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School of Health Professions :: Programs of Study

Nursing (RN) - FAQ

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>> Is the program accredited?

Virginia Western's nursing program is fully approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing, making graduates eligible to take the state licensing exam (NCLEX-RN) to gain employment and/or transfer to other nursing programs. More about Virginia Western's accreditations.

The nursing program does not hold the voluntary National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) accreditation. The Virginia Western nursing program meets all the mandatory accreditations and approvals.

>> How do I obtain licensure as a registered nurse?

You must successfully complete an approved nursing education program and pass a licensure exam (NCLEX-RN), which is administered by the National Council of the State Board of Nursing. You must apply to the regulatory board of the state in which you plan to practice. The general requirements include personal, character, and criminal background information. Application for the licensure examination will be provided toward the end of the fourth semester in nursing.

>> What are the admission guidelines to the program?

Applicants must meet the general admission requirements for the college. Cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be ≥ 2.75. We use the GPA calculated at the most recent institution/college where you completed at least 12 college credit hours. If you have not taken 12 college credit hours by the end of Fall 2017, the high school GPA must be ≥ 2.75. (College developmental courses can be taken to make up for a high school deficiency of a prerequisite, but they are not included in college GPA calculations.) If your GPA is not above a 2.75, you are encouraged to seek advising from Miss Woody (advisor) about how this will impact your eligibility and how to improve your GPA.

The following high school courses are required prerequisites which must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher by the end of Spring 2018: Algebra I, Biology, and Chemistry. Appropriate developmental or college courses can be taken to satisfy deficiencies. "VPT" math placement testing will be utilized to determine what developmental math units (MTE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) must be completed if you lack Algebra and/or Chemistry.

Applicants must also complete college level BIO 141 and BIO 142 (Human Anatomy & Physiology I-II, 4 credits each) as prerequisites with a grade of "C" or higher (must be completed within 5 years of entering program). The BIO 141 must be completed by the end of Spring 2018 and BIO 142 by the end of Summer 2018 to be eligible for 2018 program. (Science courses must have a lab.) A high school senior will only be considered if they can meet all the same prerequisites and minimum 2.75 GPA as other applicants. A couple of high schools in the region may offer BIO 141 for Dual Enrollment credit. (A high school Anatomy/Physiology course will not meet the BIO 141 requirement.)

>> Is admission to the program very competitive? How is admission determined?

Approximately 80-90 new students will be admitted each year to the fall Nursing program. In 2017, there were 125 qualified applicants considered. Program admission decisions are based on the results of the nursing entrance examination, cumulative GPA, and interview. Entrance exam details are announced by mail in March (just prior to the exam being administered).

>> Who makes the admission decisions? When are the results given to the applicants?

Admission decisions are made by a Nursing Admissions Committee. Admission decisions are mailed to the applicants as soon as possible, usually by mid-May.

>> Does it help to take the program support courses before starting the program?

The Nursing program is an educationally challenging program. The more general support courses (such as ENG111, BIO205, PSY230, SDV100, etc.) that an accepted nursing student has already completed will allow them to focus more on nursing content. Interested students are encouraged to apply early and work with the pre-nursing advisor to see if taking support classes is feasible based on their individual circumstances (taking in consideration whether they are part-time, full-time, financial circumstances, working, etc.). Support courses are not the same as required prerequisites. Support courses can also be used to help establish a GPA to meet minimum criteria.

>> Is there a waiting list? Can the program be taken on a part-time basis?

There is not a waiting list. All applicants who meet the deadline and are minimally qualified are considered for the program. The core NUR courses are 10-13 credits per semester, and you will need to be able to take any support course work you still need to fulfill general requirements (if not completed prior to). Lectures and assigned skills labs are held during daytime hours only. You should expect clinical experiences to be some 6 hours (day) and a majority to be 12 hours (day/evening). The NUR courses must be completed in sequence. Trying to work while in the program is discouraged.

>> Does VWCC offer a transition or bridge program for LPNs?

Yes. The deadline to apply is November 10th each year for the following summer. The bridge takes 1 year to complete (summer, fall, and spring semester). If you are an LPN and interested in knowing more, please go to the LPN to Nursing AAS Transition webpage.

>> Can I be a registered nurse if I am a convicted felon?

Conviction of a felony, misdemeanor or any offense substantially related to the qualifications, functions and duties of a registered nurse may constitute grounds for not allowing a candidate to take the RN-NCLEX licensing exam. This decision is made by the State Board of Nursing. For questions regarding this issue, call The Virginia Board of Nursing 804-367-4515.

>> What process do I follow if I want to apply for a future year?

If you are interested in taking classes to prepare for future entry into the program but you are unsure when you will be eligible, please submit the 2018 Nursing application form with the appropriate transcripts. This will allow us to help you plan and suggest proper courses to begin your studies. The advisor will also evaluate your transcripts for transfer credit and can discuss your "VPT" placement test results.

Advising/Info Office

Location: Fralin Center HP339
Phone: 540-857-7306
Fax: 540-857-6640

Mailing address:
3091 Colonial Ave., SW
Roanoke, VA 24015

Program Head

Lauren Hayward
Director of Nursing

A.A.S. in Nursing - Northern Virginia Community College, 1999
B.S. in Nursing - George Mason University, 2010
M.S. in Adult Learning & Human Development - Virginia Tech, 2012
M.S. in Nursing - Western Governor's University, 2016

College Catalog

School of Health Professions

Carole S. Graham, Dean
Administration & business contacts
Location: Fralin Center HP214C
Phone: 540-857-6717