Scheduled as Part of VATNP Accreditation
A public meeting will be held at Virginia Highlands Community
College on Wednesday, Oct. 15, in conjunction with a scheduled site
visit of the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Room 120 of the Nursing
Education Building and is part of the re-accreditation process for the
Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program. VATNP is the nursing
education program for Mountain Empire, Southwest Virginia and Virginia
Highlands community colleges.
Graduates of the program are awarded an Associate of Applied
Science Degree in Nursing and are eligible to take the national
licensure exam for registered nurses.
Accreditation by ACEN is an assurance to the
community that the nursing program meets high standards of educational
quality and is committed to a process of self-assessment, planning and
continual improvement. VATNP has been accredited since 1976.
For additional information, please contact VATNP’s
Administrative Office at (276) 739-2439.
About the Virginia Appalachian Tricollege
The Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program (VATNP) is a consortium
of three community colleges, Virginia Highlands Community College, Southwest
Virginia Community College and Mountain Empire Community College. The
VATNP is a 69 semester credit course of study leading to an Associate
in Applied Science in Nursing. Associate degree nursing programs are
designed to prepare selected students to take the National Council
Licensure Exam – Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) and to perform direct patient care
primarily in acute care settings and under supervision of the more experienced
VATNP NCLEX Pass Rate
In the fall of 1972, the Nursing Program began as a two college
program (Virginia Highlands Community College and Southwest Virginia
Community College) with 34 students, three faculty members, the Director and a secretary.
All nursing courses were taught on the Virginia Highlands Community College
In 1975, an agreement was made with Mountain Empire Community College
that allowed 12 students from that region to enter the program. In the
summer of 1976, the three college program was approved and the name became
the Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program.
Also in 1976, the program received accreditation from the Accrediting
Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850,
Atlanta, Georgia 30326, www.acen.org) and has been continually
accredited since that time. The program is approved by the
Virginia Board of Nursing. In 1984, an additional section was
added at Southwest Virginia Community College. This part of the
program is located in Grundy, VA.
With this new three college program, first year nursing courses and
support courses were offered at all three campuses, with second year
nursing courses still taught at Virginia Highlands Community College. In 1984, an additional section was added
at Southwest Virginia Community College. This part of the program
is located in Grundy.
In 2005, the program received significant grants from the Virginia
Tobacco Commission and the US Department of Health. These grants enabled
the program to offer the curriculum at each campus on a part-time evening/weekend
schedule for working adults.
In 2010, the program received grant funding from the Virginia Tobacco
Commission and the US Department of Health to develop a nursing
curriculum that would include use of healthcare technologies and
informatics. In addition, the grants provided a state of the art
centralized technology and simulation center at VHCC to provide
simulated clinical experiences for all VATNP students. Currently,
the part-time evening/weekend program is funded by Mountain States
Enrollment on each campus has steadily increased and the program now accepts
150 to 200 new students each year with a total enrollment of approximately
400 students. The program is able to offer the majority
of students their clinical experience close to their home campus. Since its beginning in 1972, the program
has graduated over 4000 students. The Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing
Program looks forward to the continued growth and development of this program.