Nursing - DTA-MRP - Associate Degree

The Associate Degree Registered Nursing Program at Bellingham Technical College located in Bellingham, WA is accredited by the: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

3390 Peachtree Rd. NE, Suite 1400 Atlanta, GA 30326

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Associate Degree Registered Nursing Program is Initial Accreditation.


If you’re interested in building a rewarding career in the high-demand field of nursing, then Bellingham Technical College’s Nursing Program is for you!

Attend an online Two Year RN Program Info Session to learn more about the BTC Registered Nursing Program and get information about the admissions process and requirements of our program.

Registered Nursing Program Overview

The Bellingham Technical College Nursing Program is the largest nursing program in the region and has been educating nurses since 1954. The registered nursing program is nationally accredited through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and is a concept-based Associate Degree in Nursing Direct Transfer Agreement/Major Ready Pathway (DTA/MRP). Academic preparation includes core courses in arts and sciences and those focusing on basic nursing skills and knowledge.

There is one Nursing Program at BTC which has three program options, Registered Nursing (RN), LPN-RN, and Practical Nursing (PN). The two-year registered nurse associate degree is intended for students new to the nursing field and is a full-time option only. Advanced placement students who are Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are admitted into the part-time, evening LPN-RN option to complete the DTA/MRP associate degree. Students who graduate from the two-year full-time RN and LPN-RN pathway are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). The third program option is the Practical Nursing Certificate. This pathway is designed for students interested in becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and looking for a part-time option that better meets their needs. Upon competition of the PN Certificate program graduates are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination – Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN).

Nursing Student Handbook 2020-2021

Note: BTC has not made a determination that the Nursing Program curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure/certification outside of Washington State. We encourage students who plan to work out-of-state to check relevant local licensure/certification requirements.

The BTC Nursing Program is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC).

PO Box 47864
Olympia, WA 98504

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

91%1 / 87%3 BTC graduate placement rate

$69,235 starting annual wage2
$82,199 average annual wage2
$99,394 potential annual wage2


  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2016-17 and 2018-19. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2020 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates (Washington State wage) and reflect 2015-2018 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

    3Additional employment rates are provided for programs with faculty who maintain their own employment records of students who graduated between 2015-16 and 2017-18 and who were employed in their field of study within 9 months of graduation. These additional, faculty-provided rates are particularly important for programs that tend to have graduates employed outside of WA and OR. Note that due to lack of available data, rates may represent fewer than 3 years of graduates.

Estimated Program Costs

Tuition Fees and Rates

Program fees address distinct and specified costs such as lab assistants, supplies, materials, equipment, rentals, software licensing, replacement and upgrade, maintenance, and other operational costs.

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

Two-Year RN Program Admission

All students interested in the Nursing Program should meet with the Nursing Student Navigator, to schedule an appointment contact Admissions & Advising at or 360.752.8345. The student navigator will help you plan a course of study. 

This pathway is designed for students new to the nursing field who wish to complete their associate degree full-time. The two-year, full-time Nursing Program option enters sixty students into three cohorts each academic year using the Annual Program List-Nursing (ALP-N) process.

2-Year Nursing DTA Admissions Checklist

2-Year Nursing DTA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 2021-2022

The BTC Nursing Program looks forward to educating our students in-person again for the 21-22 academic year. Please be aware that this is not an online program.

Starting in Fall students will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. To be considered fully vaccinated, two weeks must have passed since the date of the second dose or first dose for the one-dose vaccine. Only medical exemptions can be accepted in place of COVID-19 vaccination. Religious or philosophical exemptions cannot be accepted for clinical placement.

2021-2022 Application Window has now closed

2021-2022 Application Window Info Sheet

The Bellingham Technical College Nursing Program is not able to accept advance placement students that are not Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) v.6

Applicants must score at the "PROFICIENT" level or higher in each of the four areas on one transcript. See the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills handout for more information about this entrance assessment.

Students can also take the TEAS remotely through ATI.

Registration Directions for TEAS at ATI

If you are having trouble getting your TEAS scheduled at BTC we encourage you to visit 

Deadline to submit ATI TEAS scores for the 2022-2023 Application Window will be posted in January 2022.

Healthcare Experience

Two-year, full-time applicants must submit a Healthcare Experience Verification Form for prior approval. Experience in healthcare may be demonstrated by certification or training in an allied healthcare field. Other experience will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by program staff. DO NOT turn in original certificates or licenses. Please follow the instructions on the form regarding which documentation to submit.

Healthcare Experience Verification Form (For DTA/MRP 2-year Program & PN Cert Entry Only)

Deadline to submit Healthcare Experience Verification forms for the 2022-2023 Application Window will be posted in January 2022.

Applicants with previously approved Healthcare Experience Verifications forms do not need to re-submit.

Early Program Course Requirements


 The following courses must be completed with a B (3.0) or higher in each course:

  • Intro to Statistics (MATH& 146)
  • Human A & P 1 (BIOL& 241)
  • Human A & P 2 (BIOL& 242)
  • Microbiology (BIOL& 260)
  • Introduction to Chemistry (CHEM& 121 or CHEM& 161)
  • English Composition I (ENGL& 101)
  • Lifespan Psychology (PSYC& 200)

The following courses must be completed with a C (2.0) or higher in each course

  • General Psychology (PSYC& 100)
  • General Biology with lab (BIOL& 160)
  • Five (5) credits of Communication Electives (CMST& 210 can no longer be accepted as a Communications elective)
  • Ten (10) credits of Humanities Electives (Only 5 credits of foreign language can be accepted)

The Transcript Evaluation Process must be complete before apply to the program. See Transfer Student on the BTC website for more information.

Deadline to submit transcripts for evaluation for the 2022-2023 Application Window will be posted in January 2022.

Physical Requirements

AFTER admissions acceptance into the program and prior to beginning program classes students must submit proof of all Clinical Placement Requirements.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 135

  • Quarter 1

  • NURS 110Introduction to Health Concepts4 CR
  • NURS 115Introduction to Health Concepts- Clinical Lab6 CR
  • NUTR 115Nutrition in Healthcare I1 CR
  • PHIL 115Ethics and Policy in Healthcare I1 CR
  • PSYC 115Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare I1 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • NURS 120Health and Illness Concepts 15 CR
  • NURS 125Health & Illness Concepts 1- Clinical Lab6 CR
  • NUTR 116Nutrition in Healthcare II1 CR
  • PSYC 116Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare II1 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • NURS 130Health & Illness Concepts 23 CR
  • NURS 135Health & Illness Concepts 2- Clinical Lab6 CR
  • PSYC 117Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare III2 CR
  • NUTR 117Nutrition in Healthcare III1 CR
  • Quarter 4

  • NURS 210Acute Health Concepts5 CR
  • NURS 215Acute Health Concepts- Clinical Lab6 CR
  • NUTR 215Nutrition in Healthcare IV1 CR
  • PHIL 215Ethics & Policy in Healthcare II1 CR
  • Quarter 5

  • NURS 220Complex Health Concepts4 CR
  • NURS 225Complex Health Concepts- Clinical Lab6 CR
  • NUTR 216Nutrition in Healthcare V1 CR
  • PSYC 215Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare IV1 CR
  • Quarter 6

  • NURS 230Professional Nursing Concepts3 CR
  • NURS 235Professional Nursing Concepts- Clinical Lab6 CR
  • PHIL 216Ethics & Policy in Healthcare III3 CR
  • Pre-Program

  • BIOL& 160General Biology w/Lab5 CR
  • BIOL& 241Human A & P 15 CR
  • BIOL& 242Human A & P 25 CR
  • BIOL& 260Microbiology5 CR
  • CHEM& 121Introduction to Chemistry5 CR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • MATH& 146Introduction to Statistics5 CR
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • PSYC& 200Lifespan Psychology5 CR
  • Communications (elective)5 CR
  • Humanities (electives)10 CR

Program Outcomes

The BTC Associate Degree Nursing graduate will be able to: 

  • Nursing Care: Integrate the nursing process to deliver individualized culturally competent care.

  • Self-Care Promotion: Formulate strategies to promote the health of self and others.

  • Professionalism: Model integrity through professional boundaries, ethical behaviors, and respectful communication.

  • Collaborative Leadership: Maximize positive health outcomes through the promotion of evidence-based clinical care within the interdisciplinary team.

  • Clinical Judgment: Model safe nursing care by integrating critical thinking, evidence-based practice, and prioritization.

First Attempt NCLEX Pass Rates From NCQAC Quarterly Reports


1st Quarter - 95%
2nd Quarter - 94%
3rd Quarter - 89%
4th Quarter – No Summer Cohort
Aggregate - 93%


1st Quarter - 100%
2nd Quarter - 100%
3rd Quarter - 95%
4th Quarter – No Summer Cohort
Aggregate - 98%


1st Quarter - 89%
2nd Quarter - 76%
3rd Quarter - 95%
4th Quarter – No Summer Cohort
Aggregate - 86%


1st Quarter - 89%
2nd Quarter - 89%
3rd Quarter - 89%
4th Quarter - No Summer Cohort
Aggregate - 89%
Summary of Annual Program Completion Data


Cohort (Grad month year) - 06/20
21 began, 20 graduated
95% Retention

Cohort (Grad month year) - 03/20
21 began, 19 graduated
95% Retention

Cohort (Grad month year) - 12/19
23 began, 17 graduated
74% Retention

Cohort (Grad month year) - 06/19
20 began, 19 graduated
95% Retention

Cohort (Grad month year) - 03/19
21 began, 18 graduated
86% Retention

Cohort (Grad month year) - 12/18
21 began, 19 graduated
90% Retention

Cohort (Grad month year) - 06/18
20 began, 19 graduated
95% Retention

Cohort (Grad month year) - 03/18
21 began, 16 graduated
76% Retention

Cohort (Grad month year) - 12/17
20 began, 18 graduated
90% Retention

Cohort (Grad month year) - 06/17
22 began, 20 graduated
91% Retention

Cohort (Grad month year) - 03/17
22 began, 21 graduated
95% Retention


Job Placement Summary (Academic Year and Job Placement)- based on student survey data


100% employed 9 months after graduation

85% employed 9 months after graduation

95% employed 9 months after graduation

88% employed 9 months after graduation

97% employed 9 months after graduation

95% employed 9 months after graduation

Employment Outlook

Registered Nurses are the most advertised job online in Whatcom county. As the Baby Boomer population ages, the number of healthcare jobs in our community and beyond is rapidly growing. The demand for nursing program graduates is high: 97 percent of Bellingham Technical College Nursing Program students have jobs within nine months of graduating. The average annual wage in this field is $78,666, with an earning potential of about $96,658 per year.

BTC graduates are highly sought after by employers in our region and beyond. Graduates of BTC find top jobs in a variety of healthcare settings, including acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, skilled home care, hospice, clinics, day-surgery centers, schools, and public health.

Many of the Nursing Program graduates go on to complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The DTA/MRP degree that BTC offers allows graduates to seamlessly transfer to WA State RN-BSN programs. A BTC Associate Degree in Nursing is the first step on a path to further career advancement towards a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a doctoral degree.

Faculty & Support

Diana began as a nursing instructor at Bellingham Technical College in 2010. She has worked as a nurse in many settings in both Whatcom and Skagit County. Areas of experience include Acute Care, Long Term Care, Labor and Delivery, Postpartum, Health Clinics, Camp Nurse, and School Nurse. Diana began her nursing education at Skagit Valley College, and completed her Master of Nursing degree at University of Washington Bothell. Her research and projects focus on improving the health of student nurses and clients by promoting exercise and a plant strong diet.

Tiffany began her nursing career as an LPN while immediately working toward her BSN. She graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2005. She completed graduate school at Western Governor's University with a MSN-Ed in 2015 followed by earning her national certification as a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) in 2016.

Nursing Student Navigator - Advising for all Nursing and Pre-Nursing Master of Education Bachelor of Science – Mathematics I am a dedicated, goal oriented, team player with eight years’ experience teaching and four years teaching Middle School Summer School, three years running an After School Homework Center, and four years as an Accounting Clerk. I have been a Site Team Chair, Mathematics Head Chair, and the Middle School and High School Curriculum Director for Mathematics. I like challenges and finding solutions to them. I thrive on providing excellence in all areas of my job. My undergraduate schooling was completed at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama where I earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mathematics and was awarded one of four of the University’s top awards, the George S. Benson Citizenship Award for Outstanding Contribution in Academics and Athletics. I have completed my Master of Education Degree and Teaching Certification in Secondary Education at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington

Mary Curran has experience in providing nursing care in a variety of settings. Mary began her pursuit in the field of nursing at Bellingham Technical College by completing the nursing assistant program in 1991 and practical nursing program in 1993. The solid nursing foundation gained at Bellingham Technical College laid the ground work for her journey in nursing. Working at each level Mary continued her nursing education: Associate's Degree in Nursing, Bachelor's Degree in Nursing, and Master's Degree in Nursing. Mary is dedicated to quality nursing care and education through role modeling.

  • Degrees and Credentials

    M.N., Nursing, University of Washington - 2004

    B.S., Nursing, University of Washington - 2004

    WA Professional Technical Certification - 2004

    A.T.A., Nursing, Skagit Valley College - 2004

    Registered Nurse License, State of Washington - 2004

Holly Kennedy has a Master's Degree in Nursing from the University of Washington and a Certificate from the University of Washington in Nurse Educator Specialty Training. She has over 27 years of experience providing nursing care to patients in a variety of settings. Her background includes acute care hospitals, home health, home infusion, industry, Sara Lee Corporation, American Red Cross and medical office nursing. Holly Kennedy has over 9 years experience as a medical office nurse and clinic coordinator. She is committed to nursing education and facilitating the best experience possible for students in the clinical setting.

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Registered Nurse License, State of Washington - 2004

    WA Professional Technical Certification - 2004

    Diploma Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing - 2004

    Nurse Educator Specialist Training Certificate - 2004

    B.S., Nursing, University of Victoria - 2004

    M.N., Nursing, University of Washington - 2004

    B.S., Industrial Technology, Central Connecticut State University - 2004