Partnership between CFCC and UNCW gives students a head start on 4-year nursing degree

Cape Fear Community College and UNCW are collaborating to give students a new path to a career in nursing.

Known as the RIBN (Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses) project, the initiative is designed allow students to earn both an associate degree in nursing and a bachelor’s degree in nursing in just four years.

Having both degrees gives students a great advantage in the job market, according to Wilmington RIBN coordinator Celeste Connelly.

“Having a bachelors degree in nursing opens even more new doors of opportunity for students, allowing them to go into management positions or advanced practice,” Connelly said.

She explained that the program is a “seamless transition into a four-year degree” and is also cost-effective for students because the first three years of the program takes place at CFCC.

Students complete the first three years based at CFCC with general study courses the first year and then nursing courses the second and third years. Students will be enrolled in a UNCW online course per semester. Students will receive their Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) at the end of the third year. After passing the NCLEX-RN students will be eligible to practice as a RN and matriculate into the fourth year of the program. The fourth year will be completed online at UNCW. To meet the requirements of the Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN), students will complete coursework in gerontological and community health nursing, as well as evidenced-based practice and leadership development.

For more information, visit or call 362-7634.