A Step-by-Step Guide to the Nursing admissions process

One of the most commonly asked questions of our admissions department involves entry into the Nursing program. For most people, when considering the healthcare field for employment, they think of becoming a nurse (RN). As you read this, you probably have an image of one in your head…scrubs, stethoscope, white shoes, and a kind demeanor. The person in your mental image may be someone that you have met, someone that took care of you or a family member in a time of need, or maybe even your future self!  Now, the reality is that there are MANY types of healthcare professionals (Medical Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, etc.) that fit the image you have created, but you have decided that this person is an RN and that is what you want to become.

The question is, how?  The guide below will help give you a picture of what it takes to navigate the Direct Admittance Nursing (RN) program at West Virginia Junior College in Morgantown.

Step 1: Call the WVJC campus at 304-296-8282, request information on our website, or even walk into the campus to ask for more information on the program.

Step 2: Work with our Nursing admissions advisor to schedule a campus visit personalized to determine your needs, your correct fit, and the right timing for you.  YES! While becoming a Nurse is the goal, how and when that happens is very much personalized to your needs and situation.

Step 3: Schedule your TEAS exam or consider our TEAS Prep Program, first, to prepare for the exam.  Most Nursing programs require an entrance exam of some sort, and at WVJC, it is the TEAS. This is an exam designed to test your knowledge as the ACT or SAT would…but with a heavy dose of science. You should plan on spending 3-5 hours at our campus on test day, and be sure to study in advance (see TEAS Prep program option mentioned above). The key in this step is to keep moving forward. Choose a path, TEAS or TEAS Prep, and commit to it. There is little time to waste as space in the program is limited and competition is high.

Step 4:  Complete the Nursing application.  The components of this application can be, and are recommended to be, completed as you are preparing for the TEAS exam. The nursing application includes your TEAS scores (showing passing and competitive scores), your application, a fee, multiple essays, letters of reference, transcripts from high school and all post-secondary schools you have attended, and any other items requested by your nursing admissions advisor.

Step 5:  Interview with the Nursing Program Director. Think of this as you would a job interview. Be prepared, confident, and dressed appropriately. If accepted by the Program Director, you move on to step 6.

Step 6: Meet with Financial Aid:  At this point, you have been accepted into the program, and meeting with financial aid is the next step on your way to becoming a nursing student. In this step, you will meet one-on-one with a financial aid representative who will walk you through the college financial aid process and help you determine what aid you may qualify for.

Step 7:  Complete clearances, immunizations, and health screenings prior to orientation.  This is one of the last steps, but a very important one as you prepare for orientation and the start of classes.

Step 8:  Attend orientation and begin classes.  With all of the required steps and approvals out of the way, you are now ready to begin your ultimate task, being a student who is fully committed to the rigor of the nursing program, striving to be successful for the next 18 months and, ultimately, walking across the stage as a graduate of WVJC’s Nursing program.

We know that taking that first step can be a little daunting but the faculty and staff at WVJC will be there with you every step of the way! For more information on WVJC’s nursing program, or any of our other allied health programs, please visit our website at wvjc.edu!

Resume and Cover Letter Tips

When writing a resume, it is important to include concise descriptions of previously held positions, as well as educational experience, and contact information. You want to make sure you know start and end dates for jobs and schools you’ve attended. If you are still attending a school or holding a certain position, input the date as XX/XXXX- present. When listing previously attended schools or jobs, make sure you list them in descending chronological order (i.e. last job/current position to first position held). This ensures a nice flow and readability to the resume. This is important because hiring managers typically only look at a resume for ten seconds.

You also want to include any certifications you’ve obtained as part of your education or job requirements. The same goes for training in specific areas applicable to the profession, such as HIPAA or computer based programs like Microsoft Office and LexisNexis.

For contact information, always make sure to list your most recent phone number, email, and address. This is extremely important, as it will be used when employers attempt to reach you. If they dial a number that is no longer in service, or send an email that comes back undeliverable, you may miss out on an opportunity for employment.

Many people wonder how often to update a resume. The answer is any time you acquire a new job, skillset, certification, or degree, or change any of your basic contact information. Www.jobscan.co is a great website to see what your resume is lacking. It uses applicant tracking algorithms to pull key words from both your resume and the job description you are applying for. From there, it tells you what to add to make your resume more marketable.

When composing a cover letter, it is best to address it to a specific person. If this isn’t possible, addressing it to the hiring manager will suffice. Your header on the cover letter should match the header on your resume to keep them both consistent. There are many templates you can use, but generally speaking, in the address, you want to include the company name, human resources department, the address of the company, and the date of the letter. In the salutation, address the person by their name if you have that information. If not address it with “Dear Hiring Manager”.  When addressing females, it is best to address as “Ms.” since marital status is often unknown.

In the first paragraph of the cover letter you want to reference the position you’ve applied for, as well as the date of the posting, and where you found it. Also, include your background and how it has prepared you for the position you are applying for. In the second paragraph of your letter, give a brief explanation of your training with WVJC, externship experience, and applicable job experience. In the final paragraph, ensure the manager that you are capable of performing the job duties necessary and becoming a valuable asset to the company. Give a time range they can contact you in and the best number to reach you. It is also nice to state that you look forward to speaking with them soon, and that you appreciate their time and consideration.

At the bottom write “Sincerely” and go down 5 or so spaces and type your full name. Print the cover letter and sign your name in-between “Sincerely” and your typed name. If you are emailing the cover letter, be sure to print, sign, and scan it to your email to send to the hiring manager. NEVER leave a cover or thank you letter unsigned!

University of Charleston – Externship Highlight

With an externship you can work with experts in your field of study as you learn! This isn’t your typical hands-on learning activity in the lab or classroom. You are immersed in a real-world working environment. WVJC has opportunities for students in different program tracks to participate in externships. An externship is a learning opportunity where students work with professionals in their field of study, side-by-side. Externships are offered in the medical, dental, business and IT programs. Externships are not paid, but the experience is priceless!

For several years, the University of Charleston has teamed up with WVJC to offer an excelled learning opportunity for IT students as an externship. This externship allows IT students to work directly with IT professionals on a college campus that is highly demanding and continues to expand. From administrative offices, instructors, IT access for students and security measures, there many ways colleges depend on IT.

Justin Daggs, a WVJC graduate, assists with facilitating IT externs through the UC Department of IT. He, with other members of his team, work with IT students on daily tasks and management operations. The staff gets to know the students and teams up with them on different projects and tasks. This collaboration shares WVJC core values of work ethic, integrity, caring, accountability, relationships, and excellence.

Chris Johnson, a seasoned member of Justin’s team at UC, says that “a daily schedule or workload for extern students may consist of troubleshooting network issues, pulling cables, setting up wireless access points, computer set up for instructors, network maintenance, equipment regulation, and unique projects.” One project he said that is “pretty exciting” for students to be a part of was a special classroom designed for only a network security course.  Students assist in building the technology in the classroom according to the specialized course needs, to facilitate an optimal learning environment.

Chris said that some of the benefits for the students participating in the IT externship was seeing projects from start to finish, doing real-time troubleshooting, and also planning for expansion with maintaining other projects. “It’s a lot to juggle but learning the inner workings and planning phases helps with overall success!” Chris has been with UC’s IT department for over nine years and said that “Every IT student we have worked with from WVJC has been highly motivated, has a positive attitude and is ready to jump in on any project we ask them to do.”

WVJC offers a wide variety of ways to learn outside the classroom. If you are interested in IT or another program offered at WVJC, please see www.wvjc.edu to learn more about opportunities for learning beyond the classroom!

Jessica Travis – Graduate Highlight

Jessica Travis is a recent graduate from the Pharmacy Technician program at WVJC Bridgeport. She showed nothing but exceptional skills during her time at WVJC. Jessica was an exceptional student and was a good role model for her fellow students. On top of working at a local diner she kept up with her homework. It was always completed on time, if not early. She was present during class time, both physically and mentally. Jessica asked the questions that everyone was thinking, but no one would ask. Jessica is a perfect example of a hard working student.

Jessica was placed at a pharmacy in her hometown for her externship and her supervisor had nothing but praise for her. They truly enjoyed her working there! Jessica says she learned a lot during her time at the retail pharmacy, but decided she really wanted to see how pharmacy technicians worked in an inpatient pharmacy setting. She was then off to UHC to finish her externship hours in their inpatient pharmacy and she fell in love with it. The atmosphere in an inpatient pharmacy is very different than that of a retail pharmacy and she enjoyed the differences. In an inpatient pharmacy, technicians do not have patient contact but still get to work with all of the medications.

Jessica was able to pass her certification exam on the first try and was offered a position at both facilities where she completed her externship. Jessica is now proudly employed at UHC in their inpatient pharmacy as a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Jessica is the perfect example of how much hard work and dedication pay off in class and work. She studied hard and payed attention during all of the class lectures, she also asked questions when she had them. Jessica is loving her position at UHC and her supervisor always has good things to say about her.

Olivia Varner – Graduate Highlight

Olivia Varner graduated from the Legal Office Assisting program on August 5, 2018. WVJC Online was her number one choice and her first college experience. She would become the first one out of her family to attend a college. Oliva knew right away that WVJC Online was the right fit for her because of the option for online classes, mobile access, and the campuses proximity to her house.  She was working full time at WVU Medicine as a unit clerk in the NICU unit, so an online program was her best option.

Olivia chose the Legal Office Assisting program because of her passion for her patients and their inspiring stories. Intrigued by the investigative aspect of her job, she knew she could do more to help. Olivia began researching and came across paralegal jobs. She looked into the field more and it clicked. This was her ideal job and what she wanted to make a career of! Olivia was so excited to get started and said that everyone at WVJC was super helpful! Her favorite teacher, hands down, was Bryce Adkins. He was very relatable and has the ability to connect with his students on a different level. He was great about reaching out to make sure his students were understanding the material. She even had the opportunity to meet and work with his wife, which she said was a wonderful experience. Her favorite part of attending WVJC Online was the weekly discussions. They gave her the ability to interact and build relationships with her classmates, and it was really nice to see their input on the topics.

Since graduation, Olivia has landed her dream job working for the Law Offices of Kelly R. Reed PLLC as a paralegal assistant. She really enjoys developing customer relationships and loves working for Kelly. She can see herself continuing to incorporate her legal office assisting training, along with all the new skills she has acquired so she can focus more on the paralegal aspect of the job. Olivia quotes, “I had such a great experience at WVJC Online that I would recommend this college to anyone who needs to continue their education in an online capacity.”

Richia Riggleman – Student Highlight

“It’s magic how much you can do when you believe in yourself and have great support!” – Richia Riggleman, WVJC-Morgantown student

A side effect of success is an appreciation of the journey to get there. Often times, it’s not just one event, one person, or one thing that made the journey better, but rather the journey itself. WVJC specializes in fast track programs designed to get you out and working in a career in a short time frame. The best-kept secret, though, is that we also specialize in creating relationships with our students that help guide them to success. This blog is about one such relationship.

Richia Riggleman is a student at WVJC Morgantown, studying in the Legal Office Assisting program. Since beginning her program, she has earned a 4.0 GPA, feels accomplished, and has more confidence in her abilities as a student. However, to understand Richia’s journey, you have to go back to the beginning.

When Richia graduated from high school, she made the same decision that many do in her shoes, and went to the biggest school she could find, following friends in the process. After a couple of years, she realized that she had not been in a position to take college seriously enough and it had taken a toll on her in many ways. Richia decided to take some time off and work to try to get by, but after a while, none of it seemed to be working.

It was at about this moment that she started looking into going back to school. She was discouraged after her previous experience, but after quite a bit of communication with Matt in WVJC’s admissions department, she decided to give it a go. In addition to working with Matt, Richia also worked with the financial aid department. “The financial aid staff did everything they could to get me back into classes and further my career,” Riggleman said.

Once in classes, Richia found herself in a different sort of environment than she was used to. Her favorite part of school so far, in fact, is the confidence she has gained as a student. “At other colleges, I just felt discouraged and felt like they were not the right fit.”

With time and hard work, and the relationships developed with Legal Office Assistant Program Director, Bryce Adkins, and Academic Dean, Brittany Nuzzo, Richia has grown into an outstanding student and leader. It’s not just the support at the school though, Richia cites family and close friends as assistants to her success. Specifically, her Mom and partner, Harry, have kept her spirits high and helped her outside of class to be sure she had what she needs to be successful.

In Richia’s own words, “It’s magic how much you can do when you believe in yourself and have great support!” We are all so proud of Richia!

If you have ever been in similar shoes and thought giving college another try was the right thing for you…but did not know how to get started, here is your chance!  Who knows, maybe it will be your story we are telling next…..

Pharmacy Technician Program Highlight

When students are enrolled in the Pharmacy Technician program at West Virginia Junior College, they are able to learn about all aspects of being a pharmacy technician. While enrolled in the program, students participate in hands-on training of skills in both retail and clinical settings.

In retail pharmacy, a pharmacy technician inputs new prescriptions into pharmacy software, works with insurance claims, pulls medications to be counted, counts and labels medications for orders, answer phone calls, and interacts with customers on a daily basis. WVJC has a pharmacy software program in which students are able to practice these skills! WVJC also has a pharmacy lab room which is set up as half a retail pharmacy and half a clinical pharmacy. Students have the opportunity to physically count tablets and package them for sale, just like they would in an actual retail pharmacy setting.

Clinical pharmacy is a sector of pharmacy that a lot of students do not think about. Clinical pharmacy can include compounding IV bags, making capsules, mixing ointments, and reconstituting medications. A unique feature of WVJC is that our pharmacy labs have flow hoods. This is the area where IV medications, including chemotherapy drugs, are mixed. During lab courses, students mix medications in the flow hoods.

WVJC’s Pharmacy Technician program is not only unique because of the hands-on training students experience, but also because the program is recognized by the PTCB. The PTCB is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. They regulate and administer certifications to pharmacy technicians. Upon completion of the program at WVJC, students sit for this certification exam. Having this certification is very appealing to employers, as is proves to them that you have the skills necessary to perform your job.

Pharmacy technicians have several options when it comes to career choices. There are retail pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart, and there are also independent pharmacies. On the clinical side of pharmacy, there are inpatient pharmacies in hospitals and nursing homes. Technicians are even needed in correctional facilities and mental health clinics. The possibilities for pharmacy technicians is ever-growing, and the roles they take on are always expanding. Pharmacy technicians have to be able to multi-task, dependable, self-sufficient, and responsible. If a pharmacy tech is working in a retail setting, they need to be personable and patient when interacting with patients. These are all important characteristics employers will look for during the hiring process.

Students complete an externship of 165 hours during their program at WVJC. The externship allows students to go out and work in nearby businesses to get real-life experience in their field of study. WVJC has had students complete externships at small independent pharmacies and in hospital settings. The externship is an important part of the students’ education because it provides them with an opportunity to see which pharmacy career suits them the best. Some students divide their externship and do half in a retail setting and the other half in a hospital setting. Another perk that comes along with externships is that sometimes they lead to careers!

Over the next 5-10 years, schooling for pharmacy technicians is going to become very important. In 2020, anyone who wants to sit for the certification exam through PTCB will be required to go through a training program. This is a positive advancement in the field of pharmacy. Technicians will now be required to have knowledge of pharmacy and the medications they are interacting with every day. Pharmacy is an ever-changing and developing field and the demand for pharmacy technicians will only grow over the next 5-10 years.

Becoming a pharmacy technician is a very rewarding career! As a technician, you are constantly learning about medications, such as how they work in the body and what they are used for. Helping someone get the medication they need and knowing you made a difference in their life, even if it is a small difference, makes being a pharmacy technician very rewarding!

Matthew Osborne-Lane – Student Highlight

Do you have hobbies that you’re passionate about? Did you know you can turn your interests into a successful career that you love? Combining hobbies with a career is something Matthew Osborne-Lane knows all about!

Matthew has an infectious energy that other students copy, and instructors crave. At WVJC, he is majoring in Network Administration/Security and plans to be a Sound Design Tech or Independent Tech Consultant. Building on his hobbies of producing electronic music, video games, kayaking, fishing, reading, watching horror-genre, and of course, his two beautiful dogs, Matthew feels very passionate about using his creativity and applying these hobbies to his career.

He chose the IT field because he was tired of accepting mediocrity and wanted to aim for something he could excel in and enjoy, which is very important to him. Matthew believes that understanding hardware, software, and networking is vital in the heavily tech-integrated world we live in today. From his various experience, to his intricate work in sound technology, Matthew is planning to incorporate these hobbies into his life’s work.

Matthew said that life experiences helped him make the decision to go back to school to fast-track his career. Although he was previously enrolled at a traditional school, he felt lost and like he had no direction. He was ready to find a career path that incorporated his interests and would provide him with a worthwhile job.

“Quitting my last job, having to rearrange my living situation, and realizing that I want to be able to be happy on my own terms was it. I want to be able to have full control over my options in life and without an education, I couldn’t quite navigate that,” said Matthew. With a career plan in tow and the supportive staff at WVJC, he feels he can pursue his interests and have a career to match.

When you hear Matthew talk about his family and what makes him happy, you can’t help but smile. “It’s my husband, my life, and my dreams for a family. My passion is fueled by the love and happiness I feel from being able to create and translate my feelings of such, into intricate sounds,” he said.

Matthew chose WVJC for a few reasons and is loving his experience so far. “I wish I had known about WVJC when I graduated high school in 2013. This program was a fantastic option financially, but also because the environment was so personal and meaningful. The staff cares about their students, and that is something you do not see in other schools.”

Matthew said that WVJC instructors and staff have been phenomenal. “They are giving me tools, both realistic and abstract, to be able to function in an IT career. They offer help and resources, and even give us the opportunity to foster peer relationships that unify us as people. I don’t want to sound like a cookie-cutter ad, but they really do seek to bring out the best in me, and us, as students and professionals.”

When asked what the best part of his experience at WVJC was so far, Matthew warmly said, “My interactions. I’ve already made friends that I can confide in, have the ability to be vulnerable around, and can consult for anything, and that includes staff members. All of my instructors so far have been so active in our learning experience that I feel like we grow with them, and growth is a key part of interactions and relationships.”

Matthew is a newer student and has a great perspective for anyone who is starting out. With four courses under his belt so far, he says his favorites are psychology and hardware classes. Matthew explained, “My psychology class was fantastic, and my peers and I were so involved in the material as a whole. My hardware course is where my Network Administration/Security major peers are, and we’re tackling relevant, hands-on experiments. I would have never gotten to experience this early in any program elsewhere.” As you can see from Matthew’s experience, even early on, students are integrated as a family, close bonds are made, and a supportive, productive environment is encouraged.

Matthew has quickly become a bright star among students and instructors at WVJC and his story is relatable and inspirational. He feels connected here, loves to share his story, and strives for success in everything he does.

When asked what he’d like to share with anyone who is thinking about attending WVJC, he stresses to enroll! “Enroll, enroll, enroll! If you feel nervous or alone about attending, come sit with us in a classroom. It’s a welcoming environment and we are always open to new experiences and input. If you’re looking to become a professional, sit with us in a class and you can see just how great this school is.”

Thinking about your hobbies, passions, and what inspires you? Would you like to make a living out of something that brings you joy? Request information now to fast-track your career today!

Holly J. Mitchell, MPH, CHES

House of Delegates Visit WVJC Morgantown Campus

The WVJC Legal Office Assisting Program hosted the entire Monongalia County delegation of the WV House of Delegates on July 15th, 2019, including Delegates Barbara Evans Fleischauer, Evan Hansen, Rodney Pyles, Danielle Walker, and John Williams.

The purpose of this visit was for the LOA students to present their research and proposed legislation concerning their Lead Paint Abatement and Tax Incentive program. The students have worked diligently over the last several weeks preparing for this opportunity which showed during their presentation and subsequent meetings with the delegates. The delegates unanimously expressed their support of the students’ proposed bill, including their willingness to continue working with the students and ultimately to sponsor the bill in the next regular Legislative session which will convene in January 2020.

In conjunction with that sponsorship, and most exciting for the WVJC family as a whole, was the idea of the delegates to host a “WVJC Day at the Legislature” to coincide with the introduction of the bill. This initiative would permit students from WVJC Charleston, Bridgeport, Morgantown, and Online to attend and witness the events from the gallery of the House of Delegates, including meeting with and engaging in functions with the legislators during this special day.

Also during their visit, the delegates had an opportunity to tour the WVJC Morgantown campus, to obtain hands-on experience with our academic programs, including the nursing program, and to participate in a student government meeting.

The delegates were extremely impressed with the quality of our programs, our students, and the work product presented during today’s meetings. We hope that this relationship will continue to grow and foster new awareness and opportunities for our students who certainly proved today their dedication to their program and to the people of the great state of West Virginia with this important public health initiative.

Healthcare Administration – Program Highlight

Within the next five to ten years, we are expected to see a rise in medical technology in the area of telehealth and telemedicine. With that in mind, West Virginia Junior College Online has begun offering a Healthcare Administration program. In this program, students are able to earn an associate degree in as little as 18 months.

The Healthcare Administration program teaches students to use computers and medical software programs to perform data entry, basic and advanced coding, work with and maintain medical records, understand health quality management, interpret/verify insurance information, complete insurance claims, obtain precertification/preauthorization documentation, obtain accurate patient billing, and understand and apply medical law and ethics. Students also become skilled in medical terminology, understanding HIPAA policies, effective communication, and basic bookkeeping.

Externships are critical in fine-tuning the student’s technical and soft skills. In essence, students in this program will get a taste of what it will be like working in the healthcare field.

This program is great for any student looking for an administrative role in the healthcare field or for any student who wants to further their degree in the medical industry.

Upon finishing the program, students have the option to transition to the Bachelors of Health Administration Degree program at the University of Phoenix. However, if students are more interested in going directly into the workforce, they also have the opportunity to start in an office position in a physician’s office or hospital.