Welcome to the School of Nursing at Western Carolina University. We have grown significantly over the last several years and now offer many exciting education options at the undergraduate and graduate level.
A career in nursing is challenging, rewarding, and offers varied and exciting work environments. Now more than ever, nurses prepared at the baccalaureate and master's level are in great demand by health care employers. Our faculty are invested in nurturing students as they prepare for their roles as clinicians, teacher/educators, researchers, leaders, life-long learners, and responsible members of society.
Nursing was established at Western in 1969 under Dr. Mary K. Kneedler, a nationally recognized leader in health care who helped develop the Head Start program under President Lyndon Johnson. The first class of BSN students graduated in 1973. In 1982, the RN to BSN program was started.
The master’s program was initiated in 1999 with the Family Nurse Practitioner as the first track. We now also offer tracks in Nursing Administration, Nursing Anesthesia and Nursing Education at the graduate level.
In May of 2007 we also started an accelerated entry option for our pre-licensure program
for individuals with baccalaureate degrees in other fields. In July of 2007 we were
re-named as a School of Nursing. Fall of 2009 marked the School of Nursing's 40th
In 2009 we added the Nurse Administration track to the master's in nursing program. Soon thereafter we introduced the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) Program. Joining forces with AB Tech Community College, the RIBN Program allows students to be dually enrolled in the community college and WCU to earn both their Associate Degree in Nursing and Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing within four years.
The School now has well over 2000 alumni who practice in clinical and leadership roles nationwide. Students who graduate from our programs perform well on their licensure or certification exams with pass rates well above national averages.
Students have the opportunity for clinical experiences throughout western North Carolina in many different types of health care institutions and agencies. A strong element of our programs is that we offer clinical opportunities in rural and urban areas, providing students with diverse practice experiences.
The School of Nursing is approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing. The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at Western Carolina University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The Master’s in Nurse Anesthesia is also accredited by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Commission on Accreditation.
Director, School of Nursing