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.
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.