WCU’s undergraduate nursing program prepares students to become licensed as registered nurses who offer high-quality care to patients from children to older adults in settings from hospitals to schools. Some students go on to pursue advanced nursing degrees and may take courses toward earning their graduate degree while still an undergraduate. WCU’s affordable nursing programs feature small class sizes that enable students to receive one-on-one attention from expert faculty who guide them through coursework and clinical experiences.
Students build on foundational courses that include human anatomy, chemistry, infectious disease and psychology with classes centered on the nursing profession from assessing patients to nursing in community and mental health settings. During students’ junior and senior years, they participate in clinical experiences at healthcare institutions and agencies in rural and urban areas across Western North Carolina. A four-semester accelerated bachelor’s degree program in nursing is based at WCU’s Biltmore Park campus in Asheville for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a different discipline. Additional programs allow for dual enrollment with several community colleges, and to concurrently take courses that will fulfill requirements for advanced nursing degrees.
Graduates are able to sit for the licensure examination to become registered nurses, and students who graduate from WCU programs typically perform well on their licensure or certification exams with pass rates well above national averages.Hospitals, medical offices, home health and nursing facilities hire registered nurses, and places such as correctional centers, schools or military units may have nurses on staff. Graduates also may pursue advanced nursing degrees. WCU offers graduate nursing programs for students interested in becoming family nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse educators and nurse leaders. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth in the number of registered nurse positions based on factors such as increased attention on preventative care and growing rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity.