ARHS Welcomes Inaugural Pre-Licensure Baccalaureate Nursing Class

Friday, September 3rd marked a historical day as Appalachian State University’s inaugural pre-licensure baccalaureate nursing class began their clinical rotation at Watauga Medical Center.  The 20 pre-licensure students were welcomed by Richard Sparks, CEO,  and Claire Cline, RN, VP Patient Care Services both of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System..  The class is beginning their clinical rotation as part of their nursing education at Appalachian State.  The Department of Nursing is part of Appalachian State’s newly formed College of Health Sciences, which officially began operation July 1, 2010.  Dean Fred Whitt, Founding Dean of the College, was also on-hand at the welcoming breakfast.

Inaugural Baccalaureate Nursing Class - Appalachian State University

Upon congratulating the first pre-licensure class, Richard Sparks stated, “What an honor for you, because you are the first class…something that has been a dream, a vision for many, many, many years.”

Dean Whitt spoke about how crucial Appalachian State University’s partnership with Appalachian Regional Healthcare System has been for this project, “Having partnerships is critical to this.  It is one thing to have bricks and mortar, it’s one thing to have a program, to have faculty, but none of the things that we will do in Health Sciences can be very efficient or very productive or meaningful with out really good partnerships; to have this partnership with Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, which won’t just be at this hospital, but others in the area and not just in nursing, but in nutrition, speech pathology and many other disciplines is critical to our mission.”

The students will receive clinical instruction from Wendy Miller, DNP, RN Director of the Pre-Licensure Program; Linda Johanson, PhD, RN, clinical coordinator for Adult Health Nursing Clinic; and Dana Brackney, PhD, RN, Clinical Instructor, as well as nursing and education leaders from Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s member hospitals, Watauga Medical Center, Charles A Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital and Blowing Rock Hospital.

The students will complete five semesters of clinical rotation as part of their nursing degree.  Over the course of their studies, students will have clinical experiences in several areas including adult health, pediatrics, behavioral health, obstetrics, community health and their clinical rotation is concluded with an internship.

Appalachian State University now offers two types of nursing programs.  The new program, for pre-licensure students complements the RN to BSN program, which began in 2006.

For more information about Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, visit; for more information about Appalachian State University’s College of Health Sciences, visit

One Response to ARHS Welcomes Inaugural Pre-Licensure Baccalaureate Nursing Class

  • admin says:

    Thanks for your interest in following ARHS on Twitter. Here are our Twitter names…
    Appalachian Regional Healthcare System – apprhs
    Blowing Rock Hospital – brockhospital
    Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital – cannonhospital
    Watauga Medical Center – wataugamedctr