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WVU Nursing & BridgeValley partnership providing pathway for RNs to obtain bachelor’s degree

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Through a new dedicated partnership between the West Virginia UniversitySchool of Nursing and BridgeValley Community and Technical College, students will be able to seamlessly transition from their associate degree to become a baccalaureate-prepared registered nurse.

The 3-1 pathway allows BridgeValley students to complete their two-year associate degree, then take the NCLEX licensure exam to become an RN. Upon passage of the exam, students will remain with BridgeValley for the first year of the WVU Nursing RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program. For their final year, students will enroll with WVU to complete the remainder of the curriculum, fully online, and earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“This partnership provides a seamless pathway for students in central and southern West Virginia who want to become baccalaureate-prepared nurses,” said Dr. Tara Hulsey, WVU School of Nursing Dean and E. Jane Martin Endowed Professor. “With higher educational degrees, nurses can provide improved patient outcomes, access more career opportunities, and receive higher levels of income. They can become leaders in their organizations, or even pursue a graduate degree with the foundation of a BSN.”

Many students pursue an associate degree, rather than a bachelor’s degree, due to financial constraints or lack of access. But this pathway provides students in rural West Virginia with a more affordable pathway for a BSN degree, as three years of their four-year program will be completed a community and technical college tuition rate.

"This partnership underscores our commitment to access and affordability," said Kent Wilson, Dean of Nursing and Emergency Services at BridgeValley. “We are thrilled for this innovative partnership and program because it will open the nursing field to more passionate young people in our area.”

BridgeValley students can also transition easily into the BSN curriculum with faculty members with whom they are already familiar. The WVU curriculum includes evidence-based practice and research, ethics and healthcare policy, and community and population health. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, an abundance of research shows higher levels of safety, quality and patient outcomes among BSN-prepared nurses.

“That’s where the BSN extends beyond the ASN,” explained Dr. Brad Phillips, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs at WVU School of Nursing. “The BSN curriculum gives students a comprehensive understanding of safe care, which extends beyond the hospital-based setting.”

"Through this partnership, students can experience the unique benefits of both institutions, fostering their growth and success," said Betty Craze, Associate Professor for Nursing at BridgeValley. “We are serious about helping our state overcome nursing shortages and training our local students to enter the healthcare field. This innovative program will produce more well-prepared, top-tier nursing graduates — and that’s exactly what we want.”

The WVU School of Nursing’s RN to BSN program was recently ranked the No. 1 program in the state by, a leading nursing education website. Students who complete the RN to BSN program will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from West Virginia University.

BridgeValley students who are interested in this opportunity are eligible to enroll for Fall 2024. To learn more, Kent Wilson, Dean of Nursing and EMS, at [email protected] or Dr. Melanie Whelan, RN to BSN Track Coordinator, at [email protected].


CONTACT: Wendy Holdren
Director of Communications and Marketing
WVU School of Nursing
304-923-3591; [email protected]