ACEN-Seal-Color-WebNational Accreditation by ACEN  

3343 Peachtree Rd. NE
Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326
Phone: (404) 975-5000
Fax: (404) 975-5020

Changes to Whatcom's nursing program prerequisites

WCC’s nursing program added prerequisites (effective spring 2016 application for fall 2016 start), all of which must be completed prior to the program application deadline.

New prerequisites include General Biology (BIOL& 160) and General Psychology (PSYC& 100). Most students have already taken or plan to take these to move on to classes such as Microbiology (BIOL& 260) and Lifespan Psychology (PSYC& 200). Additional new prerequisites include five (5) credits of any Oral Communications (OC) course. The nursing program recommends, but does not require, Interpersonal Communication (CMST& 210), Public Speaking (CMST& 220) or Small Group Communication (CMST& 230). Finally, applicants must also have 10 credits of Humanities courses. These include subjects such as art, music, philosophy, film, etc.

These additional prerequisites will not count toward your RN application score and do not require a specific, minimum grade. This change may have an impact on your academic plan as well as your Financial Aid status, including adding summer courses to finish in time. If you have questions or would like to review your course history with an advisor, please call 360.383.3080 to schedule a planning appointment.


Whatcom’s nursing graduates eclipse national licensing pass rate

WCC's nursing program is dedicated to fostering and nurturing the caring, compassion, clinical reasoning, problem solving, and lifelong learning skills needed by leaders in professional nursing. Students who complete the nursing program at Whatcom Community College earn an Associate in Nursing - Direct Transfer Agreement / Major Related Program (DTA/MRP) and are then eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for Registered Nurses (RNs).

Graduates of Whatcom Community College’s nursing program consistently pass the NCLEX at rates far above the national average. For three of the past four years, 100% of WCC nursing graduates passed their exam on the first attempt. During that same time period nationally, first-attempt pass rates ranged from 79% to 89%.

NCLEX-RN first attempt pass rates
Grad year
% passed WCC
% passed national
3-year mean WCC
3-year mean national
 2012  100%  89%  98.7%  87.6%
 2013  100%  81%  98.7%  85.8%
 2014  100%  79%  100%  83%
 2015  93%  82%  97.6%  80.7%


These stellar results are a reflection of the academic rigor of the program curriculum, the caliber of the faculty members, and the commitment of the students. Further evidence of this are the program completion and job placement rates.

Program completion rates
Starting #
# completers
Rate %
 2012-14  30  29  96.6%
 2013-15  30  29  96.6%
 2014-16  30  29  96.6%


Job placement rates
Graduation year
Six month survey respondents #/grads
% employed as RN within 6 months
2012 15/26
2013 10/25 100%
2014 22/30 95%
2015 16/29


International Student Health Mentor Project

Whatcom’s Student Nurses of Whatcom (S.N.O.W.) club has been working on a project with International Programs in which second year nursing students are paired with international students to help the latter learn how to navigate the health resources available to them in the community and, through quarterly workshops, develop good health and nutrition habits and stress-coping mechanisms, among other skills that are particularly helpful while living abroad.

Click here or more information about this collaborative project.


  • What are the standards to be successful in the nursing program?
  • Are there any special requirements for students in the nursing program?
  • Can I take my nursing prerequisites online?
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