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VHCC & King Sign Pivotal Nursing Admission Agreement

April 3, 2024

Partnership creates pathway from associates degree direct to the doctoral level


King University and Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC) have partnered on a new agreement that streamlines admissions and coursework for students navigating a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) pathway.


Under the new agreement, VHCC students who are earning an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) and have a registered nurse license are guaranteed admission to King’s RN-BSN program. Those with qualifying grades of C+ or better will be classified as juniors who have satisfied all general education requirements, except for Common Experience courses which are unique to King.


Candidates can then complete King’s RN-BSN program, including any remaining graduation requirements, in three semesters instead of four, saving time and resources. For those who want to progress on to the master’s or doctoral level at King, it also expands access to specializations in acute care, gerontology, psychiatric mental health care and more.


“VHCC and King have a long history of working together to create avenues of success for students,” said Derek Whisman, Ed.D., vice president of instruction and student services at VHCC. “Together, our partnership creates affordable, accessible ways for students to gain the educational experience and credentials they need to establish and foster their careers, starting with the RN-BSN program.”


King’s RN-BSN program is fully online, helping working adults balance the demands of work and family. Likewise, King’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs are taught using a HyFlex format that allows students to arrange their own study schedules while also having ready access to support from professors and mentors. Those in the MSN and Registered Nurse to Doctor of Nursing Practice (RN-DNP) program have the opportunity to sit for their nurse practitioner license.


“This agreement recognizes the achievement of VHCC students in completing a rigorous academic program, passing the NCLEX, and obtaining their RN license,” said Matt Roberts, Ed.D., provost of King. “We’re proud to support them in their career goals, as well as all our colleagues in Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee who are working to provide high-quality health care to our families and neighbors.”


The agreement is now in effect for all those nursing students registering at VHCC for the summer semester 2024 and beyond.


More information on King University is available at, and additional details on VHCC are available at

From left, King University Provost Matt Roberts, Ed.D., King University President Alexander Whitaker, VHCC President Adam Hutchinson, Ph.D., and VHCC Vice President of Instruction and Student Services Derek Whisman, Ed.D., sign a guaranteed admission agreement that helps those students completing an associate’s degree in Nursing at VHCC to seamlessly transfer to the RN to BSN program at King and achieve a four-year degree in three semesters.


About King University

King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees, and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 28 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609.


About Virginia Highlands Community College

Virginia Highlands Community College is one of the 23 comprehensive community colleges in the Virginia Community College System. VHCC has become a dynamic leader in Southwest Virginia with a primary goal of providing comprehensive and quality education and related services for residents throughout its region. We proudly serve the residents of Bristol Virginia, Washington County and the western portion of Smyth County. VHCC is committed to teaching, learning & community building, and serves more than 2500 students, offering more than 80 areas of academic study.