Associate Degree Nursing Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nursing (RIBN)

Associate Degree Nursing Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nursing (RIBN)

Associate Degree Nursing Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nursing (RIBN)

Specific Requirements

The RIBN option is an A.A.S. Dual Enrollment Program offered in collaboration with Western Carolina University. Students are accepted into and take courses at both A-B Tech and WCU during enrollment in the RIBN option.

Students are required to:

  1. Current American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers certification is a prerequisite to full admission and must be maintained throughout the program. This certification must include hands-on skills components, AED use, and other lifesaving skills. Course certifications from any other providers will not be accepted.
  2. Hold a documented, current, unrestricted credential as a Nurse Aide I (NAI) on the NC Nurse Aide I Registry (NCNAR) from the NC Division of Health Service Regulation (NC DHSR). A copy of the current listing on the NC DHSR website will be acceptable documentation. (
  3. Provide documentation of successful completion of an NC-approved Certified Nurse Aide I program which includes theory, lab, and clinical components. A copy of a college transcript or a notarized course completion certificate will be acceptable documentation.
  4. Affiliated clinical sites for nursing will require an onboarding process, which will include a criminal background check and drug testing prior to participation in the clinical component. If any clinical facility refuses to allow the student to participate in clinical experiences, for any reason, the student will not be able to progress in the program. Applicants for initial licensure in North Carolina must also have a criminal background check.
  5. Maintain dual admission and continued enrollment at both A-B Tech and WCU by completing one WCU course each academic year, as advised by the RIBN Nursing Advisor.
  6. Maintain a GPA of 2.25 or greater to progress in the RIBN option, with a minimum grade of “C” in all coursework.
  7. Home School: A-B Tech Years 1, 2, and 3.
  8. Year 1: Enroll in general education courses at A-B Tech and WCU as advised by the RIBN Nursing Advisor.
  9. Years 2 and 3: Enroll in Associate Degree Nursing courses at A-B Tech and continue enrollment in WCU courses as advised by the RIBN Nursing Advisor.
  10. Year 4: Home School is WCU.
  11. Successfully pass NCLEX - RN to progress to Year 4.
  12. See the RIBN Nursing Advisor for the recommended course sequence.

This program is approved by the
North Carolina Board of Nursing
P.O. Box 2129, Raleigh, NC 27602


WNC RIBN makes a baccalaureate education affordable and accessible since students pay mostly community college tuition rates for the first three years plus the cost of one university course per semester. In 2018, the cost for the entire four years for WNC RIBN was approximately $19,900 (tuition and fees only). No residence housing is required.

Clinical education:

Three years of the program include nursing courses and clinical experiences. Traditional baccalaureate and associate degree programs are typically two years of nursing education.


Students will take the state board exam (NCLEX) after Year 3 to work as an RN during Year 4 while they complete their baccalaureate courses.

A-B Tech's RIBN Application & WCU's RIBN Application Link

In December of each fall RIBN Application Cycle, the RIBN Nursing Advisor emails all potential RIBN candidates a specific WCU RIBN Application link – whether or not the potential candidate has already been identified as qualified for consideration. It is not for the WCU general application that all future WCU students complete. Instead, the emailed WCU RIBN application link is used. WCU then codes each candidate as a possible RIBN pathway student. Complete their application prior to February. During the first two weeks of January, the A-B Tech RIBN Nursing Advisor emails A-B Tech’s official RIBN Application to qualified candidates only. Qualified refers to candidates who have met all three minimum requirements for acceptance consideration. Use the printable RIBN documents found below for detailed RIBN information.

Western North Carolina Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses program (WNC RIBN) will dually admit and enroll students at A-B Technical Community College and Western Carolina University, to provide students with a seamless associate to baccalaureate nursing education. Unlike in a traditional BSN program, students will have the opportunity to begin working as a registered nurse prior to the fourth year and pay mostly community college tuition rates.

WNC RIBN makes an associate and bachelor’s degree in nursing both affordable and accessible. Upon successful completion of the first three years and registered nurse (RN) licensure, students will then finish their fourth year of classes through Western Carolina University, at WCU's Biltmore Park location.

WNC RIBN has 4-year and 3-year options. See the criteria below for more information.

Use the 2020-2021 RIBN links provided for detailed RIBN information.

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

  • Demonstrate the skills necessary for the transition to professional Nursing practice.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge necessary for the transition to professional Nursing practice.
  • Demonstrate cultural competency within Nursing.
  • Utilize informatics and evidence-based data to provide Nursing care to clients.
  • Demonstrate behaviors necessary for the transition to professional Nursing practice.
  • Apply the principles of interdisciplinary team management.

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.

2013 RIBN graduates in cap and gown

Students interested in RIBN can email for more information.

  • Advising Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Thank you for your interest in the WNC Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) option. Students applying to WNC RIBN must meet dual-admission requirements set forth collaboratively by A-B Tech and Western Carolina University. Please see the links on the left to learn more about RIBN.

Use the 2020-2021 RIBN links provided for detailed RIBN information.

All students must meet the following minimum requirements to be eligible to apply:

  • General acceptance to Western Carolina University and A-B Tech
  • Minimum ACT score of 19
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. If a student has less than 20 credit hours of college coursework, then this requirement will default to the high school unweighted GPA.
  • All applicants to WNC RIBN must take the ATI TEAS® (Test of Essential Academic Skills). Students may take the ATI TEAS® after the WNC RIBN Advisor has determined applicants' eligibility to apply. For more information about the ATI TEAS®, please visit: ATI Testing

Students interested in WNC RIBN should email

  • Advising Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  1. What makes the WNC RIBN nursing educational model different than traditional two- or four-year nursing pathways? This dual enrollment nursing option will provide a seamless transition from an associate degree to a baccalaureate degree in nursing. The students will be dually enrolled at their local community college and Western Carolina University (WCU). Students begin completing course requirements for a baccalaureate degree as soon as they enter the program. Students will have the opportunity to pay mostly community college tuition rates through the RIBN model.
  2. I already have a degree (associate's or bachelor's). Is RIBN a good fit for me? There is now an opportunity for students to enter RIBN in year two and finish in three years. Students need to meet with the RIBN advisor to figure out the best option for completion.
  3. What scholarship monies are available for WNC RIBN students? Students can apply for the "Forgivable Education Loans for Service". Information for that program can be found on the College Foundation of North Carolina website. Also, students can apply for foundation scholarships at their local community college. The application period is typically early in the year for the following fall. Students also need to check with their employers to see if there are any tuition reimbursement options.
  4. If I have taken the ACT before, do I have to re-take it to apply? If you have taken the ACT before and the score meets entry requirements to WCU, you do not have to retake it. There is no expiration on the ACT score.
  5. What if I am missing some of the UNC minimum course requirements? If you did not complete some of the required high school courses, you may take courses at the college level to satisfy these course requirements to be eligible to apply. Please email the RIBN advisor to clarify requirements for entrance to your local community college and Western Carolina University.
  6. What if my GPA is not over a 3.0? If your GPA from high school is under a 3.0 (unweighted), you will then complete 20 hours of college-level work. The RIBN advisor will then use the college GPA for scoring. If your college GPA is under a 3.0, you can look at these three options: retake the class (at the same institution) for a better grade, take enough credits at the "A" level to get the GPA over a 3.0, or look into an academic forgiveness policy. When you email the RIBN advisor, the best option for GPA repair will be explored.
  7. If I have completed college course work, will you still look at my high school GPA? If you have completed at least 20 credit hours of college coursework (100 level or higher), the RIBN advisor will only consider your cumulative college GPA.
  8. Can I apply to other nursing options as well as RIBN? Yes. Because nursing programs in the region are competitive for entry, we encourage you to apply to as many options for which you are eligible and interested.
  9. How do I get started? The next step would be to email the RIBN Nursing Advisor at
    • Advising Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

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