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 Continuing 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.

LPN-RN Nursing Info Session:

There is not an Info Session scheduled for Winter 2024. Please reach out to our College Navigators to schedule an appointment at .

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 2023-2024

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

92%1 BTC graduate placement rate (Employment Security Department- WA and OR only)
100%3 BTC graduate placement rate (faculty-tracked, national)
100%3 BTC in-field graduate placement rate (faculty-tracked, national)

$76,012 starting annual wage2
$93,326 average annual wage2
$100,118 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 2017-18 and 2019-20. 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.

    2Whatcom County and WA State wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and reflect 2018-21 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 2017-18 and 2019-20 and who were employed within 9 months of graduation. Both overall and in field of study employment rates are included, respectively. For these programs, the format follows: ESD rate / faculty-tracked overall rate / faculty-tracked in-field rate. 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 overview page

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

How to Apply:

The LPN-RN Nursing Application Portal is open! 

A first sorting of seat offers will happen April 9, 2024 and students who apply before the first sorting will be notified of seat offerings in May 2024 if there are enough applications to fill a cohort. A second sorting of seat offers will happen July 9, 2024 and students who apply before this deadline will be notified of seat offerings in August 2024 if there are enough applications to fill a cohort.

If you have questions about applying to any of the programs, please contact your College Navigator at to schedule an appointment.

Next possible cohort start is April 2025.

All applicants to the BTC LPN-RN Nursing Program must be Program-Ready before they can apply online during the Application Window. Graduates of BTC's Practical Nursing Progam will receive priority for applications received by each sorting date.

Students are Program-Ready once they have completed the following:

  • Current BTC application on file with Associate in Nursing as the program of intent.
  • Complete all prerequisite foundational courses with required minimum grades and number of credits. Including 30 credits of Practical Nursing, only required for students who completed Practical Nursing education at a college other than BTC. Transcript evaluation process for all courses taken at another institution must be complete.
    • NOTE: Effective April 12, 2023, the Nursing program will no longer require the ATI TEAS assessment as an admissions requirement.

    • NOTE: As of July 1, 2023, the LPN-RN program no longer requires a specific number of hours worked as an LPN for healthcare experience.

  • Active and unencumbered WA State LPN License.

Pre-Application Audit

  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to request an audit from a Navigator before applying to their intended program. The Navigator will review the applicant’s record to ensure completion of prerequisite requirements. To request an audit, email Include your first and last name, intended program, and last 4 digits of your ctcLink student ID.
  • Audit requests will be fulfilled on a first come first serve basis. Applicants are encouraged to request their audit as early as possible to ensure a timely response. Wait times will be longer as application deadlines approach, and we recommend that applicants request an audit at least 3 weeks before they plan to apply.

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 complete guided self-placement 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.

Graduates of BTC's Practical Nursing Progam will receive priority for applications received by each sorting date.

LPN-RN DTA Program Admissions Checklist

LPN-RN Admissions Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The program no longer enters LPN's into the second year of the full-time Nursing Program, instead all advanced placement LPN students will apply to the part-time evening RN cohort. This cohort enters 10 students. Next possible cohort start is April 2025.

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?

LPN-RN applicants must have an active, unencumbered WA State LPN license. Proof of current LPN license is required to apply for the LPN-RN admission application.


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.

Physical Requirements

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

Notice About Marijuana Usage

Students who test positive for THC (marijuana, including prescription marijuana) will not be allowed entrance to Nursing and Allied Health programs with clinical components. Drug screening is a requirement of our clinical partner agencies. Although private recreational and medical use of marijuana is legal in Washington state, our clinical partner agencies are governed by federal laws, and marijuana is a prohibited substance at the federal level. If your final drug test results are positive, you will be ineligible to participate in the program that year and will be allowed to reapply to the program 12 months from the date of the positive test.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 47

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • Quarter 1

  • NURS 210Acute Health Concepts5 CR
  • NUTR 215Nutrition in Healthcare IV1 CR
  • PHIL 215Ethics & Policy in Healthcare II1 CR
  • The below courses are only for students who did not complete BTC Practical Nursing Program after 2018
  • 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
  • The below courses are only for students who did not complete BTC Practical Nursing Program after 2018
  • NUTR 116Nutrition in Healthcare II1 CR
  • NUTR 117Nutrition in Healthcare III1 CR
  • Quarter 4

  • NURS 225Complex Health Concepts- Clinical Lab6 CR
  • The below courses are only for students who did not complete BTC Practical Nursing Program after 2018
  • PSYC 117Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare III2 CR
  • Quarter 5

  • NURS 230Professional Nursing Concepts3 CR
  • PHIL 216Ethics & Policy in Healthcare III3 CR
  • The below courses are only for students who did not complete BTC Practical Nursing Program after 2018
  • PSYC 115Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare I1 CR
  • PSYC 116Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare II1 CR
  • Quarter 6

  • NURS 235Professional Nursing Concepts- Clinical Lab6 CR
  • View past class requirements for this program.

Program Outcomes

The BTC Associate Degree Nursing graduate will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate safe nursing care.
  • Identify culturally competent techniques to promote resilience in self and others.
  • Utilize therapeutic communication across a variety of settings.
  • Model integrity through ethical and professional behaviors.
  • Effectively implement the nursing process.

"Nursing Program Outcomes link to College and National Standards"



Bellingham Technical College’s Nursing Program delivers high-quality nursing education to benefit the health of our region.


The Nursing Program will be a recognized leader in providing innovative, effective, and progressive nursing education. The Program creates options for career success by developing a professional nursing workforce.


Nursing is both an art and a science; an art requiring creativity and skill, and a science requiring knowledge and the application of evidence-based practice. Nursing provides safe, patient-centered care in collaboration with the healthcare team.


In accordance with Bellingham Technical College’s values, the nursing program has established the following values:

  • Student-Centered: Use high-quality instruction to create pathways to reduce barriers and support student learning.
  • Collaborative: Strengthen student workplace readiness through partnerships and job placement services so students may achieve their education and career goals.
  • Principled: Cultivate a welcoming and accessible learning environment, which promotes student success through a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.
  • Responsive: Prioritize continuous quality improvement to keep pace with workforce needs and emerging industry trends.

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

NCLEX Pass Rates: All data reported by academic year 

BTC First Time Pass Rate 
2022-2023: 93% (4 graduating classes)
2021-2022: 92% (3 graduating classes)
2020-2021: 96% (4 graduating classes)

National First Time Pass Rate
2022-2023: 80%
2021-2022: 82%
2020-2021: 86%


Program Completion

BTC Program Completion

Within 100% of expected program length
2022-2023: 67%
2021-2022: 78%
2020-2021: 81%

Within 150% of expected program length
2022-2023: 74%
2021-2022: 80%
2020-2021: 90%

Job Placement 

BTC Graduate Job Placement

2022-2023: 91% (91% response rate)
2021-2022: 96% (100% response rate)
2020-2021: 94% (100% response rate)

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

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

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    MS, Nursing Education, Northern Arizona University

    BSN, Nursing, Northern Arizona University

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

    License, Registered Nurse, Washington State

    ATA, Nursing, Skagit Valley College

    MN, Nursing, University of Washington

    BS, Nursing, University of Washington

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State


If you have questions about this program or want help with the admissions steps to Bellingham Technical College, please email

Current students wanting academic planning and support, can connect with the program Instructor(s) or email