Catawba Valley Community College Nursing Program Review

Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) is located in Hickory, North Carolina. It was established in 1958 as part of the North Carolina Community College System. Over 5,000 students attend this community college, with 49 percent attending full-time and 51 percent attending part-time. Almost half of the students attending Catawba Valley receive some sort of financial aid.

Associate Degree Nursing Program – Associate in Applied Science

Catawba Valley Community College offers a Registered Nursing (RN) program that leads to an Associate in Applied Science (AAS). Applicants to the program must be high school graduates or the equivalent. There is a series of steps that must be carefully followed when applying to this competitive nursing program. It is important that applicants know that if they apply online, the application is not processed until they meet with a Student Services Counselor before the application deadline. Simply submitting the application and not meeting with the counselor means that an applicant will not be considered for admission to the program in that particular year.

Other admission requirements are that the applicant’s high school or GED transcript must be submitted along with the application to the college. The transcript must be an official one that shows the graduate’s date of high school graduation. Those with a GED must also submit their scores along with their application. Official transcripts must be sealed, or they are not considered to be an official copy of the grades. If an applicant has completed any courses at another college, the transcript from these must also be submitted in a sealed envelope. Placement testing is required if an applicant does not meet the curriculum exemptions. In this case, Reading, Writing, Math, and Computer Competency placement tests are required. These tests must be passed with a satisfactory score, or if not, the applicant must complete the equivalent courses at Catawba Valley Community College before being considered for admission.

Applicants are also required to have completed a biology course in high school. If they have not taken biology, they will need to take it at the community college or at another college. The same is true of chemistry. A minimum grade point average is also required for any courses completed at the college, which must be a minimum of 2.50. Applicants with degrees who want to enter the nursing program must also have a minimum grade point average of at least 2.50 in their previous college-level work. In addition, mandatory attendance at a Nursing Success Seminar is required. These programs are held each month. If an applicant meets all of the above requirements, they qualify to take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam, another admission requirement. Those who are not admitted to the program may re-apply after meeting with a Student Services Counselor. There is no waiting list for the program, so applicants must re-apply each year that they want to be considered for admission to the nursing program.

The number of first year students admitted to the program each year varies, and a point system is used to determine which applicants are accepted. The point system is based on academic performance in high school or in any previous college work and the results of the TEAS exam. Once accepted into the program, students must attend an Orientation Session with the Department of Nursing, and they must have proof of Healthcare Provider CPR certification. A health exam is also required. In addition, applicants must have North Carolina Certified Nurse Aide I certification and a good record of working as a Nurse Aide.

The AAS program is either a daytime or evening program that takes a minimum of five semesters of full-time attendance to complete. The focus of the program is on the RN as a member of the interdisciplinary team that cares for patients. Students complete clinical experience at a variety of healthcare settings, and qualify to take the NCLEX-RN after completing the program. This national exam leads to licensure as a RN.

Catawba Valley Community College lists all of the additional costs that students should be prepared for when they apply to the program. These are for malpractice insurance, uniforms, nursing shoes, and equipment such as a stethoscope kit, bandage scissors, and more. This is very helpful for students who are budgeting for the expenses that they will incur as they move through the program. There are also fees for the NCLEX at $200, North Carolina State Board of Nursing fees of around $100, and fees for criminal background checks. Additional fees are around $1,000 for Board Review, graduation expenses, and miscellaneous fees.

Catawba Valley Community College
2550 US Highway 70 SE
Hickory, North Carolina 28602-8302
(828) 327-7000