More About the Undergraduate Nursing Programs at Jefferson

Welcome to the Nursing Department at Jefferson College of Health Sciences. It's a great time to be in nursing, especially at Jefferson College, where students can choose from a variety of nursing programs designed for the person entering nursing as a novice and for the experienced healthcare practitioner looking for career advancement through continuing their education.

Click below to see more information about our nursing programs.

Program Mission: 


The mission of Jefferson College of Health Sciences Nursing Programs is to promote excellence in nursing education, practice, scholarship, and service. Through innovative interprofessional practice and education experiences, graduates will be empowered to provide leadership in the rapidly changing and culturally diverse healthcare environment. Graduates will contribute to the health of all populations as ethical clinicians, educators, researchers, and leaders.


Most historians trace the modern nursing profession to Florence Nightingale. In the United States, the growth of nursing was stimulated by the Civil War. Prior to this time, women had the primary responsibility for caring for their families and their neighbors. Few formal education programs existed and there was no organized method of caring for the sick (Harrington & Terry, 2003). Since nursing education programs varied greatly, there were no specific standards for nursing practice. 

The first nursing licensure in the United States was in offered in 1903, and Virginia was the fourth state to offer the opportunity for nurses to demonstrate their competence to practice nursing according to defined standards. Mandatory licensure for Registered Nurses first became effective in New York in 1947 (Harrington & Terry, 2003). 

In Roanoke, two early nursing schools, the Lewis-Gale School of Nursing, founded in 1911 and the Jefferson Hospital School of Nursing, founded in 1914, joined together to become the Community Hospital of Roanoke Valley School of Nursing in 1965. This school gradually evolved to become the Jefferson College of Health Sciences. The Nursing Department remains a vital component of the College. 

The future of nursing is impacted by many factors including advances in technology and communication, societal influences, health care reform, and demographic changes. Nurses of the future will be expected to respond to these changes by developing a nursing practice based on research and experience, service to society, autonomy, and shared personal values. Nurses who graduate from JCHS are well-prepared to tackle these challenges.

Career Outlook: 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses earned a median salary of $48,090 in 2002, with experienced nurses earning higher salaries than novice nurses. The national average for entry-level RNs is $15 to $20 per hour or $31,000 to $41,000 per year.

Our graduates are prepared to provide care for persons whose health or illness requires nursing care in hospitals, clinics, schools, or community settings and for a wide range of clinical specialties including medical-surgical areas, obstetrics, pediatrics, gerontology, psychiatry, and critical care.

Types of environments graduates go on to work in:

  • Hospitals (in inpatient and outpatient departments)
  • Physician offices
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Home healthcare services
  • Employment services
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Government agencies
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Social assistance agencies
  • Educational institutions
  • Research institutions
  • Public health
Other Information: 
Nursing Links
Licensure Information

Students are eligible to sit for the nursing licensure exam (NCLEX-RN) immediately upon graduation from the pre-licensure program. Students may elect to take the exam in Virginia or in any other one state of their choosing. For questions regarding Virginia licensure, students may refer to the Virginia Board of Nursing website at or contact: Virginia Board of Nursing, 6603 West Broad Street, 5th Floor, Richmond, VA 23230-1712, (804) 662-9909.

Clinical Opportunities

In the clinical setting, student to faculty ratio does not exceed 10:1. Each student has a faculty advisor who will meet with him or her regularly on an individual basis to ensure that the student is successfully progressing towards graduation. Many faculty members are credentialed in their areas of expertise. 

Our students learn the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for the delivery of competent and caring nursing care to clients in a variety of settings. We provide seamless opportunities for advancement within the nursing career through our pre-licensure BSN, RN- BSN, and MSN programs.

The Greater Roanoke Valley offers an array of clinical opportunities for our nursing students including several large hospitals, psychiatric centers, long-term care facilities, community services, family practice offices, home care, and hospice. In the hospitals, students have opportunities to work in almost every department, including medical surgical units, intensive care units, progressive care units, pediatric units, obstetric units, nursery units, dialysis and surgical areas.