Veteran to Bachelor's (V-CARE)

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The USF College of Nursing created the Veteran to Bachelor's (V-CARE) Program 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 program was created in 2013 with Veterans to BSN (VBSN) 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 VBSN coursework and continue their health care careers as nurses.

About This Degree

Like all of our pre-licensure majors, earning a Bachelor of Science degree through the V-CARE major provides graduates with the career opportunities of a Registered Nurse. Graduates of the V-CARE program are ready to fill the high employment demand for nurses in the Tampa Bay region, throughout the state of Florida, and beyond. V-CARE graduates are well-poised to achieve career success in both the military and civilian sectors and consistently exceed state and national averages in first-attempt pass rates on the NCLEX-RN nurse licensure examination. The degree also opens doors for the pursuit of graduate studies in nursing – Master’s, DNP and PhD.

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 Veteran to Bachelor’s (V-CARE) program is typically completed in four consecutive semesters (after prerequisites, foreign language, and general education requirements). Graduates may then take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to earn their RN license. Prerequisites can be completed at any regionally accredited college/university with completion of nursing coursework at the Tampa campus.

    The V-CARE program is a full-time limited-access program, as mandated by the state, and is structured sequentially. Admission is competitive.

    Criteria for Admissions:
    • Admission to the University of South Florida (Tampa) as a degree-seeking undergraduate student 
    • Completed application to the College of Nursing prior to the published deadline for the intended term of entry 
    • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA on all undergraduate coursework 
    • Completion of the prerequisite courses by the intended term of entry into the nursing program.
      • Any outstanding prerequisite at the time of the nursing application must be completed with a B or better by the program start date. 
      • Students who do not have all the prerequisite courses completed by the intended term of entry may be eligible for conditional admission. 
    • Completion of ENC 1101 English Composition I, ENC 1102 English Composition II and State Computation Math (in addition to Statistics, i.e., MGF 1106 Finite Mathematics, MAC 1105 College Algebra or higher) by the published application deadline 
    • Completion of the university's foreign language entrance requirement and university general education requirements by the intended term of entry 
    • Participation in a formal interview with the College of Nursing faculty, if selected 

    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 course numbers are listed for planning purposes.

    • BSC 2085/L Human Anatomy & Physiology I with lab, 4 semester hours 
    • BSC 2086/L Human Anatomy & Physiology II with lab, 4 semester hours 
    • Any CHM, BSC, PHY, PCB, BCH (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Biochemistry) course, 3 semester hours 
    • DEP 2004 Human Growth and Development course (covering the life span), 3 semester hours 
    • HUN 2201 Human Nutrition, 3 semester hours 
    • MCB 2000/L Microbiology with lab, 4 semester hours 
    • Any PSY, SYG, or SOP (Psychology, Sociology, Social Psychology) course, 3 semester hours 
    • STA 2122 or 2023 Statistics or any Statistics course, 3 semester hours

    Admissions decisions will be based on cumulative undergraduate GPA, first-attempt grades in the prerequisites, a resume, and the interview to identify motivations for pursuing nursing and professional approaches to scenarios.

    Applicants with completed prerequisites may be eligible for admission to Fall V-CARE Program. Students who do not have all prerequisite courses completed by Fall admission cycle may be eligible for conditional admission to a later V-CARE program.

    USF Foundations of Knowledge and Learning (FKL) and Enhanced General Education Requirements

    The university has general education requirements for every program. Learn more from the academic catalog.

    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.

    USF Foundations of Knowledge and Learning (FKL) and Enhanced General Education Requirements 

    The university has general education requirements for every program. Learn more from the academic catalog.

    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.

  • Curriculum

    Courses listed are published for information purposes only.

    The V-CARE program sequences by semester as indicated are based on the full 12 credits of military awarded credit.

    Total Credit Hours 68: the minimum number of credits needed for the Veteran to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is 120. Up to 16 credits (which can include 4 credits of Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab, and if admitted to the V-CARE program, up to 12 upper-division nursing credits) can be awarded from the SMART/ACE transcript based on military training. The program includes 560 clinical and simulation hours, as well as 40 lab hours.

    Course Number Course Name  Credit Hours
    Level I Fall Semester
    NUR 3125 Pathophysiology 3
    NUR 3145 Pharmacology in Nursing Practice 3
    NUR 3081 Bridge to Professional Nursing
    4
    NUR 3081L Bridge to Professional Nursing Clinical 2
    NUR 3066L Health Assessment, Wellness and Prevention Across the Life Span Lab 1
    Level II Spring Semester
    NUR 4165 Evidence-Based Practice
    3
    NUR 3225 Complex Health Nursing I 3
    NUR 3225L Complex Health Nursing Clinical I 3
    NUR 4467 Nursing Care of Women, Children and Families 4
    NUR 4467L Nursing Care of Women, Children and Families Clinical
    3
    Level II/III Summer Semester  
    NUR 4535 Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing 3
    NUR 4535L Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Clinical 2
    NUR 4227 Complex Health Nursing II 4
    NUR 4227L Complex Health Nursing Clinical II 3
    NUR 4285 Healthy Aging: Nursing Care of Older Adults 2
    Level IV Fall Semester  
    NUR 4888 Coordination of Care in Nursing
    2
    NUR 4635 Public Health Nursing
    3
    NUR 4635L Public Health Nursing Clinical
    1
    NUR 4827 Role Transition and Leadership in Nursing 2
    NUR 4948L Preceptorship 5
    Approved by Faculty Council on 12/9/16 Curriculum update.

  • Apply

    Application Process

    Admission to the Veteran to Bachelor’s (V-CARE) program is a two-step process. Please follow the steps below to first successfully apply to the university and then separately to the V-CARE program. At this time, current USF students may skip step 1. Please make sure you check the military/veteran status and select pre-nursing as your major.

    1. Submit a USF Tampa Admissions Application

      Interested students who meet the minimum published criteria are encouraged to apply to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Submit a degree-seeking transfer application to Undergraduate Admissions. For questions regarding undergraduate admissions (including USF deadlines), please call (813) 974-3350 or check the websiteStudents must be admitted to the USF Tampa Campus.

      Submit required documentation: Submit official transcripts from every college or university attended, including any ACE and/or SMART transcripts directly to the USF Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, SVC1036, Tampa, FL 33620-6900. Transcripts will not be considered until they are received, unopened, and processed in the system by the Undergraduate Admissions office. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will decide what course work is transferable to the University.

    2. Submit a College of Nursing Application

      Once you have completed step 1, and have been admitted as an undergraduate pre-nursing student at USF, complete the College of Nursing application (SOAR). The application requires a university identification number (UID) to apply. All students receive their UID after admission to the university.

      Applicants are not required to have their prerequisites completed by the time the SOAR application to the College of Nursing’s V-CARE program closes; they may be conditionally admitted with the contingency that all remaining prerequisites are completed with a B or better by the start of the program in the Fall. Additionally, applicants who will not have their prerequisites completed by that current Fall should still apply as they may be eligible for conditional admission to a later V-CARE program.

    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

    Please note: We strongly recommend that students apply for general admission to USF Undergraduate Admissions at least three months before they plan to apply to the College of Nursing, as it can take Undergraduate Admissions up to eight weeks to determine admissions decisions to the University once an application is complete. Students must first be accepted to USF and then apply to the College of Nursing. They will then be assigned a U-number which they will need to complete the SOAR application. Students should apply to the university ONLY for the semester they will begin taking classes at USF. 

    The College of Nursing currently accepts students into the V-CARE program in the Fall and Spring semesters. At this time the program does not admit students in summer semesters. All three steps in the application process must be completed by 5 p.m. on the deadline for the application term.

    Term SOAR Application Open Deadline to Apply
    Fall 2018 December 1, 2017 March 2, 2018 @ 5 p.m.
    Spring 2019 September 3, 2018 November 2, 2018 @ 5 p.m.
    Fall 2019 January 4, 2019 March 1, 2019 @ 5 p.m.

    Important: While the College of Nursing will do its best to match students to clinical sites by their geographical location, we cannot guarantee placement. Transportation for clinical experience is the responsibility of the student, and some locations may be as much as two hours from the USF Tampa Campus. All of our clinical partners provide excellent opportunities to our students.

    Orientation Dates
    All undergraduate students must participate in the mandatory College of Nursing and pre-immersion orientations. V-CARE students will complete the College of Nursing orientation online prior to their semester of entry and will complete a pre-immersion orientation their first week of the semester. Students who do not participate in the orientations will forfeit their seat in the program.

    Online Orientation Open
    Term Due Date
    Spring 2019 December 7, 2018
    Fall 2019 June 15, 2019
    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. What are the prerequisite courses needed to apply to the Veteran to Bachelor’s program?
      The prerequisite courses below are to be completed before admission to the program. (USF course numbers are included for planning purposes only.)
      • English Composition I and II (6) ENC 1101 and ENC 1102
      • Gordon Rule Math (Algebra or Finite Math preferred) (3) – MAC 1105 or MGF 1106
      • Human Anatomy & Physiology I (4) BSC 2085/L
      • Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4) BSC 2086/L
      • Any three-credit class in Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, or Physics (3)
      • Life Span (Human Growth and Development) (3) – DEP 2004
      • Human Nutrition (3) – HUN 2201
      • Microbiology with lab (4) – MCB 2000/L
      • Statistics (3) STA 2122
      • Any PSY, SYG, or SOP (Psychology, Sociology, or Social Psychology) course (3)

      The university’s foreign language entrance requirement must also be completed before starting the program.

      USF also requires other courses, called Foundations of Knowledge and Learning (FKLs) and Enhanced General Education requirements, to be complete to obtain a bachelor's degree. Some prerequisite courses may also meet the USF FKL requirements.

      • Fine Arts (3 Credit Hours)
      • Humanities (6 Credit Hours)
      • Human and Cultural Diversity in a Global Context (3 Credit Hours)
      • English Composition (6 Credit Hours)
      • Natural Science (6 Credit Hours)
      • Social and Behavioral Science (6 Credit Hours)

      Six credits of the above coursework must be completed in Human and Historical Context and Process Courses. All students are required to meet the university requirements for foreign language.

      Please consult the catalog for specific FKL and foreign language requirements.

    2. What is your admissions class size?
      Up to 24 students.

    3. How may I use GI Bill benefits?
      Please contact H. Jason Miller, Office of Veteran Success at hjmiller@usf.edu for assistance. Visit their website for additional information and available services.

    4. What credit will transfer in from my military/ACE/SMART transcript?
      Up to 4 credits will be awarded towards prerequisite coursework and up to 12 credits awarded for nursing coursework based on military training.

    5. What are the basic tuition, fees and nursing expenses?
       

      Certified Background Check (required by the college):
      • $155 (includes background check, drug screen, and document tracker)
      • $38 Drug Test (If drug test is not done within 48 hours, the drug test only package must be purchased.)
      Immunizations/Requirements:
      • Varicella (Chickenpox)
      • Hepatitis B
      • MMR
      • TDAP
      • TB Skin Test
      • Influenza
      • CPR
      Uniforms/Equipment:
      Smart Phone/PDA: Est. $150 - $250
      USF Nursing Scrubs: Clinical Starter Pack
      • Top: $49.95
      • Pants: $49.95
      • Lab Coat: $79.95
      • Stethoscope: $70-150
    6. Textbooks & Course Software:
      • UCentral (Nursing Central Software License/Unbound Medicine): $139
      • iClicker: Estimated $37 - $50
      • Ready Point: Estimated $700 initial cost first semester (most materials will be used for 3 semesters)
      • Shadow Health Virtual Clinical Experience: Est. $89 (one-time fee for use throughout program)
      • SafeMedication: Estimated $99
      • Project Concert: Estimated $50 a year
      Graduation:
      • NCLEX (Florida Board of Nursing):
        • $250 (Cost after graduation)
      • Pearson Vue (Test Administrator):
        • Estimated $200 (Cost after graduation)

      Nursing Program Expenses are estimates and for information purposes only, and subject to change upon entry into the program. To see if you qualify for in-state tuition, please visit the Office of the Registrar. In-state tuition is available for all qualifying military veterans. Please visit the Office of Veterans Services for more information.

      Please see the University Controller's Office for up-to-date tuition information.

    7. I am applying to USF and the application asks if I am a lower level or upper level transfer, what should I choose?

      Students are lower level transfers if they have fewer than 60 transferrable credit hours; an upper level student has 60 or more (or an AA degree) transferable credit hours (as evaluated by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions). Lower level transfers must submit their high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores to be considered.

      If you do not have SAT or ACT scores, you should earn 60 credit hours of college/university coursework and then transfer as an upper level student. Upper level students do not have to submit SAT or ACT scores. See the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website for more information.

    8. Can I meet with an advisor before I apply?
      View our pre-recorded information session available 24/7 for your convenience. Students who would like to schedule an advising appointment should contact Ashley Ros at ashleyros@health.usf.edu.

    9. Can someone review my transcripts before I apply?

      The College of Nursing can do a preliminary review of military transcripts to determine eligibility to the program. Please email a copy of your Joint Services Transcript to ashleyros@health.usf.edu. The first opportunity for evaluation of college transcripts is when a student applies for general admission through the USF Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Unfortunately, there are no pre-screening services that will identify which courses are transferable before applying to USF. Once admitted, it will be your responsibility to contact a pre-nursing academic advisor prior to the SOAR application deadline to discuss how your courses transferred into the University and how they have been applied to the Nursing curriculum.

    10. Will I need the TEAS, HESI, GRE, letters of recommendation, resume, or volunteer experience to apply?

      The College of Nursing does not accept or consider any of the above supporting documents in the admission evaluation. Volunteer experience is not specifically required as part of the admission process. You may however, include any relevant experience in the required resume.

    11. How is admission determined?

      Admission is based on a combination of factors, including cumulative undergraduate GPA, grades on the first-attempt prerequisites, a resume, and an interview identifying student’s motivation for nursing and professional approaches to scenarios.

    12. What GPA do I need to apply? How competitive is admission?

      See our most recent admissions statistics for the Veteran to Bachelor’s (V-CARE) program here.

      These statistics are provided for information purposes only and are intended to assist prospective students in understanding the competitive admissions processes for some of our programs. The undergraduate program is designated as limited access by the state of Florida.