RIBN students at Biltmore park campus


WNC Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) Program will dually admit and enroll you at Western Carolina University and an area community college. Currently the WCU School of Nursing has a RIBN partnership with Asheville-Buncombe Technical, Blue Ridge and Southwestern community colleges. The RIBN Program provides you with a four year, seamless associate to baccalaureate nursing education. Unlike in a traditional BSN program, you will have the opportunity to begin working as an RN at the start of your fourth year.

about the RIBN program

The RIBN Option makes a bachelor’s degree in nursing both affordable and accessible. The first three years will be hosted on the community college's campus, with one class each semester taken online through WCU.
Students in the RIBN Option pay mostly community college tuition rates for the first three years of your baccalaureate nursing education.
Upon successful completion of the first three years, you will then finish your fourth year of classes through WCU Programs at Biltmore Park.

Admissions Requirements

Students applying to the WNC RIBN for Fall 2018 must meet admission requirements of both the community college and Western Carolina University.

Admission is based on the following criteria:

  1. General acceptance to WCU and partnering community college.
    • To be eligible to apply to WNC directly from high school, or before completion of at least 20 hours of college credit, a student must have an unweighted cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale in high school courses.
    • To be eligible to apply for admission to WNC RIBN after completion of at least 20 hours of college credit (100 level or higher), a student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. The 20 hours will not include any developmental courses (below 100 levels).
  2. ACT Composite Score
    • The state minimum for  ACT is 17.  Official high school scores are acceptable.
    • Note: a competitive ACT score is 24 or higher.
    • Applicants who have never taken or with to improve their score may take/retake the exam through the WCU Testing Center or an approved ACT test site.
    • Applicants are allowed to retake the ACT once every 60 days. Scores must be available by the application deadline
  3. ATI TEAS exam score of 70 or higher.


Beginning with the Fall 2019 application cycle, only the ACT Composite Score will be accepted. The SAT Critical Reading score will no longer be accepted.


application process

Students apply to the RIBN Program through the community college. Please contact one of the RIBN Student Success Advocates listed below for more details.



program costs

The current total estimated cost of attendance for the RIBN Program is $19,350.


Student Success Advocates contact information

Additional information

ribn.org Newsletter

The following links allow you to access a video: RIBN video on YouTube or RIBN video on Vimeo. Just a quick note, click the button on the video to view/hide the closed caption.

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