Physician Assistant Program - Jacksonville

Class of 2017 Orientation

Welcome Letter from Program Director

Dear PA Class of 2016,

Welcome to the Nova Southeastern University's Physician Assistant Program and your first step toward a rewarding and challenging career as a Physician Assistant. The Academic Year will begin May 19, 2014 with an Orientation ceremony and luncheon. Our faculty and staff are committed to providing you with the finest resources as well as the best learning opportunities possible. Our goal is to make your experience at Nova Southeastern University the best available in the nation.

Additionally, you will find important information provided by Ms. Kandee Newman, the admissions counselor for the Physician Assistant-Jacksonville program. Now that the admission process is complete, Ms. Newman will serve as your point of contact for the orientation. Of primary importance are the background check, physical exam, and immunization requirements. These requirements must be met before entry into the program, as you will be coming in contact with patients during the first year. Please return the forms to the Certified Profile as soon as possible so that your transition into the program will proceed smoothly.

In addition to the above material, you will find other vital information from Dr. Hugh Rappa, Academic Director, which will need to be completed before you matriculate into the program.

Again, congratulations on your selection and welcome to Nova Southeastern University's Physician Assistant Program. We look forward to seeing you and your family on May 19th. If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Kerry L. Whitaker, DHSc, PA-C
Program Director
Department Chair & Assistant Professor

Welcome Letter from Academic Director

Dear Physician Assistant Student:

As the Academic Director of the NSU PA Program at Jacksonville, I want to congratulate you on being accepted into our Physician Assistant Program. I know it took hard work and dedication to have reached this point in your life and you deserve recognition for it.

I welcome you and assure you that the faculty and staff strive every day to make this program and your educational experience the best that it can be. We ask that you, as a student in this program, and as a representative of both the University and the PA profession, also strive to be the best that you can be.

The first day of Orientation will be held on Monday May 18, 2015. Guests of students are welcome and encouraged to attend these events on Monday. However, the remainder of the orientation sessions are intended only for students.

Please read through all orientation documents (found on the Orientation website) carefully, as there are many items that you must complete prior to the first day of orientation. Pay particular attention to those items that you must complete and send in to the Office of Admissions. If you have any questions about many of the items, feel free to contact me either via E-mail or directly by phone. My E-mail address is and my telephone number 904-245-8985. You may also contact Ms. Newman, Admissions Coordinator at 904-245-8913 or E-mail Ms. Newman at

Included on the orientation website in the Orientation Document Section you will find the Diagnostic Equipment List. The equipment listed is required of all students in our program. The equipment deadline is Monday, June 8, 2015. Examples of appropriate equipment are noted in parentheses on this list. You may purchase this equipment ahead of time, or you may elect to wait until you arrive on campus, as an instrument fair will be held during orientation week on Wednesday May 20, 2015. At this fair, you will be given the opportunity to purchase the majority of your equipment. Please refer to the flyer posted on the website. If you would like to know more about the options offered at the equipment fair, you can review the 2015 NSU-PA Diagnostic Equipment Order Form. This resource will provide you an opportunity to research your options and make purchases in advance and with the support of your families to arrive at educated decisions.

On the first Physical Diagnosis I lab session on June 8, 2015, you will be required to show your equipment to PA Program faculty for approval. This is done for your benefit, as students in the past have elected to purchase items that were less expensive, but were not adequate to perform the physical examination as required. I know this is a costly endeavor, but remember that you will use this equipment for the rest of your professional life. Again, if you have any questions about this list, do not hesitate to contact the course directors, Professor Bolton via phone 904-245-8986 or via E-mail at or Professor McInnis via phone 904-245-8981 or via E-mail at

Lastly, on the Orientation website, you will find a syllabus for the Medical Terminology course. This course requires that you begin to study the materials now. This course is an independent self-taught course. Your exam for this course will be held on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:00AM. If you do not successfully complete the exam at this time, you will be required to take a remedial examination. Please review the syllabus and begin working on this course as soon as possible. If you have any questions about this course, please contact me, the course director.

Again, congratulations and welcome. I look forward to meeting you on May 18, 2015 and getting to know each of you,

Hugh G. Rappa, MD
Academic Director
Associate Department Chair

Class of 2017 Orientation

Orientation for the Class of 2017 is Monday – Friday, May 18 - May 22, 2015. The Orientation Week will kick-off with the Opening Orientation Ceremony and followed up with a week of activities to orientate students to the PA program and Nova Southeastern University.

The Opening Orientation Ceremony is Monday, May 18, 2015 at 10:00 am. This event will be held at Jacksonville Marriott located at 4670 Salisbury Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32256. The Opening Orientation Ceremony is open to students and their guests. Space is limited and number of guests will be limited per student. RSVP Invitations will be sent out in April.

The dress code for orientation is business professional attire for all orientation events unless otherwise indicated. 

Orientation RSVP

The Orientation Ceremony will be open to a maximum of 3 guests per student. Each student must submit an RSVP form (link in right-side featurebox) identifying guests attending and lunch selections. The RSVP form is due by Friday, April 24, 2015. All forms should be returned via email to Kandee Newman.

Summer 2015 Course Information

Summer Registration

Registration for Summer 2015 will be completed by the Academic Coordinator, Ms. Barbara Morrison. Ms. Morrison will communicate to all students via e-mail in the month of May to confirm summer registration and provide a copy of the class schedule. Starting Fall semester 2015 and going forward, students will be responsible for registering themselves for their classes.

Summer Booklist

Students are responsible for obtaining all required textbooks and materials. Books can be purchased through the NSU bookstore and some book are offered electronic. Information on booklist will be provided after April 1, 2015.

Diagnostic Equipment

All students are required to have their own diagnostic equipment to perform physical examinations. An equipment fair will be held during Orientation Week with Welch Allyn. The PA Diagnostic Equipment List provides a list of requirements. If you would like to review Welch Allyn products, you can review the 2015 NSU-Jacksonville PA Diagnostic Equipment Order Form. It is recommended to not pre-purchase items prior to attending orientation. The equipment list and order form will be made available after April 1, 2015.

Lab Bags

The Class of 2016 is selling the lab bags as a fundraiser.  The lab bag will consist of all approved clothing for lab, an lab bag and other essential items.  Samples and order will be available on Saturday, March 28, 2015. Following March 28, 2015, the order form will be available online and payments accepted through the Marketplace.

Lab Coats

Lab Coats will be ordered during Orientation Week. A representative from the NSU Official Bookstore will be present to take measurements, orders and payments. The approximate cost is between $30-40.

Shark Card and Parking Permits

The NSU Shark Card is the official Nova Southeastern University identification card. All students, faculty, and staff are required to carry the NSU Card for identification purposes. In addition, the card can be used as a library card, for vending machine and copy machine purchases. A representative from the main campus will be onsite at the Jacksonville Campus during Orientation Week to take all student IDs.

For parking permits, student will need to register their vehicles to obtain a parking permit. There is no fee for the Jacksonville Campus. All students should download the Parking Permit Application and provide copy of vehicle registration. The Parking Permit Application and registration information will be collected during Orientation Week.

Health Insurance

All Nova Southeastern University Health Professions Division (HPD), (except part-time OT/PT students), Farquhar Day, and all on-campus residential students (including graduate students) are required to maintain adequate health insurance.

During Orientation Week, a representative from the Student Medical Center will be present to review the Student Health Insurance Plan. All student are required to be insured. Students are automatically enrolled In the Nova Southeastern University Student Medical Insurance Plan and the charge is assessed to the student’s account. The effective date of Student Health Insurance coincides with the academic year, beginning in May. For questions regarding health insurance, Mark Reid at (954) 262-4060 or email Waivers for the health insurance are available after April 1, 2015.

Immunization, Physical Exam and Criminal Background Process

Instructions for completing the Immunization and Physical Exam process can be found on College of Health Care Sciences student affairs immunization webpage. The PA Immunization process will be through Certified Profile and can only be started after completion of background check. The Criminal Background process is coordinated by Ms. Newman, Admissions Coordinator through CASPA. Students must be fully deposited before the Criminal background or Immunization process can begin.