2015-16 Virginia Western Academic Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2015-16 Virginia Western Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing, A.A.S.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs

Associate of Applied Science

Mission Statement: The VWCC Associate Degree Nursing Program mission is to prepare professionally educated nurses who are safe, competent, compassionate health care providers able to meet the changing health care needs of patients, families, and communities. 

Purpose: The curriculum is designed to prepare selected students to qualify as contributing members of the health team implementing direct patient care as beginning practitioners in a variety of health service facilities. At the successful completion of the program, students will be academically prepared to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) leading to the designation of registered nurse.

Program Outcomes:

  1. Virginia Western Community College Associate of Applied Science program will attain a National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) pass rate of 80% on the first attempt.
  2. Virginia Western Community College Associate of Applied Science program will demonstrate a program completion rate of at least 65% within three years of each student’s admission date.
  3. Virginia Western Community College Associate of Applied Science program will facilitate 80% of graduate satisfaction in clinical preparedness as evidence by program surveys.
  4. Virginia Western Community College Associate of Applied Science program will elicit 85% employer satisfaction as evidenced by new graduate employer survey.
  5. Virginia Western Community College Associate of Applied Science program anticipates that 90% of graduates seeking employment will acquire nursing jobs within six months of application submissions.

5-Year NCLEX-RN Pass Rates:

2010 - 85%
2011 - 96.2%
2012 - 95.24%
2013 - 76%
2014 - 77.55%

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Engage in practices that provide safe and holistic nursing care throughout the lifespan grounded in science and the nursing process. (Safety)
  2. Apply nursing judgment to ensure the delivery of patient-centered care and promotion of health for patients within a family and community environment. (Patient-Centered Care)
  3. Demonstrate the use of critical thinking skills while utilizing the nursing process to provide care to patients throughout the lifespan. (Critical Thinking)
  4. Collaborate effectively within nursing and interdisciplinary healthcare teams to foster open communication, respect, and shared decision making to ensure safe, quality patient care. (Teamwork)
  5. Demonstrate the use of the best current evidence to guide clinical decision making to provide safe care for patients and families across the lifespan. (Evidence-Based Practice)
  6. Integrate information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, and support decision making in the practice of nursing care. (Informatics)
  7. Utilize concepts related to culture, ethnicity, and spirituality in the delivery of patient care. (Culture) 

Program Objectives: Employment opportunities for the registered nurse include staff positions in hospitals, nursing homes, health departments, physicians’ offices, clinics, day care centers, and home health agencies.

Developmental Requirements: Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to credit-level coursework established by the college.

Applicants must receive an ENG 111  placement test recommendation or have successfully completed all developmental English requirements.

Applicants who do not demonstrate proficiency on the placement test in the following mathematical units will be required to complete developmental courses: MTE 1 MTE 2 MTE 3 MTE 4 MTE 5  and MTE 6 

Applicants must meet the developmental requirements listed above prior to applying for admission to the AAS Nursing Program.

Admission Procedures:

  1. Applicants to the nursing program are strongly encouraged to meet with the Health Careers Information Specialist prior to enrollment in any course included in the nursing program or in any course to correct an academic deficiency. Please note: Receipt of completed academic transcripts and results of placement evaluations are required prior to this meeting.
  2. The nursing program accepts new students each fall. Applications must be completed no later than March 1. The complete application includes: an application to the college, official transcripts from all colleges attended (transcripts from VWCC or other Virginia community colleges are not required), official transcripts showing completion of a high school diploma or records showing completion of GED with scores, results of the nursing entrance test, Kaplan, which is taken at the student’s expense (nonrefundable), and a current Nursing Application form. Nursing Application forms are available in the Health Professions Information Office and on our web page.
  3. BIO 141 must be completed with a grade of “C” or better by the end of the spring semester preceding enrollment in NUR 111 . BIO 142  must be completed with a “C” or better by the end of the summer session preceding enrollment in NUR 111 . (BIO 141 , BIO 142  and BIO 205  must be repeated if they were completed more than 5 years prior to the date of admission into the program.)
  4. Applicants should be aware that meeting the curriculum admission standards does not guarantee program admission. In May, all applicants will receive a letter to notify them of their status with the program.
  5. If admitted, all students must attend a mandatory nursing program orientation the summer before beginning the program.


Although this program is not designed for transfer, agreements with specific institutions may exist. Contact the Nursing program head as listed on program webpage.

First Year

Second Year

Total Minimum Credits for Degree: 69

1 Electives must be chosen from the specific list referenced in the curriculum requirements above.

2 It is strongly recommended that the student take NUR 135  the Summer Semester prior to NUR 111 .

3 HLT 105  or CPR certification can be used to satisfy this requirement.

4 HLT 143  cannot substitutefor HLT 141  unless the course sequence of both HLT 143  and HLT 144  have been completed.

5 Must be completed within five years of beginning the program.

Support courses (non-NUR courses) may be taken prior to entry into the program.

* This course has a requisite. Requisites for all courses are listed in the course description section at the back of the catalog.

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the Nursing Program must hold a high school diploma or GED and meet the developmental requirements listed.

  1. One unit of high school Biology and Chemistry with a grade of “C” or better must be completed the spring semester prior to entry to the fall program.
  2. The applicant’s cumulative high school grade point average (GPA) must be at least 2.75.
  3. If the applicant has been to college, the applicant’s cumulative college GPA must also be at least 2.75 based on at least 12 credit hours of college credit in a 12-month time frame. The GPA is determined at the end of the fall semester prior to admission. High school graduates and GED holders who earned less than a 2.75 GPA during high school will be considered for admission if they have generated a college GPA of 2.75 or above based on at least 12-semester college credit hours within a 12-month period.
  4. Students who do not demonstrate proficiency on the placement test in the following mathematical units will be required to complete developmental courses MTE 1 , MTE 2 , MTE 3 , MTE 4 , MTE 5  and MTE 6 .
  5. Students interested in this program should consult the VWCC Nursing Program page, VWCC policy on Infectious Disease Status, Essential Nursing Functions, Clinical Environment, Student Responsibilities, Student Retention and Readmission Policy. The page can be accessed through the VWCC website For application materials and additional program information, please see our website at http://www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/health/nursing/index.php.
  6. Successfully complete a CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) course approved by the nursing program.
    1. American Heart Association “CPR for the healthcare provider”
    2. HLT 105 - Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation  
  7. Complete the required annual criminal background check (Certified Background Check) with drug screen.

Program Notes: This program is approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing.

Board of Nursing Perimeter Center 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300 Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463

Clinical agencies require that students have periodic background checks and drug screenings completed at the student’s expense before beginning clinical rotations in the agency. A positive background check may include fingerprinting and drug screening and may deny a nursing student access to clinical agencies. Clinical facilities have the right to use a different background check than Virginia Western Community College that could affect a student’s ability to participate in clinical experiences. Inability to participate in clinical rotations will disqualify the student from completing the nursing program.

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 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.

Although this program is not designed for transfer, articulation agreements with four year institutions may be available. Contact the Virginia Western program head for details.

All Students must maintain a grade of “C” or better in all program required courses to remain in the program.

Students accepted into the A.A.S. Nursing Program will receive a program handbook during their mandatory orientation prior to beginning the program.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs