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WNC RIBN Program


The WNC Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) Program will dually admit and enroll you at Western Carolina University and an area community college. Currently the WCU School of Nursing has a RIBN partnership with Asheville-Buncombe Technical, Blue Ridge, Isothermal, and Southwestern community colleges. The RIBN Program provides you with a four year, seamless associate to baccalaureate nursing education. Unlike in a traditional BSN program, you will have the opportunity to begin working as an RN at the start of your fourth year.

The RIBN option makes a bachelor’s degree in nursing both affordable and accessible. The first three years will be hosted on the community college's campus, with one class taken each semester online through WCU. Students pay mostly community college tuition rates for the first three years. Upon successful completion of the first three years, students finish their fourth year online through WCU and at the Biltmore Park instructional site.

See what students have to say about the RIBN Program.

Admissions Requirements

Students applying to RIBN for Fall 2020 must meet admission requirements for both the community college and Western Carolina University.

Admission is based on the following criteria:

  1. Acceptance to one of the partnering Community Colleges and General Acceptance to WCU
    • To be eligible to apply to WNC RIBN directly from high school or before completion of at least 20 hours of college credit, a student must have an unweighted cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale in high school courses.
    • To be eligible to apply for admission to WNC RIBN after completion of at least 20 hours of college credit (100 level or higher), a student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. The 20 hours will not include any developmental courses (below 100 levels).
    • Applicants will apply to the Community College first and once accepted they will be given a RIBN-specific link to apply to WCU.
  2. ACT Composite Score
    • The state minimum for  ACT is 17. Official high school scores are acceptable.
    • Note: a competitive ACT score is 24 or higher.
    • Applicants who have never taken the ACT or wish to improve their score may take/retake the exam through the WCU Testing Center or an approved ACT test site.
    • Applicants are allowed to retake the ACT once every 60 days (scores must be available by the application deadline).
  3. ATI TEAS exam score of 70 or higher

application process

Students apply to the RIBN Program through the Community College. Please contact one of the RIBN Student Success Advocates listed below for more details.


The curriculum plan will vary depending on the community college you are attending. Throughout the first three years students will complete 4 courses through WCU while enrolled at their Community College.

Examples of curriculum plans

Students are required to complete all courses with a "C" or higher while maintaining no less than a 2.5 cumulative GPA.

program costs

The current total estimated cost of attendance for the RIBN Program is $19,350. The cost may vary based on Community College expenses and when WCU courses are taken during the program. 


contact information

Partnering Community College Contacts:

Southwestern Community College RIBN Program
Linda Deeb | E: | P: 828-339-4367

Blue Ridge Community College RIBN Program
Susan Greco | E: | P: 828.694.1841

Isothermal Community College RIBN Program
Tina Porter | E: | P: 828.395.1621

A-B Tech Community College RIBN Program
Deborah Swider | E: | P: 828.398.7534

Western Carolina University Contact:

Sheila Price


Program Director:
Sheila Price, MS, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE

Core Faculty:
Kia Countess, DNP, RN, CNE
Tamra Shea, PhD, MSN, RN
Francine Sheppard, PhD, RN, CNE

For information about RIBN at WCU please contact our office of Student Services by emailing:

Statewide RIBN collaboratives, please visit

Office of Web Services