Dayna Ferrari – Student Highlight

Clinical Medical Assistant student Dayna Ferrari started attending WVJC in August 2020 after graduating from Capital High School.  Dayna said, “My decision to attend WVJC was an easy one.” Dayna has always had an interest in the medical field. She said, “WVJC Clinical Medical Assistant program is fast-track, has smaller classes, and offers a flexible schedule which gave me the confidence to start my college education.”

The Clinical Medical Assistant program at WVJC offers various courses that provide students hands-on training in clinical skills for entry-level positions working in any setting in healthcare. Dayna said, “My favorite class so far is Anatomy and Physiology with Dr. Settle. I have always been enthralled by the inner workings of the body and how it functions.” Another favorite class of Dayna’s is her medical assisting lab class taught by Program Director Chelsea Abbott. She said, “I find the lab work very interesting and hands-on, which helps me focus and retain the information I have learned.”

Dayna has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for two years. She enjoys helping people but is looking forward to expanding her scope of practice as a Certified Medical Assistant. After graduation, Dayna wants to work as a medical assistant in a pediatric setting. Her long-term goal is to become a Registered Nurse in the pediatric wing of a hospital, married, and have her own home and start a family. In her free time, Dayna enjoys binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix and researching medical issues taking place around the globe.

We asked Dayna if she has any advice for a new student, she said, “My advice to new students would be to make sure you start on a strong foot, don’t be afraid to talk to your instructors, they understand everything that is going on, big or small.  Get involved in the school; it will help you to succeed more.”

Dayna said, “I would absolutely recommend WVJC to friends and family! Growing up, I always needed one-on-one communication with my teacher; not only did I get that at WVJC, but it also offered an environment where I could focus and buckle down.  The staff is also very understanding in regards to your life outside of school, and the flexible schedule makes it easier to keep my job and focus on my studies without becoming overwhelmed.”

To learn more about WVJC’s Clinical Medical Assistant program, request information here!

Marissa Keplinger – Student Highlight

Marissa Keplinger is a student in the Dental Assisting Degree program. Before coming to West Virginia Junior College, Marissa attended Salem University for nursing. Marissa stated that Salem University was not the right fit for her needs and felt, after much research, that WVJC would be able to meet her needs. Marissa said, “That the environment is what makes her love WVJC.” Marissa feels WVJC truly cares about their students and wants everyone to succeed, unlike feeling like a number in the crowd at larger colleges or universities where they don’t know who you are.

Marissa really enjoys the experiences at WVJC.  She appreciates that many of the classes are hands-on, which helps assist her in her future goals and career path. Marissa also looks forward to the externship, where she will spend time at a dental office to gain a better understanding of how a dental office runs.  She also stated that the training during classes helped her experience how it would be in an actual dental setting and how to conduct proper patient care, like practicing dental procedures on fellow students instead of the mannequin heads,

Marissa said,  “She had spent a great deal of time trying to find the right career path she wanted to take. She job shadowed in the hospital setting and even assisted a teacher but was not passionate about those career paths.” Marissa knew that dental assisting was something she was passionate about because teeth are the first thing she notices about a person, and she wants to help people achieve a pretty and healthy smile.

She chose the Dental Assisting program at WVJC because she wants to help boost the confidence of others by helping people feel better about their smile. That is something very rewarding to her. Marissa looks forward to the rest of her classes and is excited about the job opportunities that will be available once she completes her program.

If WVJC’s fast-track Dental Assisting program sounds like the perfect fit for you, and you’d like to find out how you can get started today, request information here!

How to Triage a Patient

Check out our VLOG on why WVJC students decided to further their education. Our students learn hands-on skills to become ready for their careers in healthcare, business, and information technology! In this video medical assisting students demonstrate how to properly triage a patient.  To learn more about WVJC fast-track programs, visit wvjc.edu today!

Cortney Warner – Student Highlight

West Virginia Junior College Medical Coding student Cortney Warner began her classes in February of 2021. In the fourth module of her program, Cortney has come a long way toward achieving her dreams! Cortney has worked in the medical field since 2010, previously a Pharmacy Technician and a Scrub Technician. When asked what inspired her to decide to switch her career focus to medical coding, Cortney shared, “I chose medical coding and billing because I love being in the healthcare setting. I feel I can contribute to a hospital or insurance company in the future. It is such an important job that most overlook. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it!”

Cortney has been thinking about her future and how she would like to see life play out as she completes her Medical Coding program. “My ideal job after graduation is to be employed by a company I can work from home for. I have a step-daughter and a baby girl; after losing my son to an accident, I don’t want to be away from them.” Cortney noted that, though she has encountered some tough times in the recent past, she only wants to move onward and upward toward her dreams. “It would be a dream come true to be able to be close to my girls, but do something I love.”

In the almost five months since she has been a WVJC Online student, Cortney has enjoyed her experience! She has felt very welcomed and encouraged from the beginning, starting with her first admissions phone call. She would be happy for those close to her to have the same positive experience if they ever decide to further their education, stating, “I would most definitely recommend WVJC Online to my friends and family! Not only have my teachers been very accommodating, but each and every person I have spoken with actually cares about you and your future. They are there to help at any given time. It’s like having a friend available to lend you a hand. You are not just a student at WVJC…you are family!”

Here at WVJC Online, our core values are WE CARE, and we do care! We are so happy to have Cortney as part of the WVJC family! If the fast-track Medical Coding program sounds interesting to you, and you’d like to get more information, request information here!

Cody Joe – Student Highlight

Cody Joe has been in the medical field since the age of 19, working as a paramedic. While working as an EMS, he was able to help patients in some very significant ways and make a positive impact on their lives. During that time, Cody realized he wanted to make even more of an impact with patients, and he believes that by becoming a nurse, he will be able to spend more time with each patient catering to their specific needs.

Cody attends WVJC full time and works full time as a paramedic, but he doesn’t stop there. He caught the entrepreneurial bug, running his own business as a personal-body transformation coach, training clients using his nutrition certification, and working with manufacturers to produce his supplemental line creating his unique brand. He has been hard at work with his business since November 2020 and is pouring every bit of profit right back into it, striving for excellence, as he believes this will be his nest egg for retirement. Cody has offered his training and nutritional services to his current classmates at WVJC, and several students have already taken him up on this offer. Cody put together a plan with a healthier diet and achievable goals to get each of them into better physical shape and to help them create healthier lifestyles overall.

He plans to enroll in Chamberlain University to further his education and obtain his BSN degree after graduating from the Nursing program at WVJC. When he graduates from WVJC in December 2022, he plans to work alongside his wife in the ER. Cody would also like to continue his education by getting his Master’s Degree and then become a Nurse Practitioner while also working full time.

Cody has tremendous support from his wife, family, and friends as he embarks on this new adventure to learn new skills to make a real difference in patients’ lives. Cody chose WVJC because he heard good things from recent graduates about WVJC’s Nursing program. However, he says the most significant selling point is an accelerated program that offers a degree in just 18 months. WVJC is excited to have students like Cody, who are patient-oriented nurses making sure their needs are met.

To learn more about WVJC’s Nursing program, request information here!

United Hospital Center – Externship Highlight

As the need for highly qualified nurses grows, and nursing educators are struggling to fill clinical adjunct positions with qualified instructors, both healthcare facilities and nursing schools are looking for a creative means to bridge this gap. This is why the WVJC-Bridgeport/United Hospital Center Clinical Partnership was developed.

This partnership began with WVJC’s 2020 cohort of nursing students. United Hospital Center provides a clinical instructor for each nursing class to provide on-site training in various units at United Hospital Center. In return, WVJC provides $20,000 in scholarships to UHC employees enrolled in the Nursing program and selected by hospital administration to receive the scholarship. Through this partnership, not only does WVJC have excellent adjunct instructors, but students are also able to be fully immersed in the culture of UHC. In addition, this allows for a much smoother transition from student nurse to staff nurse if a new graduate chooses to work at UHC.

United Hospital strives to have excellent patient care, and its mission is to “enhance the health status of the citizens of north-central WV.” We are excited to be a part of a facility that provides amazing quality care and treatment to everyone. WVJC is proud to be associated with a healthcare facility with such a great reputation within our community.

In the future, WVJC is hoping to partner with other facilities to enhance student clinical experiences and to better prepare them to enter the workforce.

To learn more about the exciting partnerships occurring at WVJC, request information here!

Explore Your Options for
College Classes This Fall

Are you ready to make the move and start working toward a new career? Are you looking for a small-school atmosphere with supportive instructors who are committed to your success? If so, then WVJC may be the perfect choice for you!

Attend our webinar to find out your options for college classes this fall. Register now to hear directly from the WVJC administration and discover how we can help you prepare for the career of your dreams!

Webinar: Explore Your Options for College Classes This Fall

When: Thursday, July 15 at 2 pm

 

Register Now!

Going to college and earning your degree is an important life decision that can improve the lives of you and your family now and in the future. Choosing the right school can get you ahead by earning your degree and graduating quicker, which means you can start your career sooner.


At WVJC, we are committed to empowering you to reach your full potential by providing the training, skills, and experience to start a successful and rewarding career.

We offer accelerated degree programs in nursing, medical assisting, medical billing and coding, business administration, information technology, and cybersecurity.

While enrolled in our career-focused degree programs, you will also prepare to earn professional certifications* that are specific to your career field, giving you an advantage when you begin applying for jobs.

If you want to start an exciting, new career in only 18 months, this is the webinar for you. Learn all about our fast-track degree programs and supportive educational experience.

Join us for this webinar and find out:

  • About WVJC’s easy 5-step process.
  • How you can be career-ready in 18 months.
  • How fast-track training works.
  • How to enroll in our nursing or healthcare programs.
  • How to enroll in our professional or technology programs.
  • Which career services you will receive.

Learn how we support our students every step of the way. Your success team will guide you from the time you contact us, through graduation, and beyond!

Space is limited in this exciting webinar, so register now to reserve your seat and find out how to jump-start your way to a great career!

Register Now!

*Certification is contingent on passing the corresponding industry certification exam.

Morgantown Nursing Program Highlight

We had the pleasure of speaking with the Dean of Nursing, Dr. Lisa Onega, and the nursing department at West Virginia Junior College Morgantown to gain insight into what our nursing students can expect from the Nursing program.

West Virginia Junior College Morgantown takes great pride in preparing our nursing students to provide quality care to our local communities.
To ensure they are prepared, Lisa says, “Nursing students use the nursing process to promote the health of individuals, families, and communities. Their studies include foundational arts and science classes as well as nursing classes. Many nursing courses have laboratory and clinical experiences that enable students to apply theoretical knowledge to foster health, healing, and hope. Nursing students also learn to collaborate with other healthcare professionals to advance individual and societal health.” In addition to nursing studies and laboratory and clinical experiences, faculty prepare their nursing students throughout the program to take the NCLEX-RN~ after graduation. Lisa confirms that the NCLEX-RN is a test that measures graduates’ abilities to provide safe nursing care. Upon successful completion of NCLEX-RN, a state grants graduates a license, and they become registered nurses.

Once becoming a registered nurse, graduates can be prepared for a rewarding career and an array of opportunities and paths. Nurses can be found in numerous settings such as hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and more. Lisa concurs that one of the exceptional things about nursing is the range of career options and that nurses may work with individuals, groups, or populations. Nurses may work in in-patient, outpatient, or community settings. She continues to say, “Regardless of the specialty or setting, everyday nurses improve health and lives of other people, and that is what we want to bring to West Virginia and our surrounding states.”

Lisa frequently answers the questions “how does one become a successful nurse?” and “can I do this?” She tells them that to be a successful nurse; one must first be a successful nursing student. She tells her students, “Nursing is a challenging and demanding discipline. Therefore, you need to put in the effort and be self-disciplined throughout your learning experience. Here at the West Virginia Junior College’s Morgantown campus, you can expect to receive the training and guidance needed to become a successful registered nurse as it is our goal to educate, mentor, and guide each nursing student to achieve his or her potential.”

However, it does take a unique individual to be a nurse. We asked our nursing department what characteristics a student needs to be a successful nursing student and later a successful nurse. They believe that successful students and nurses possess the characteristics of honesty, integrity, accountability, confidentiality, professionalism, time management skills, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and organizational skills. In addition, nursing students have to be flexible and willing to learn as nursing is continually changing and always strives to be up to date on the newest technology. Lisa adds, “And most importantly, nurses have to be self-reflective, empathic, compassionate, and kind. You want to show true care for your patients.”

To learn more about WVJC’s Nursing program, request information here!

~Passing the NCLEX-RN exam is required to become a Registered Nurse.

Pharmacy Technician – Progam Highlight

Jamie McGuire, the WVJC Pharmacy Technician Program Director, beamed with excitement when we sat down to discuss the advantages students have when attending the WVJC Online Pharmacy Technician Program.

“Pharmacy technicians are in demand within many versatile settings,” Jamie tells us. These settings include hospital and clinic pharmacies, community and retail pharmacies, veterinary pharmacies, and pharmacies in primary care organizations. It is also no surprise to find pharmacy technicians in education and training settings, prisons, the military, and pharmaceutical production or sales in the pharmaceutical industry. In WVJC’s program, we assist our students with obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a position in any of these pharmaceutical areas.

Through the WVJC Online Pharmacy Technician Program, students can expect to learn how to compound medications, assemble medication for prescriptions, fill and label prescriptions, and verify the accuracy of those orders. Students also learn how to provide patients and other healthcare professionals with relevant information regarding medications. Within their roles as pharmacy technicians, these foundational skills are the gateway for advancement. WVJC’s program also gives students an understanding of medication therapy management, insurance and billing, and specialized medications such as chemotherapy. Our pharmacy technician students not only learn these skills, but also get to bring these learning concepts to life as they participate in hands-on training through weekend clinical activities, externship experiences, and WVJC’s new customized pharmacy technician simulation training. Alongside the simulation training, WVJC Online students will receive a home kit completed with the tools they need to get hands-on training right in their home, so they feel confident on their first day of externship and as they start to merge into their career.

When asked which characteristics students need to succeed in this career, Jamie replied, “someone that is ready to go on an adventure! Most individuals think that it is academics or ‘book smarts’ that will make them succeed in this field. However, it is not just academics. Many mistakes happen during the learning process, and they have to be able to learn from those mistakes and let them go. Students that are willing to work hard and willing to push forward are the ones that succeed.”

Not only is the academic experience an adventure for WVJC Online students, but the career progression for pharmacy technicians looks promising for a fulfilled career journey. As pharmacists continue to evolve to provide more direct patient care, you can expect to see an evolution in the role of pharmacy technicians as well. We are already witnessing the first steps into the future of pharmacy technicians due to COVID-19, as pharmacy technicians are currently administering vaccinations to patients on the frontlines. As the demand for pharmacy technicians continues to increase, you will see more advanced certifications coming into play for pharmacy technicians to continue to grow in their field.

“Being a pharmacy technician is one of healthcare’s best kept secrets, because there is so much opportunity, demand, and growth happening in the industry. It is a surprisingly rewarding industry to dive into and is more than what meets the eye!” Jamie exclaims.

To learn more about WVJC Online’s exciting Pharmacy Technician program, request information here!

The Growing Medical Industry In Harrison County

Healthcare is dynamic. There are always new discoveries being made such as better ways to manage illness and more efficient ways of providing and managing healthcare delivery.  These concepts have become very apparent in the midst of a global pandemic. Healthcare will be forever changed, but how does a global pandemic affect healthcare close to home?

Harrison County has seen great growth in options for care including increasing availability of specialists and primary care providers, and best care treatment that, at one time, was only available at major out-of-state hospitals. Locally, there are now health coaches and care navigators to support those with chronic or complex medical needs to access the most appropriate care and reduce complications.

However, there are some challenging statistics facing our area. Harrison County is not immune to feeling the effects of a nation-wide nursing shortage. The latest information shows that approximately 35%-40% of nurses currently practicing in WV are within 5-7 years of retiring. West Virginia ranks 4th in the number of residents over 65 and 1st in the number of residents with diabetes. Our facilities are adding advanced technology such as fully electronic records and upgrading to high-tech diagnostic equipment. In the mix of all of this change, COVID-19 hit and changed how we provide direct care to people, how people access care and visit their doctors, and even how we maintain and order supplies. This has also led to an overnight explosion in telehealth use.

Why does all of this information matter? For local hospitals, facilities, and healthcare providers to be able to meet the needs of Harrison County residents, they will require a pool of well-trained individuals. Not only nurses, but those with IT specialties to maintain the growing technologies, and medical assistants and office managers to keep departments running smoothly and supplies readily available. Some other types of healthcare professionals that will be needed include those in dentistry, physical/occupational therapy, and mental health services.

If you have considered a career change or have an interest in pursuing a healthcare career or becoming an essential worker request information here!