical I (1 credit), NUR 4227L Complex Health Nursing Clinical II (1 credit), and NUR 4635L Public health Nursing Clinical (2 credits). Some students may receive additional credit for BSC 2085 and BSC 2085L Anatomy and Physiology I w/ Lab (4 credits) based on recommended credits in the military transcripts.
      • First degree seeking applicants that do not meet the military medic or corpsman experience requirement are encouraged to apply for the Upper Division nursing pathway. Students that have completed a bachelor’s degree can apply for the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway.
    • “Verified” NursingCAS application by February 15th.
      • Please use this guide to understand each status in NursingCAS and how to become verified.
    • 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA.
    • Completion of the 8 state-mandated nursing prerequisites with a B- grade or better.
      • Students may have their one, final nursing prerequisite in progress past the application deadline for the V-CARE nursing pathway, however, they will be offered conditional admission, if selected. These applicants will be required to submit proof of a B- grade or better earned in the final prerequisite course at the end of the spring semester. Students who earn a C+ or below in the final prerequisite will not meet the conditions of their admission and have their admission rescinded.
        • Please Note: Due to the recent change in the admission requirements, we will still consider a C grade or better on the nursing prerequisites and allow more than one final nursing prerequisite in progress for the Fall 2024 cycle, however, applicants who earn a B- or better on the nursing prerequisites and have at least 7 out of 8 courses complete prior to applying will be considered more competitive. Conditionally admitted students must maintain a 3.0 overall GPA.
      • The minimum overall nursing prerequisite GPA to be considered for admission is 3.0. All 8 state-mandated nursing prerequisite courses will be used to calculate the overall nursing prerequisite GPA. Applicants will be permitted to submit their best attempt for each nursing prerequisite. AP/CLEP exam scores, S/U grades, and Pass/Fail grades will be factored in as a B (3.0) if the student successfully earned credit. Students that have all 8 nursing prerequisites completed (with final grades posted) prior to the nursing application deadline and took all prerequisite courses within the last 5 years will have an added competitive edge in the admissions review process. 
    • ENC 1101 English Composition I (3 credits) and ENC 1102 English Composition II (3 credits) completed with a C grade or better.
      • Applicants with a FL AA degree from a school that is part of the Florida College System will automatically satisfy this requirement.
      • These courses cannot be in progress during the application cycle. 
      • Students who are not certain if their course will satisfy this requirement can submit an evaluation request directly to the USF English Department

    • State Computation Math (3 credits) completed with a C grade or better.
      • Applicants with an AA degree from a school that is part of the Florida College System will automatically satisfy this requirement.
      • MAC 1105 College Algebra or MGF 1106 Finite Mathematics preferred.
      • This course cannot be in progress during the application cycle.
      • Students who are not certain if their course will satisfy this requirement can submit an evaluation request directly to the USF Math Department. 
    • Completion of the university’s foreign language entrance requirement (FLENT), general education requirements, and Civics Literacy exam before the intended term of entry.
      • Transfer applicants who have obtained an Associate of Arts degree (AA) from the Florida College System or a conferred bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution automatically meet the general education requirements. FLENT and the Civics Literacy exam are not satisfied by the FL AA degree and must be completed separately. A bachelor’s degree will satisfy FLENT, general education requirements, but not the Civics Literacy exam requirement.

    Visit the online Undergraduate Catalog, select the appropriate catalog year, choose the College of Nursing, and select Admissions Requirements for more information.

    Important Notifications

    All admitted nursing students are required to complete a background check, immunization verification, drug screening, and more. Additionally, students will be required to provide proof of current health insurance. Admitted students will be provided with the steps to complete this process. It is important to note that most states require a social security number to take the NCLEX and/or to be issued a registered nurse license.

    Applicants who have attended, but not completed, another registered nursing program must provide a letter of good standing from the Dean of Nursing, or their appointed designee, that addresses the potential for success in a BSN program, safety in providing nursing care, interpersonal communication skills, and other information the campus director deems important. This letter should be uploaded to the NursingCAS application before submitting. Prior enrollment in another nursing program and/or nursing course failures may impact your admission decision. Please feel free to include a personal statement/cover letter in addition to the institution’s statement of good standing to describe the details surrounding the situation.

    Do you still have questions? Please attend an information session to learn more about the V-CARE nursing pathway or sign up for a nursing admissions advising session with one of our nursing admissions advisors!

  • The V-CARE nursing pathway is 5 consecutive semesters and admits once a year to the fall semester only.

    For information about curriculum, please consult the Undergraduate Catalog.

    Please review the College of Nursing Student Handbook for details on progression, policies, and standards for admitted nursing students.

  • Please follow these steps to be considered for the V-CARE nursing pathway. Applicants that do not meet all admission requirements and deadlines will not be considered.

    Transfer Applicants Only

    • Submit a USF Tampa Undergraduate Application through the USF Office of Admissions
      • Select “Bachelor’s Degree”.
      • Select Nursing as your major.
      • Select the Tampa campus and apply now.
      • Apply directly to the term you plan to start classes at USF.
    • Submit all official transcripts to USF Admissions.
      • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
      • Submit official AP, IB, CLEP, etc. test scores from CollegeBoard.
      • Some applicants may be required to submit additional documents as needed by the USF Office of Admission.
      • Submit an official joint service transcript and/or Community College of the Air Force transcript with qualifying medic or corpsman experience.

    All Applicants

    • Submit a NursingCAS Application
      • Students must have their USF ID number (Example: U12345678) before starting the NursingCAS application.
      • Select your intended term of entry.
      • Create a NursingCAS account and submit the application with fee.
      • Submit all official transcripts to NursingCAS.
        • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

    For technical questions regarding your NursingCAS account, please contact NursingCAS at 617-612-2880 or nursingcasinfo@nursingcas.org. Please refer to the Application Deadlines tab for reference if you do not see your desired term of entry in NursingCAS.

    Military Commissioning Program Applicants:

    • Military applicants who are also applying for a commissioning program will receive all supporting documentation for their packets after the College of Nursing has made final admission decisions and the intent to enroll process is complete. Please note that some of our nursing pathways may not qualify under certain commissioning program guidelines. Please contact your commissioning program military representative to inquire about the possibility of a waiver if you would like to attend a USF BSN pathway that does not meet the commissioning program requirements. The USF College of Nursing is not responsible for maintaining commissioning program application requirements or guidelines; therefore, we recommend doing research prior to submitting a nursing application to confirm eligibility. We can defer admission up to one year for students admitted to the USF College of Nursing awaiting their commissioning program committee to meet and make decisions. Please let one of our nursing admissions advisors know that you would like to be considered for a future term after submitting the NursingCAS application and we will make a note with your application. 

    • NECP Applicants: After submitting your Form 48, it may take up to 5 business days for the nursing advising team to review and obtain signatures. Students will also receive a tuition and fees statement and signed program plan with their signed Form 48 once the review is complete. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they are meeting both military and nursing deadlines. Form 48s that are not submitted to the appropriate advisor at least 5 business days before the NECP deadline are not guaranteed to receive their signed documents back in time.

    Note: The V-CARE nursing pathway is a limited-access program and requires both admission to the university and an application to the College of Nursing through NursingCAS. Admission to the university is not a guaranteed admission to the College of Nursing. Applicants must meet all minimum admission criteria, be officially admitted to USF for the correct term of entry and have a “verified” NursingCAS application by the nursing application deadline to be considered for admission to the desired nursing pathway. Any deviation from the posted criteria will cause the applicant to be ineligible for admission.

    The College of Nursing will evaluate prerequisite coursework after the USF Office of Admissions has determined course transferability to the university and posted the official results in DegreeWorks, which requires all official transcripts to be processed by the USF Office of Admissions. For questions regarding the status of your university application and transcript processing please call (813) 974-3350 or email at admissions@usf.edu.

    DegreeWorks can be found by logging into your OASIS account and clicking the link under the “Student” tab. Access DegreeWorks using your activated USF NetID. If you do not have a NetID, you will first need to activate it. Please view the Online Tutorial for Activating Your USF Net ID.

    Do you still have questions? Please attend an information session to learn more about the V-CARE nursing pathway or sign up for a nursing admissions advising session with one of our nursing admissions advisors!

  • August 1 USF application becomes available
    December 1 USF application priority deadline
    December 1 NursingCAS application opens
    January 10 Official transcript submission priority deadline*
    February 1 NursingCAS application closes
    February 1 USF transfer application completion deadline
    February 15 NursingCAS application “verified” status deadline
    March 1 Admission to USF deadline

    *Transcripts submitted to USF Admissions after this date are not guaranteed to be processed before the nursing application deadline passes. This may cause ineligibility.

    Nursing orientation is mandatory for all undergraduate students. Students who do not complete orientation will forfeit their seat in the program.

    Note: Please read the Admission Requirements and Application Process sections carefully. Applicants will be deemed ineligible for admission to the V-CARE nursing pathway if any portion of the process is not satisfied by the posted deadlines. Admission to the College of Nursing is not rolling at the undergraduate level. Once the nursing application deadline passes all eligible applicants will be evaluated. Please contact USF Undergraduate Admissions regarding your university application. The USF Office of Admissions cannot expedite processing for any student for any reason. We encourage military applicants to connect with the USF Office of Veteran Success. They can provide additional resources related to admissions, veterans benefits, and other support services.

    Do you still have questions? Please attend an information session to learn more about the V-CARE nursing pathway or sign up for a nursing admissions advising session with one of our nursing admissions advisors!

  • Q: How can I make myself a more competitive applicant to this nursing pathway?

    A: During the evaluation of your NursingCAS application we will be taking note of some experiences and attributes that align with our USF College of Nursing mission, vision, and values. Applicants that have certain healthcare experiences, student involvement in college, and served in leadership positions within those organizations will have space in NursingCAS to provide details about those experiences which could strengthen their application. Additionally, it is critical to perform well in all college level courses, including the state-mandated nursing prerequisites. The overall undergraduate GPA and overall nursing prerequisite GPA will be largely factored into the admissions decision. Applicants will be considered more competitive if they complete all 8 nursing prerequisites prior to the NursingCAS application deadline, with final grades posted, and have completed them within the last 5 years. Taking the preferred course numbers listed with the nursing prerequisites is another way to be considered more competitive in the admissions process.  

    Q: Will I be required to interview for the V-CARE nursing pathway?

    A: No, we no longer interview applicants to the V-CARE nursing pathway. Four short essay prompts have been incorporated into the NursingCAS application for you to answer. These short essays will provide the program with a well-rounded representation of your personal experiences and attributes that make you who you are. Applicants are encouraged to provide personal examples while answering the prompts. Please pay special attention to character limits, grammar/spelling, and be sure to answer the questions directly. Your essay responses will be de-identified prior to evaluation so that we can eliminate any potential implicit bias.

    Q: Would it be possible to submit additional documents with my application such as a personal statement, letters of recommendation, resume, or TEAS/HESI scores?

    A: No, the USF College of Nursing does not currently accept or review any of those supplementary materials in our admission process. We will delete or remove any of these additional files from the application if they are sent. Applicants that follow directions and read through the entire webpage for their intended pathway and review the NursingCAS application carefully are more likely to be successful in the admissions process. Please reach out to one of our nursing admission advisors if you have questions about the application process and what is required for admission.

    Q: Are admitted students permitted to request deferment to a future start date for the program?

    A: The only students that are permitted to request a deferred admission are military students who are attempting to submit for a commissioning program. We will reach out to applicants individually if a deferment opportunity becomes available, however, it is not guaranteed to be an option. Applicants should apply to USF and NursingCAS directly for the semester they plan to start the nursing program unless otherwise instructed by their academic advisor or nursing admissions advisor.

    Q: I earned college credit through AP/CLEP exams or S/U, Pass/Fail grades. Are these acceptable to satisfy the state-mandated nursing prerequisites?

    A: Yes, the USF College of Nursing factors all AP/CLEP exams that were successfully passed as a B (3.0) grade when calculating the overall nursing prerequisite GPA. The same rule applies for S/U and Pass/Fail graded courses. Applicants who submit a course graded as “pass” or S for “satisfactory” in NursingCAS as their best attempt on a nursing prerequisite will be assigned a B grade for that course. This does not apply to how your overall undergraduate GPA is calculated.

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  • Alaina Boudreau Alaina Boudreau
    Alaina Boudreau
    Admissions Recruiter Advisor