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Is the program accredited?
This nursing education program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3343 Peachtree Road, Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326
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?
The following are the prerequisites for Fall 2024 consideration:
- Chemistry (high school or college) – completed with a grade of “C” or better by the end of Spring 2024 semester (must have a lab)
- BIO 141 – college Human Anatomy/Physiology I (or equivalent) must be completed with a grade of “C” or better by the end of Spring 2024 (must include lab component and be less than 5 years prior)
- ENG 111 – must be completed by the end of Spring 2024 with a “C” or better
- PSY 230 – must be completed by the end of Spring 2024 with a “C” or better
- SDV 101 – must be completed by the end of Spring 2024 with a “C” or better
The college level prerequisite GPA must be 2.50 or higher. This will be calculated based on the grades for BIO141, ENG111, PSY230, and SDV101. Each course must be completed with a “C” or higher by the end of the spring semester (2024). Please note: if you achieve a “C” in each of the prerequisite courses, the prerequisite GPA will not be 2.5 or higher.
The cumulative GPA must be 2.0 or higher at the most recent college (12 credits hours) or school attended full-time at the end of fall 2023.
Note: A high school senior will only be considered if they can meet all the same prerequisites and minimum GPAs as other applicants. In addition, accepted students into the fall RN program must be 18 years of age by June 1, prior to fall admission.
Applicants must register and attend a mandatory information session in which the following topics are discussed: cost of program, rigor of program, faculty/student expectations, concept-based nursing education, role of nurses in 2024, employment while enrolled in the nursing program, if accepted and other related information. Please watch nursing website for dates and times and instructions on how to register for a session.
Typically the informational sessions will be loaded on the website in September and we usually have one session per month. Normally applicants register through the Extended Services Application (ESA). The link for the School of Health Professions is located under “Health Professions Services” on the ESA website. (Do not select “Register for Discover”, you must select Health Profession Services.) Please note the Informational Sessions loaded to the site in the fall are typically for the LPN to RN applicants applying for the summer transition program only. Therefore, the traditional nursing informational session dates will be held January through March.
What if I graduated high school from a foreign country and cannot obtain my official transcripts?
Is admission to the program very competitive? How is admission determined?
In 2023, there were 94 qualified applicants considered. Program admission decisions are based on the results of the nursing entrance examination (Kaplan scores must be in the 45th percentile in all categories to be considered) and prerequisite GPA (based on BIO 141, ENG 111, PSY 230 and SDV 101) and consideration is given to previous healthcare certification, healthcare credential or 12 months of healthcare patient-care experience. Entrance exam details are announced by notification from Dynamic Forms, via email provided on the online nursing application, in late March (just prior to the exam being administered in April). Notification for the Kaplan testing may also use the Navigate platform and applicants need to be aware of the email account associated with Navigate and turn on the notifications in Navigate. Additional consideration is given to those with any of the following: (CNA or CCMA credential, EMT, paramedic, corpsman, phlebotomist or 12 months of healthcare experience in patient care related role with letter of recommendation from supervisor). Please be prepared to submit a copy of certification or healthcare credential with the online application. Healthcare experience without a credential is considered with a supervisor’s recommendation indicating 12 months of healthcare experience related to patient care. Please submit recommendation letter with application only if you do not have a current healthcare license or certification but do have 12 months of patient care. Please have the supervisor send the recommendation letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Failure to register and attend the mandatory informational session will result in your name being removed from consideration for the fall program. In addition, for fall 2023, we had over 40 students that did not achieve the required 45% on each section of the Kaplan: Reading, Writing, Math, English and Critical Thinking. We also had several students that did not achieve the required grade in the prerequisites for spring and their name was withdrawn from consideration for the fall program.
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 emailed or scanned to student email to the applicants as soon as possible, usually by late May. Please note that spring grades need to be posted to determine the prerequisite average prior to Nursing Admission Committee meeting. Therefore, the committee cannot meet prior to mid-May to select the incoming class based on prerequisite GPA and Kaplan scores.
Is there a waiting list? Can the program be taken on a part-time basis? Is there a night-time program available?
There is not a waiting list. All applicants who meet the deadline (March 1) and are minimally qualified are considered for the program. The core NSG 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 and some weekend). The NUR courses must be completed in sequence. Trying to work while in the program is discouraged due to the intensity of the program.
What is the tentative schedule, if accepted into the program for fall?
Please keep in mind that the following is only a tentative time-frame of the courses/labs/clinicals for the nursing program for fall. Classes are typically on Tuesday and Thursday and nursing skills labs are typically Monday or Wednesday. Clinicals can be M/W/F and Saturday and sometimes Sunday. In addition, there is typically a three-hour prep for one credit of a course. Also, keep in mind that the number of clinical hours increase with each semester/level of nursing.
Does VWCC offer a transition or bridge program for LPNs?
Yes. The deadline to apply is October 1st 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 would the impact be on program completion, for a person who does not have the COVID-19 vaccination?
Virginia Western Community College faculty and students must comply with the policies required by clinical facilities with which we have legal agreements. If a student refuses to comply with a clinical facility immunization and vaccination requirement, Virginia Western Community College will attempt, but cannot guarantee, to assign a student to an alternative clinical facility. A student will be placed in an alternative location only if it meets the educational objectives of Virginia Western Community College and program requirements for clinical placement. Faculty also must be available to appropriately supervise students at the clinical facility. Refusal to comply with a clinical facility immunization and vaccination requirement by a student in our health programs may impede your progress in the program or your ability to remain in the program.
What about marijuana use and the required drug screen?
It is the student’s responsibility to “clear” their urine drug screen. A drug screen that has “positive” findings will not allow a student to obtain clinical placement and will result in removal from the program. Marijuana may be legalized under state law for clinical partners associated with the nursing program. The presence of marijuana metabolites in urine will result in a “positive” drug screen finding that prevents a student from obtaining clinical placement and resulting in removal from the program.
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 2024 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 placement test results.
Who are the Program Advisors for the Nursing Program?
We have a team of advisors for Health Professions. Ms. Pam Woody or Ms. Jasmine Terry will be one of the advisors that will process your academic file and evaluate previously completed coursework after a review of your official transcripts. Ms. Julie Ainsley is the pre-nursing advisor who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. New students should begin with a New Student Advisor located in Chapman Hall. Submission of all academic materials including application and official transcripts from High School and all colleges attempted should be directed to: Attention: Pam Woody; VWCC; School of Health Professions; 3091 Colonial Avenue; Roanoke VA 24015. The process letter verifying your GPA, prerequisites and evaluation of college course work to determine what can be utilized in the nursing program, will be completed by Pam Woody or Ms. Jasmine Terry. Julie Ainsley can assist with career planning and course selections and may be able to assist with preliminary information. For information on the application process, you may follow the checklist for application (PDF) or contact Ms. Yolanda Brown at email@example.com. You may also utilize the team of advisors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the job skill option in the CSC: Introduction to Nursing?
It allows applicants who may not be accepted into the AAS Registered Nursing program, to academically prepare students to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certification exam, if the EMS 111/120 course sequence is completed. Also, if you have a healthcare licensure/certification (such as CCMA, CNA, Phlebotomist, etc,) if you submit a copy of your current license to the Health Professions Advising and Applications Office, we can complete paperwork on your behalf to determine if Credit for Prior Learning can be awarded for one of the options under the job skill portion of the CSC: Introduction to Nursing.
Why are some support classes within the AAS Nursing not covered by Financial Aid (FA) in the CSC: Introduction to Nursing?
The CSC: Introduction to Nursing consist of specific coursework that is designed to allow applicants to the Nursing program to complete some of the courses required within the AAS and to also offer a job skill option to applicants in case of non-admittance to the program. Not all prerequisite and support classes are included in the CSC. The BIO 142 and BIO 150 and PHI 220 are not all included in the CSC and the Nursing Elective of ENG 112, or HLT 230 or SOC 200 is not offered in the CSS.. If you are using FA to cover the cost of classes, FA will not cover the cost of all three BIO 142/BIO 150 and PHI 220.It will cover one of the courses, if FA eligible. Nor will FA cover the cost of the NSG elective since it is not included in the CSC. If you wish to complete these courses prior to entry, you need to plan to pay for those courses out of pocket. If you are accepted into the AAS Nursing program, at that time, FA will then cover those courses. The plan change for accepted students, to be placed into the AAS program from the CSC, typically occurs in late May or early June for the accepted students.
Are there review guides to help prepare for the Kaplan?
There is a book available from Barnes and Noble, “Kaplan Nursing School Entrance Exam: Your Complete Guide to Getting Into Nursing School”. However, keep in mind that the Kaplan should assess information already known to the applicant. The review book can help the applicant become familiar with the types of questions and question format used in the actual test.
There are several other guides (some are free and some are associated with a charge) that you are welcome to investigate and determine if you should utilize them to prepare for the Kaplan Entrance Test.
What is the policy regarding non-discrimination?
Applicants for admission to the Nursing program are considered for class positions based on their ability to meet the program admission standards, without regard to race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, or other non-merit factors.
Do I have to pass a licensing exam to become a registered nurse (RN)?
The AAS Nursing program is a pre-licensure nursing program that prepares graduates to apply for licensure as registered nurses (RN) through the Virginia Board of Nursing (VBON).
Successful completion of the AAS Nursing program does not guarantee licensure or eligibility to practice nursing. All successful graduates are subject to application of licensure rules and fees as set forth by the Virginia Board of Nursing including a background check, finger printing, and meeting the passing standard of the NCLEX-RN examination. Only the Virginia Board of Nursing determines RN licensure.
- Virginia Board of Nursing: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/media/dhpweb/docs/nursing/reports/ChoosingEducationPrograms.pdf
- National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN): https://www.ncsbn.org/candidatebulletin.htm