The Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program (VATNP) was established in 1972 and is composed of three colleges; Mountain Empire Community College, Southwest Virginia Community College and Virginia Highlands Community College, serving the counties of Tazewell, Buchanan, Russell, Dickenson, Wise, Lee, Scott, Smyth, and Washington.
The nursing program at Virginia Appalachian Tricollege is the largest in the state of Virginia, and students that graduate from the program earn an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing (AAS) over two years, with students earning a total of 69 semester credits. Upon graduation from the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing, individuals go on to apply to write the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) to become a Registered Nurse (RN).
The Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program is approved by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. Individuals who already hold a Practical Nursing licensure can apply to the Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nursing (LPN to RN) track. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) can enter the program in the second year, however, these individuals must show strong standing as a Licensed Practical Nurse and must satisfy all prerequisites of the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing.
Prerequisites for the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing include courses in Biology, Chemistry and Algebra and individuals must hold a minimum of a “C” grade or above. The prerequisites may be taken at Mountain Empire Community College, Southwest Virginia Community College and Virginia Highlands Community College – the three colleges in the tricollege.
Admission into the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing
All of the course prerequisites must be completed prior to applying to the Associate in Applied Scienec Degree in Nursing and individuals must sit the Compass or Asset Test scores, with no need for additional work in English, Reading or Math. High school students must submit a transcript with a minimum GPA of 2.5 or above in all high school work. Individuals applying to the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing must also sit the Nursing Entrance Test, which is a general comprehensive test, which is used to determine program placement. Individuals applying to the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing, must also complete CPR certification and a drug screening, as well as a criminal background check, and immunization records, prior to being admitted into the program.
Individuals who complete the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing, and obtain their Registered Nurse licensure through the completion of the National Council Licensure Exam, can go on to begin working as a Registered Nurse in a variety of healthcare organizations. Registered Nurses can work under the supervision of a physician in hospitals, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, hospices, physicians’ offices, schools and many more various healthcare organizations.
Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program does not keep a waiting list for its nursing programs, so individuals must reapply the following year if he or she is not admitted for the requested year of study. In order to obtain financial aid, students must contact the admissions office of the college.
Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program
Mountain Empire Community College
3441 Mountain Empire Road
Big Stone Gap, VA, 24219
Southwest Virginia Community College
724 Community College Road,
Cedar Bluff, VA 24609
Virginia Highlands Community College
100 VHCC Drive Abingdon,
Abingdon, VA 24210,