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Lenoir-Rhyne University’s strong history of Nursing began in 1910 with a partnership with Grace Hospital in Morganton, NC. The Lenoir-Rhyne Grace Hospital School of Nursing began in 1960 and graduated its first class of nine students in 1964. Lenoir Rhyne’s nursing program was the fourth program in the state of North Carolina to gain accreditation and the first fully accredited program at a faith-based college of university. The program also has full approval from the North Carolina State Board of Nursing. Today, the baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Lenoir-Rhyne University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

The School of Nursing provides baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs grounded in Christian faith and liberal arts. The mission of the School of Nursing is the education of nursing leaders who influence the quality of health care through the promotion of health and the management of illness in a global society. The faculty strives to develop specific cognitive, affective, psychomotor and technological skills in students to enable them to work in collaboration with other members of the health care team and improve the quality of health care through the use of information technology, clinical judgment and research. Nursing faculty believe that the development of nurse leaders is best accomplished within the context of a Christian caring perspective.

Students have the opportunity to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree through the pre-licensure BSN route, Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate prepared Nurses (RIBN) and RN to BSN Program. Lenoir-Rhyne nursing students benefit from both the applied sciences and a core curriculum based in the liberal arts. Students apply to the School of Nursing in the spring of their sophomore year. Once accepted, students begin the program in the fall of the junior year. Upon graduation, nurses are prepared to take the national licensure exam (NCLEX®) and are ready to enter the nursing profession and provide direct patient care. The graduate is also prepared to pursue graduate study in nursing and to continue education in emerging nursing fields.


Nursing Accreditation


Qualified nursing students may become members of Mu Alpha, Lenoir-Rhyne’s local chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing. Sigma Theta Tau International provides leadership and scholarship in practice, education and research to enhance the health of all people. The honor society supports the learning and professional development of its members, who strive to improve nursing care worldwide.

Students also have the opportunity to participate in regular student community service initiatives such as fundraising activities for campus wide events, Foothills Homeless Veteran Stand Down, and community health promotion projects.


LR’s nursing program prepares students for a wide variety of Nursing-related positions across multiple specialty areas, such as: Obstetrics; Gynecology; Labor/Delivery; Newborn/Neonatal Intensive Care; Pediatrics; Medical/Surgical/Operating Room Services; Intensive/Critical Care; Oncology/Palliative Care; Home Health/Public Health; Geriatric Care; and Psychiatric Care.


Nursing Major Requirements
School of Nursing Application
Nursing Student Handbook


93% of students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program passed the NCLEX exam in 2018.

Program Contact

Dr. Kerry Thompson

Chair of the School of Nursing; Professor
Hickory Campus

Piper Stephens

Administrative Assistant, School of Nursing
Hickory Campus

Dr. Judith Hilton

Professor of Nursing, Director, RN to BSN Program
Hickory Campus