Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program

VATNP - Virginia Appalacian Tricollege Nursing Program

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 Registered Nurse.

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: 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

Pass Rate
Program Completion
Job Placement
2012-2013 85.06% 75% 97%
2013-2014 91.40% 75% 100%
2014-2015 92.97% 73% 100%
2015-2016 90.70% 71% Data available July 2017
VATNP History

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 campus.

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 National League for Nursing (NLN) 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.

Virginia Highlands Community CollegeMountain Empire Community CollegeSouthwest Virginia Community College

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