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First class of RIBN students graduates
May 13, 2014
The first class of Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) students graduated from Western Carolina University on Thursday, May 8. A-B Tech Community College and WCU piloted the RIBN program for the state of North Carolina and these students have definitely led the way, according to Kristi Miller, A-B Tech's Nursing Associate Chair.
"RIBN takes four years to complete. After year three in the program, students receive an Associate Degree in Nursing at the community college level, take the National Licensure Exam (NCLEX) to become a registered nurse and then participate in a unique fourth year during which they are employed part time as nurses while they complete their BSN at WCU," Miller said.
RIBN was initiated by the Foundation for Nursing Excellence, a non-profit corporation created by the North Carolina Board of Nursing to improve health outcomes for citizens of North Carolina. The 2010 Institute of Medicine report made a goal for increasing the percentage of nurses holding at least the BSN degree from 50 percent to 80 percent by 2020. The RIBN program is intended to fulfill this mission.
A-B Tech and Western Carolina University were chosen as the pilot for RIBN based on the prior collaboration between the two institutions.
The following six students are the first students to graduate from RIBN after graduating from the A-B Tech nursing program in the spring of 2013: Amanda Hylemon, Kayla Edwards, Jessica Freeman, Brett Gustafson, Holly House and Ashley Sitton.
RIBN has expanded to six other universities and close to 30 community colleges across the state of North Carolina. The western region of RIBN now includes Blue Ridge Community College and Southwestern Community College with Isothermal Community College joining next year. As a result, there will be 53 RIBN students starting their journey to a baccalaureate degree in nursing next fall. "The growth of this program has been phenomenal and it started with these very motivated and successful A-B Tech students," Miller said.
Pictured are the first RIBN graduates (from left) Amanda Hylemon, Holly House, Brett Gustafson, Kayla Edwards, Jessica Freeman and Ashley Sitton.