Posted on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

VCCS Registered Nurse training programs have earned high marks in a new ranking of nursing programs across Virginia.

Compiled by California-based, the rankings were based on pass-rates for the NCLEX-RN exam, the National Council Licensure Examination used by states to determine whether a candidate is prepared for entry-level nursing practice.

Of the 63 RN programs in Virginia, VCCS nursing programs garnered half of the top twenty spots, including Number One ranking for the nursing program at Danville Community College.

“I am extremely proud of the RN Nursing program at Danville Community College,” said Interim President Dr. Betty Jo Foster. “Our faculty in this program are superb. They strive for excellence and encourage their students to do the same. It is an honor to work with such committed and talented instructors and students.”

“We’ve had a 100 percent pass rate on the state board licensure exam for several years now, and hope to keep that up in the future,” said DCC Arts, Sciences, & Business Division Dean Dr. Paul Fox. “This ranking also backs up what medical facilities in the surrounding area tell us: That they prefer to hire our graduates because they can hit the ground running, and provide excellent patient care from day one.”

Other VCCS nursing programs in the top twenty ranking included Southside Virginia Community College, Rappahannock Community College, John Tyler Community College, New River community College, Germanna Community College, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College and Reynolds Community College.

Both past and present first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates were analyzed in the ranking. To view the list of Virginia rankings from, click here.

Nineteen of Virginia’s 23 Community Colleges offer RN training programs. In the past three years, VCCS programs awarded nearly 3,900 associate of applied science degrees in nursing.

Since the fall of 2017, VCCS nursing programs have been in transformation, moving toward a common curriculum that focuses on deep learning of nursing’s most central concepts and high-level thinking skills.

“Concept-based nursing provides a much needed framework to streamline the teaching of nursing education in a profession that is oversaturated with medical knowledge,” said Daniel Lewis, director of educational programs and policy at VCCS.

“VCCS nursing programs were the first in the Commonwealth to adopt the new innovative curriculum ahead of senior institutions. Concept-based nursing coupled with a common curriculum provide the VCCS nursing programs with the opportunity to strengthen the delivery of patient care in Virginia.”'

Jim Babb

Jim Babb works for Virginia's Community Colleges in the Office of Strategic Communications.

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