Academics :: School of Health Professions

Nursing (RN)


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 ≥ 2.5. We use the GPA calculated at the most recent institution/college you completed at least 12 college credit hours within a 12-month period. If you have not taken 12 college credit hours by the end of fall 2014, the high school GPA must be ≥ 2.5. (College developmental course credits are used to make up for a high school deficiency of a prerequisite, but not used in college GPA calculations.) If your GPA is not above a 2.5, 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 2015: Algebra I, Biology, and Chemistry. Appropriate developmental or college courses can be substituted for high school deficiencies. "VPT" math placement testing will be utilized to determine what developmental math units must be completed if you lack Algebra or Chemistry and results of placement tests are "unsatisfactory" for one or more units (1,2,3,4,5,6).

Applicants must also complete college level Bio 141 and Bio 142 (Anatomy & Physiology I-II) 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 2015 and Bio 142 by the end of Summer 2015 to be eligible for 2015 program. (Science courses must have a lab.) A high school senior will only be considered if they can meet all the same prerequisites and GPA as all other applicants.

Is admission to the program very competitive? How Is Admission Determined?

Approximately 90 students will be admitted to the 2015 Nursing Class. In 2014, there were 135 qualified applicants considered. Program admission decisions are based on the results of the nursing entrance examination and cumulative GPA. 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, which meets in April. 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?

No. 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?

VWCC will not offer a program for LPNs to transition to the RN program (Associate of Applied Science) for 2014. Plans are being made to have a transition program by summer 2015. Pre-requisites must be completed prior to summer 2015. The program will announce when a revised transition curriculum is available.

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.

Does VWCC have a practical nursing program?

Yes. Information can be obtained from the VWCC Health Professions web page at Practical Nursing (LPN). The program is four (4) semesters in length (no summer). The minimum prerequisites are Algebra I and Biology with a grade of "C" or higher. You may apply to both programs in the same year, if interested.

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 2015 Nursing application form with the appropriate transcripts. This will allow us to help you plan and suggest proper courses to begin your studies. By submitting now you may benefit from advising by the Health Careers Information Specialist, who will be able to discuss your transcript(s), placement testing, prerequisites, support classes, etc. and complete any needed transfer evaluations for you (if applicable).

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