About the Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program
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
The Associate Degree Nursing program is approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing, (Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, VA 23233-1463, (804) 367-4515, website:
www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing) and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-975-5000, website:
VATNP Student Achievement Outcomes
||Data available July 2017
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.
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 1976, the program received accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and has been continually accredited since that time.
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.