Durham Regional Hospital Nursing Program Review

Durham Regional Hospital (DRH) is part of the Duke University Health System (DUHS). It joined this system in 1998. There are 369 beds in the hospital and over 500 doctors on the medical staff. Durham Regional Hospital opened in 1976 and was known as Durham County General Hospital. The Watts School of Nursing (WSN, WSON) is affiliated with the hospital. It is North Carolina’s oldest nursing school. Over 3,000 nurses have graduated from the Watts School of Nursing since 1985.

Nursing Program

Associate of Science Degree in Health Science

Watts School of Nursing has an articulation agreement with Mount Olive College so that nursing students working towards their Associate of Science Degree in Health Science can earn a science degree from Mount Olive. Students then complete their nursing courses and clinical experience at Watts School of Nursing. There are prerequisite courses required, and these are completed at Mount Olive College at their Triangle Park campus and at the Watts campus, and the nursing courses are taught at Watts School of Nursing. After graduating with the Associate of Science Degree in Health Science, graduates take the NCLEX-RN to become licensed as Registered Nurses (RNs). RNs have opportunities to work in many different healthcare settings, such as doctor’s offices, clinics, community centers, and many departments in hospitals, including medical-surgical, psychiatric, maternity, and critical care units.

Admission to the Watts School of Nursing is competitive, and even if a student meets all of the admission criteria, it is not guaranteed that there will be room in the program for all applicants. Only citizens of the U.S. or legal permanent residents are accepted. Those interested in the Associate Degree must apply to both Mount Olive College and to Watts School of Nursing. All applicants must have background checks before being accepted into the program and a preadmission test is also required. Once this test has been passes, applicants may submit their application along with their official high school transcript or GED. Applicants must have completed 18 hours of courses at Mount Olive College before beginning the nursing curriculum, and they must earn at least a grade of C in these courses. A course in Basic Life Support Training must also be completed. It is also necessary that applicants pass a physical exam. References from three professionals or employers must also be submitted. It is important that Licensed Practical Nurses realize that this program at Watts School of Nursing does not award advanced placement for them.

Watts School of Nursing has a philosophy that the student and his or her family, or the married or independent student must carry the burden for their education. The belief is that financial aid is only a supplement for available resources that the family has. Financial aid is available for those who demonstrate low income and inability to pay for their tuition in the form of loans, grants, and scholarships. The Financial Aid office works with students to ensure that their tuition for both Watts School of Nursing and Mount Olive College are covered.

Students in the program take nursing courses at Watts’ four large classrooms and labs where practice and simulation take place. Clinical experience takes place at Durham Regional Hospital and at other community-based settings and hospitals in the area, including Duke University. Housing is not provided for students, so if they do not live at home, they must find their own housing while they are in the program. The program typically takes 2-1/2 to 3 years to complete between the liberal arts courses at Mount Olive College and the nursing courses at Watts School of Nursing.

Durham Regional Hospital-Watts School of Nursing
2828 Croasdaile Drive, Suite 200,
Durham, North Carolina 27701