WNC Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses


WNC RIBN will dually admit and enroll you at A-B Technical Community College and Western Carolina University and provide 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 registered nurse at the end of your third year in this option and pay mostly community college tuition rates for the first three years of your associate to baccalaureate nursing education.

WNC RIBN makes an associate and bachelor’s degree in nursing both affordable and accessible. The first three years of WNC RIBN will be hosted on A-B Tech’s main Asheville campus, with one class completed online through WCU each semester. Upon successful completion of the first three years, you will then finish your fourth year of classes through WCU at A-B Tech’s Enka Campus.

 Why you should consider RIBN as an option:

 You can work as a registered nurse after year three.

  • The costs are kept low since most of the program is at the community college.  Currently, RIBN costs approximately $16,200 in tuition/fees for all four years.  That dollar figure does not include books or extra expenses such as scrubs/uniforms and books.
  • You are considered a nursing student when you start the program.  As a result, you can apply for nursing scholarships right away!
  • You graduate with three years of nursing education and clinical experience.  All coursework to complete the 2-year and 4-year nursing program is built into RIBN.
  • The classes with WCU are either online or at Biltmore Park.
  • The 4-year degree is the building block to master's level education.
  • If you want to work at a hospital, the 4-year degree is mandatory.

The application deadline was January 20, 2015 for 2015 fall entry.


To learn more about RIBN, how to apply and determine if RIBN is the right program for you, please watch this video:  http://www.screencast.com/t/v5jaqCXEin

Criteria for application to RIBN:  2015 Application/Continuation Criteria

Statewide RIBN website:  http://www.ribn.org/

RIBN curriculum:   A-B Tech RIBN Curriulum

Video of students who are currently in RIBN:  RIBN video

 Students are required to:

  • Provide documentation of successful completion of a NC-approved Certified Nurse Aide I Program which includes theory, lab, and clinical components by January 1, prior to year two.
  • Hold a documented, current, unrestricted credential as a Nurse Aide I (NAI) from the North Carolina Nurse Aide Registry and the Division of Health Service Regulation.
  • Maintain dual admission and continued enrollment at both A-B Tech and WCU by completing at least one WCU course each semester (Fall / Spring) during years 1 through 3.
  • Maintain a minimum of a "C" or higher in all coursework to progress in the RIBN option, with a cumulative GPA of 2.25.
  • Successfully pass NCLEX - RN after year three to progress to year four.

Upon completion of the Associate Degree Nursing Program and licensure, the graduate will:

1. demonstrate skills necessary for transition to professional Nursing practice.

2. demonstrate knowledge necessary for transition to professional Nursing practice.

3. demonstrate cultural competency within Nursing.

4. utilize informatics and evidence based data to provide Nursing care to clients.

5. demonstrate behaviors necessary for transition to professional Nursing practice.

6. apply the principles of interdisciplinary team management.

 RIBN students at work in lab


The A-B Tech nursing program is approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing.  The Western Carolina University School of Nursing is approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

For more specific information about the RIBN nursing option, please read the Admission to WNC RIBN and WNC RIBN Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages.


RIBN is coordinated statewide by the Foundation for Nursing Excellence with financial support from The Duke Endowment, the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the NC Area Health Education Centers Program.