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TCC named one of the best Nursing programs in Virginia

Tidewater Community College was recognized by Nursing School Almanac as a top nursing school in Virginia.

TCC’s Nursing program is a “Best Associate Degree in Nursing” and ranked 11 out of 37 two-year degree programs in Virginia.

The ranking was largely based on the first-time pass rate for students taking the state licensing exam, which is the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses). This ranking is based on data from 2011-2020.

The first-time pass rate for TCC students for 2020 was 94 percent. For the ranking period of 2011-2020, it was 89 percent. Aspiring registered nurses in the United States must pass this examination before they begin practicing nursing.

TCC’s nursing program is known for its state-of-the-art classrooms, small class sizes, simulation labs and highly-trained faculty. The program is offered at the college’s Portsmouth Campus and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Every year, TCC prepares close to 100 students to become nurses in area hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices.

For more information about the Nursing program at TCC, email Rita Bouchard, dean of nursing, at

New pathway launches paramedics, respiratory therapists into Beazley School of Nursing

A new pathway by Tidewater Community College offers credentialed paramedics and respiratory therapists an avenue for admission into the college’s Beazley School of Nursing through prior learning credit.

Paramedics and respiratory therapists who complete a 20-credit career studies certificate and all co-requisites can be placed into the second semester of TCC’s associate degree program in nursing.

Applications for the competitive certificate program open on Jan. 15 and close on Feb. 15. Accepted applicants begin during summer session. This is a financial-aid eligible program.

Paramedics and respiratory therapists must have passed their respective national licensure exams to apply.

The 20-credit certificate includes a four-credit class titled “Concepts for Health Professions Transition,” which must be completed during summer session.

“An overwhelming number of paramedics have wanted a pathway into our nursing school,” said Rita Bouchard, dean of Nursing. “They will be able to apply uniquely as paramedics or respiratory therapists and have an opportunity to bridge into the nursing program.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts the national job outlook for registered nurses to increase by 15% through 2026.

“All of our recent graduates are employed,” Bouchard said. “There’s a huge shortage. Any graduate of the registered nursing program who wants a job gets one. Many have jobs secured before they graduate.”

The college offers associate degrees in emergency medical services and respiratory therapy. Both of those programs require an additional application along with the college’s regular application for admission.

Visit this page for all application requirements. For more information, contact

Navy wife fulfills life goal with nursing degree

Fashion model in Milan?

Stephanie Overfelt did that as a teen.

Bachelor’s in Mandarin Chinese?


Snowboard instructor on a mountain?

“Park City Mountain Resort in Utah,” she says. “I flew out the weekend before finals and earned one of eight positions.”

But really she’s always known inside that she was meant to be a nurse.

“I wanted to do nursing but didn’t believe in myself enough,” she said.

Overfelt, 39, will graduate on May 11 from Tidewater Community College with her Associate of Applied Science in Nursing. She will start a job at DePaul Medical Center this summer.

As an oncologist’s daughter, Overfelt developed an interest in medicine, but was overwhelmed in her first college chemistry class of 300 or more at Arizona State University. Instead, she gravitated toward what was comfortable.

“I was home-schooled and one of my tutors was Chinese, so it was familiar,” she said.

Overfelt with her family

By the time Overfelt married a Navy sailor, she realized she had the brains and savvy to do anything she wanted. Even with four kids in tow and a husband on deployment, nursing still appealed to her.

She started at TCC five years ago by completing a handful of prerequisites for the program. Back then, she home-schooled the kids, who today range in age from 7-13.

“It’s been a journey; this has tried me more than anything,” she said. “If I had been single with no kids, it would have been a different story. As far as nursing school itself, it’s been amazing. It’s tried me in every way possible.”

Sometimes she’d leave her home in the Red Mill area of Virginia Beach for clinical rotations as far away as Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News. She listed tasks for her kids in 15-minute increments to ensure they were out the door to school on time on those days when she was out the door before they were awake.

Overfelt relied on her innate organizational skills, sometimes setting her alarm for 3 a.m., to study, giving her three quiet hours to study.

“I couldn’t have done it with any other kids,” she joked. “They were great.”

Overfelt found camaraderie with her peers at TCC and inspiration in professors Shannon Washington and Kirstie Robinson.

“They were phenomenal; they really wanted to see us succeed,” Overfelt said.

By spring break, Overfelt lined up a job at DePaul, where she will work in intensive care, a unit dominated by COVID-19 patients. “I’m excited right now to do it,” she said.

“I’m really proud of this accomplishment. Everybody should be no matter what their college journey is. It is an accomplishment. It’s being disciplined enough to study, to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to do this. And achieve this. And conquer this and learn this.’ I’m glad that my kids got to see this journey.”