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WNC RIBN Program

RIBN AB-Tech Students


The WNC Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) Program will dually admit and enroll you at Western Carolina University and at a partner community college. Currently the WCU School of Nursing has a RIBN partnership with Asheville-Buncombe Technical, Blue Ridge, Isothermal, Southwestern and Surry 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.

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 taken each year online through WCU as advised by their community college advisor. Upon successful completion of the first three years, students finish their fourth year online through WCU and at the Biltmore Park instructional site.

See what students have to say about the RIBN Program.

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

Admission is based on the following criteria:

  1. Acceptance to one of the partnering Community Colleges and General Acceptance to WCU
    • To be eligible to apply to WNC RIBN 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).
    • Applicants will apply to the Community College first and once accepted they will be given a RIBN-specific link to apply to WCU.
  2. ACT Composite Score
    • The state minimum for ACT is 19. Official high school scores are acceptable.
    • Note: a competitive ACT score is 24 or higher.
    • Applicants who have never taken the ACT or wish 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

Students must apply first through the Community College RIBN Program. For more details, please contact one of the RIBN Student Success Advocates listed under Contact Information below.

The curriculum plan will vary depending on the community college you are attending. Throughout the first three years students will complete 4 courses through WCU while enrolled at their Community College.


Students are required to complete all courses with a "C" or higher while maintaining no less than a 2.5 cumulative GPA.

The current total estimated cost of attendance for the RIBN Program is $19,350. The cost may vary based on Community College expenses and when WCU courses are taken during the program.

Reduced Tuition Through NC Promise: Use Your Advantage

This is made possible through the State of North Carolina's NC Promise program. Please note that this applies only to the WCU tuition and not the costs of the community college partner.

Partnering Community College Contacts:

Southwestern Community CollegeRIBN Program
Linda Deeb | E: | P: 828.339.4367

Blue Ridge Community College RIBN Program
Susan Greco | E: | P: 828.694.1841

Isothermal Community College RIBN Program

Katie Edwards | E: | P: 828.395.1606

A-B Tech Community College RIBN Program
Amy Jo Parker | E: | P: 828.398.7534

Surry Community College RIBN Program

Yvonne Johnson | E: | P: 336.386.3368

Western Carolina University Contact:

Ramona Whichello Headshot


Interim Program Director:
Ramona Whichello, DNP, RN, NEA-BC

Core Faculty:
Kia Countess, DNP, RN, CNE
Sheila Price, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE
Tamra Shea, PhD, MSN, RN
Francine Sheppard, PhD, RN, CNE


For information about RIBN at WCU please email:


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