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Excellence in nursing education

Students who complete the nursing program at Whatcom Community College earn an Associate in Nursing (DTA/MRP) degree and are then eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for Registered Nurses (RNs). This degree, after RN licensure, also enables the student to complete a BSN in one academic year at any accepting university in Washington state.

WCC Nursing has a very high retention rate for students accepted into the program, and WCC nursing graduates pass the NCLEX at a rate well above the national average.

WCC's nursing program uses an integrated concept-based curriculum which does not allow an entry at the second year for LPNs, nor does the first year prepare students to sit for the LPN NCLEX.

Additional information, including what to expect and requirements once accepted into the Nursing program, can be found in the Nursing Program Student Handbook.

Find out more at an upcoming information session. These sessions cover a lot of information and will likely answer most of your questions.

Program outcomes

Upon successful completion of WCC's nursing degree, graduates should be able to...

  1. Practice caring and self-care.
  2. Perform competent nursing care.
  3. Employ professionalism.
  4. Communicate professionally.
  5. Use clinical judgment.
  6. Collaborate with the healthcare team.
  7. Lead as needed.
  8. Practice safety.

Full-time, face-to-face

Whatcom’s nursing program is a full-time program requiring attendance in daytime lecture and lab classes, and both daytime and evening clinicals. Students will need reliable transportation since clinical sites may be located as much as an hour away.

The nursing degree contains prerequisite courses and requirements that must be completed with a grade of B (3.0 GPA) or better before applying to the core nursing program. General education courses - PSYC& 100, BIOL& 160, Communication Studies (OC), Humanities - may be accepted with any passing grade. General education courses are not considered in the scoring of your application to the Nursing program.

Acceptance is a competitive entry process based on a points system with 30 applicants accepted each fall.

The core nursing program spans six, full-time quarters beginning each fall, with summer off. Nursing core courses must be taken in sequence. Students accepted into the program should be prepared for academic rigor and significant time commitment to ensure academic success.

Faculty recommend that students admitted to the nursing program limit their outside obligations as much as possible. The program demands an average of 20 hours per week outside of class on homework assignments.

Quarter-by-quarter course sequence

 First Year
 Fall Quarter
 NURS 170
 Introduction to Pharmacology Concepts
 NUTR 114
 Introduction to Nutrition in Healthcare
 NURS 171
 Introduction to Nursing Concepts with Practicum
 PHIL 118
 Ethics and Policy in Healthcare I
 PSYC 114
 Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare I
 NUTR 115
 Nutrition in Healthcare II
 Winter Quarter
 NURS 172
 Nursing Concepts with Practicum I
 PSYC 115
 Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare II
 NUTR 116
 Nutrition in Healthcare III
 Spring Quarter
 NURS 173
 Nursing Concepts with Practicum II
 PHIL 119
 Ethics and Policy in Healthcare II
 PSYC 116
 Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare III
 NUTR 117
 Nutrition in Healthcare IV
 Summer Quarter
 No classes
 Second Year
 Fall Quarter
 NURS 271
 Nursing Concepts with Practicum III
 PHIL 214
 Ethics and Policy in Healthcare III 1
 PSYC 214
 Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare IV 1
 NUTR 214
 Nutrition in Healthcare V 1
 Winter Quarter
 NURS 272
 Nursing Concepts with Practicum IV
 PHIL 215
 Ethics and Policy in Healthcare IV 1
 PSYC 215  Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare V 1
 Spring Quarter
 NURS 273
 Nursing Concepts with Practicum V
 PHIL 216
 Ethics and Policy in Healthcare V


Technology Requirements

Nursing students will need high-speed internet access and an up-to-date personal computer. The nursing program continues to incorporate current resources and technology including an increasing use of web-based, multi-media technologies. Most required textbooks will be electronic and a significant amount of classwork and assignments will be online. Dial-up and other slower internet connections will not be sufficient to meet students' needs.

Click here for eLearning tutorials and resources for students. Internet connection speeds should be a download speed of at least 1.5 mbps. Click here to check your internet speed.