Nursing - DTA-MRP - LPN to RN

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 are a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in WA State and are interested in continuing your education to become a Registered Nurse (RN), then Bellingham Technical College’s Nursing Program LPN-RN option is for you!

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.

The BTC LPN-RN Program is excited to be able to offer LPN-RN students the DTA/MRP associate degree. This degree was collaboratively developed by the Washington State community and technical colleges and four-year universities to create a streamlined pathway to the Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. 

Nursing Student Handbook 2021-2022

Please 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

87%3 BTC in-field graduate placement rate (faculty-tracked, national)

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


  • Employment and Wage Data Sources and Information

    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 data are provided for programs with faculty who maintain their own employment records of students who graduated between 2016-17 and 2018-19. The rates reflect employment within 9 months of graduation within their field of study. This additional, faculty-provided rate is particularly important for programs that tend to have graduates employed outside of WA and OR, as the Washington State ESD does not provide data on those graduates. 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?

Apply now for the LPN-RN Part-Time Evening Cohort!

Students interested in the LPN-RN program should apply to the college and contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at for assistance with getting started at BTC. A college application and your score on assessment testing and/or previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence.

The Nursing Program enters advanced placement LPN-RN applicants into cohorts utilizing a program-ready list (waitlist). Complete applications are placed on the waitlist in the order in which they are received.

LPN-RN DTA Program Admissions Checklist 22-23

LPN-RN Admissions Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The program longer enters LPNs into the second year of the full-time Nursing Program instead all advanced placement LPN students will apply to the part-time evening LPN-RN cohort. This cohort enters 10 students in every spring quarter. Next possible cohort start is April 2023.

The BTC Nursing Program is educating our students in-person again. Please be aware that this is not an online program.

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. The program’s clinical partner agencies will not accept any exemption to full COVID-19 vaccination.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)

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 take the TEAS through the BTC Assessment Center or remotely through ATI.

Registration Directions for TEAS at ATI

Healthcare Experience

LPN-RN applicants must have an active, unencumbered WA Sate LPN license and submit the Verification of Work Experience Form signed by their employer documenting 500 hours of worked as an LPN within the last five years. Proof of current LPN license is required to be included with LPN-RN admission application.

Verification of Work Experience as LPN Form (LPN-RN only)

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 Interpersonal Communications can no longer be accepted as a Communication elective)
  • Ten (10) credits of Humanities Electives (Only 5 credits of foreign language can be accepted)

30 credits of Practical Nursing - only required for students who completed Practical Nursing education at a college other than BTC 

The transcript evaluation process must be complete before applying to the program.


LPN-RN Program Application

Program-ready applicants are invited to apply. Email application and proof of WA State LPN license to

LPN-RN Admission Application form

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: 45

  • Quarter 1

  • NURS 210Acute Health Concepts5 CR
  • NUTR 215Nutrition in Healthcare IV1 CR
  • PHIL 215Ethics & Policy in Healthcare II1 CR
  • NUTR 115Nutrition in Healthcare I1 CR
  • PHIL 115Ethics and Policy in Healthcare I1 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • NURS 215Acute Health Concepts- Clinical Lab6 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • NURS 220Complex Health Concepts4 CR
  • NUTR 216Nutrition in Healthcare V1 CR
  • PSYC 215Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare IV1 CR
  • NUTR 116Nutrition in Healthcare II1 CR
  • NUTR 117Nutrition in Healthcare III1 CR
  • Quarter 4

  • NURS 225Complex Health Concepts- Clinical Lab6 CR
  • PSYC 117Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare III2 CR
  • Quarter 5

  • NURS 230Professional Nursing Concepts3 CR
  • PHIL 216Ethics & Policy in Healthcare III3 CR
  • PSYC 115Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare I1 CR
  • PSYC 116Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare II1 CR
  • Quarter 6

  • NURS 235Professional Nursing Concepts- Clinical Lab6 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.


BTC graduated the first cohort of LPN-RN DTA/MRP students August 2020

First Attempt NCLEX Pass Rates From NCQAC Quarterly Reports

1st Quarter - No graduates
2nd Quarter - No graduates
3rd Quarter - No graduates
4th Quarter – 95%

Summary of Annual Program Completion Data

Cohort (Grad month/year) - 08/20
20 began, 19 graduated
95% Retention

Job Placement Summary (Academic Year and Job Placement)

2019-2020: 75% employed 9 months after graduation*

*15 of the 19 graduates responded to survey

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 Support Specialist - 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

Natasha graduated with an associate degree in Nursing from Olympic College. She went on to complete her bachelor’s and Masters in Nursing from Washington State University. She is currently working on her PhD in Nursing at Washington State University. She has worked as an RN since 2015. During this time, she has worked on a medical-surgical unit and obtained her Medical-Surgical Nursing certification. She went on to work in the float pool covering units such as psych, med-surg, rehab, oncology, and neurology. Her most recent nursing experience has been with a Progressive Care Unit, where she obtained her progressive care certification.

Patrick Harris became a nursing instructor at Bellingham Technical College in 2021. He is currently the course lead for NURS 210/215. Prior to relocating to Washington, he worked for five years as a nursing instructor at Umpqua Community College (UCC) in Roseburg, Oregon. Patrick obtained his Associates of Applied Science in Nursing at Umpqua Community College in 2004 and his Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2006 at Kaplan University. He received his Master of Science in Nursing in 2017 through Western Governors University while working as a nursing instructor at UCC. Patrick has worked as a Registered Nurse since 2004, primarily in the emergency department with stints on the medical/surgical unit and in the cardiac cath lab. Patrick was a CNA and LPN prior to receiving his RN licensure. He worked in emergency departments in Oregon as both a traveling nurse as well as a full-time employee. He has worked in a variety of hospitals, ranging from a rural critical access hospital on the Oregon coast to a large hospital in Portland. He fulfilled a dream of his by working in Anchorage, Alaska as a traveling nurse prior to accepting a full time teaching job at UCC. He continued to work part time in the emergency department after becoming a nursing instructor.

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