Donna Hendrickson – Graduate Highlight

Donna Hendrickson, CCMA, is a graduate of the Clinical Medical Assistant program at West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport Campus. She originally heard of WVJC from a radio ad and decided to look into the campus. After she visited the campus, she decided to enroll in the program. Donna was always dedicated to her work, grades, and attendance record while a student, and because of that, Donna graduated in August of 2020 with her associate degree and obtained her National Healthcareer Association, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification.

After graduation, she went on to work at the Clarksburg Health Department, where she was working alongside the staff in the fight against COVID-19. While working, Donna decided that she wanted to go back to school for nursing, so she contacted WVJC Bridgeport to further her education. In January of 2021, Donna utilized the bridge program between the Clinical Medical Assistant program and Practical Nursing program to further her career from CMA to Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)*.

Donna says, “I cannot express how much the CMA program changed my life. I would not be accomplishing all that I am in the LPN program without that foundational knowledge.”

Donna’s favorite parts of WVJC are the instructors, the small campus, and how supportive everyone is to each other. She says, “Even after you leave, the instructors like to hear of your news and adventures in your new career.” The instructors that made the biggest impact in her life during her studies as a CMA student were Mrs. Syrews and Ms. Holyfield. In her current studies as a practical nursing student, Ms. Prusa, and Mrs. Foster.

In five years, Donna would like to be in a job that she enjoys, where she is helping patients and making their experience in a medical setting the best it can be, whether it’s working as a school nurse or an LPN in an outpatient setting.

When asked if Donna would recommend WVJC to a friend, Donna smiled and said, “I would definitely recommend WVJC to a friend. There is great support, encouragement, and career guidance if you are willing to commit to studying and attending classes.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the fast-track, career-focused programs at WVJC, request information here!

 

*Passing the NCLEX-PN exam is required to become a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Rhonda Hardy – Faculty Highlight

Rhonda Hardy was born in Elkins, WV, and has remained in WV her entire life. She is married, with a son, daughter, 3 dogs, and a cat. During high school, Rhonda made plans to go to UCLA and become a marine biologist, but fate had other plans for her. She met the love of her life when she was 15 and he had no plans of leaving WV. The summer between her junior and senior year in high school, Rhonda moved in with his family to help take care of his mother who was terminally ill with cancer. That is when she discovered that nursing was her true calling.

Rhonda began her nursing career as an LPN in 2000. During this time, she worked as a float and step-down nurse at Fairmont General Hospital. In 2006, she returned to school at Mountain State University and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Summa Cum Laude. She continued to work at Fairmont General Hospital and became an Emergency Room nurse.

In the summer of 2019, she left Fairmont General Hospital and became a floor nurse at Grafton City Hospital because she felt like she forgot what it meant to be a compassionate and caring nurse.

In 2019, Pam Wilson asked Rhonda to join the West Virginia Junior College team in Bridgeport.  Rhonda excitedly accepted her new position as a practical nursing instructor. She recently accepted the Clinical Coordinator position for both nursing programs at WVJC Bridgeport. Her passion is educating students and feeling like she is making a difference. The students have made her see that making this change was the best decision for her. She loves that WVJC is such a close-knit family and so supportive of their staff and students. She cannot wait to start this new position to see where it may lead.

To learn more about WVJC’s Practical Nursing and Nursing programs, request information here!

Samantha Lucky – Student Highlight

Samantha Lucky is a recent graduate from the West Virginia Junior College’s Practical Nursing program.  Becoming a nurse was always a dream of hers since she was little.  However, in order to make her dream come true, she had to find a school that was the right fit for her.

She began her research knowing she wanted a smaller school so she could gain one on one attention.  Samantha feels that in larger schools “you are just a number and not a student.”  During her research she discovered that, in 2018, WVJC had a 100% pass rate for the NCLEX exam. Samantha said to herself, “ I need to give them a call.”  After the process of enrollment and a tour of the facility, she felt at home and was ready to begin her journey.

Samantha wants to share a part of her nursing journey with you!

Samantha writes, “In my fourth semester at WVJC I got the opportunity to complete 42 hours of an externship alongside a Hospice Nurse.  I knew that this particular field would be extremely difficult, especially separating home and work life.  However, I knew if I wanted to be the best nurse I can be, I needed to face my weaknesses and grow from the experiences. My first day was rough, I helped the nurse with a “death call.” This changed my perspective on life from that day forward. Every day, for a couple of weeks, I struggled to go there to complete my hours. However, after some time and seeing the compassion that goes into the field, I began to adapt to the struggles and fell in love with the hospice side of nursing. This brought so much compassion and understanding to a different part of my life. In school I learned the importance of patient advocacy, and I am proud to say, I got to experience and assist in this every day, while working in the hospice side of nursing.  During this time, I personally got the joy of hearing so many nurses say to their patients, ‘I am just a phone call away.’  Seeing this compassion everyday was a constant reminder of why I made the choice to become a nurse.”

Not only has Samantha graduated from the WVJC Practical Nursing program and passed her NCLEX exam, she also proudly accepted a position at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Samantha looks forward to this journey and all the new experiences that come with it. There is no doubt in her mind that she picked the right school and career path.

Cheyenne Bolden – Student Highlight

Cheyenne is a 2017 graduate of Liberty High School. While in high school, Cheyenne participated in numerous sports, worked two jobs to fund her summer travels, was a member of the National Honor Society, and enjoyed attending the Friday night football games. She took college classes during her senior year in high school as well.

WVJC was Cheyenne’s choice to jump start her career because she loves the small class sizes and being able to know the teachers one on one. She also loves that the teachers offer free tutoring after class and even in the mornings before class. Currently enrolled in the LPN program, Cheyenne is 21 years old and loves to spend her summers traveling across the globe.

There are many things that Cheyenne loves about her student experience at WVJC. “The library is always open and available when I need to use it. I enjoy being able to ask questions and get answers in a quick time frame. I feel like a person here and not just a number,” said Cheyenne.

When asked who her favorite teacher is so far, Cheyenne said it has been Mrs. Wilson because she has the ability to reach out to students and relay the information in a manner everyone can understand. She is really good at re-explaining something if someone doesn’t understand and uses relatable examples.

“From the time I started my journey here, the teachers and staff have always gone out of their way to make things as easy and smooth as possible. Nursing school is hard enough, it’s nice to have teachers and staff in your corner when things get tough,” said Cheyenne.

Currently, Cheyenne is in the mental health clinical rotation and part of her class has been going to Highland and observing. “I really enjoy mental health nursing, but I imagine it’s very hard at the same time,” said Cheyenne.

Cheyenne is working on finishing up her externship hours at Fairmont Health and Rehab. “I truly love it there. I am hoping to work there with a graduate license until I take and pass my boards. Once that happens, I really hope to secure a PRN job there while planning some much-needed travel plans,” said Cheyenne.

In the future, Cheyenne plans to go back to school and obtain her RN degree. She hopes to become a travel nurse for a few years after getting her RN and once she settles down, she is considering becoming a flight nurse.

Cheyenne’s advice for others is to “not give up, even when you think it’s the only option. In the end, you’re only setting yourself back and keeping yourself from reaching the goals you set out to achieve.”

Are you ready to start down the path to a rewarding career? With short-term programs, small class sizes, personalized attention, and our WE CARE approach to education, WVJC can help you get there. Request information today to get started!

Steps to Apply for Admission to the Practical Nursing Program

There is no doubt about it. Nurses are heroes! They help people through their most trying times. If you choose to become a practical nurse, you will be entering an honorable profession with a long history of serving your fellow human beings. Working in the field of healthcare is something you can be proud of throughout your entire career.

An LPN works under the supervision of doctors and RNs, performing duties such as taking vital signs, collecting samples, administering medications, ensuring patient comfort, and reporting the status of their patients to the other nurses.

Many different types of healthcare facilities hire practical nurses. In this field, you might get the opportunity to work in home care, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, hospice care, rehab clinics, group homes, outpatient centers, medical offices, or hospitals. Your training is portable throughout your entire state and there are many different types of facilities to choose from.

Considerations into the West Virginia Junior College Practical Nursing program are based upon the following:

  • Student must score an overall proficient score on the HESI A2 entrance exam or meet the cut score results of:
  • English Language Composite Score: 70%
  • Math: 65%

* Cumulative Scores will be reviewed by the program director and will be considered on an individual basis.

  • Interview with the Practical Nursing Program Director and Clinical Coordinator/Instructor.
  • Essay (one page double spaced) on why you have chosen to be a practical nurse and why you chose WVJC. (Please sign and date your essay.)
  • 2 References (educational, spiritual, or current/former employer). Please submit on business letterhead and include name, phone number, or email address.
  • Comparative High School GPA or GED

These items will be evaluated and scored. The WVJC Practical Nursing Director and Clinical Coordinator will then analyze each applicant and reserve the right to make the final decision in regard to acceptance into the program. The following items must be completed prior to the first day of class. You will need to satisfactorily complete all of the following Nursing Program Requirements. These requirements are as follows:

  • Physical Exam – All areas of the “History & Physical Exam Form” must be completed and signed by your healthcare provider with a recommendation for admission.
  • Immunizations/Titers & 2-Step PPD Testing – All areas of the “Immunization Record” and the “Tuberculosis Screening Form” must be completed by your healthcare provider. All appropriate documentation must be submitted with this form.
  • State and Federal Criminal Background Checks – Complete both state and federal criminal background checks with an acceptable status.
  • Drug Screening – Results of drug screening must be “negative” for non-prescription and/or illegal drugs. Verification via current valid prescription for any medications you may be taking that result in a positive/false positive will be required.
  • Proof of Current CPR Training – Complete the American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Health Care Provider course and submit a copy of your certification to the WVJC Practical Nursing Director.
  • Uniforms – Fitted for appropriate uniforms and ID Badge obtained.
  • Child Abuse Clearance – Complete the Child Abuse Clearance form.

If you are interested in joining the ranks of Practical Nursing heroes in West Virginia, request information here today!

WVJC Students Discuss Their Practical Nursing Journey

A practical nurse provides standard emergency and preventative healthcare to patients who are sick, injured, or just need routine health checkups.  They touch the lives of others on a daily basis.

Practical nursing is a career that is not only rewarding but also in high demand.  West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport offers a twelve-month Practical Nursing program to get your dreams and career started.  We offer course work in obstetrics, pediatrics, women’s health studies, community nursing, medical-surgical nursing, neonatology, and gerontology.

To obtain state certification as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) you must complete an accredited LPN program, and pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-PN.  At WVJC Bridgeport, we are proud to say that we have a 100% pass on the NCLEX exam for the past four years.

Two of our most recent graduates, Logan Brewer and Melissa Dickenson, were excited to talk about their journey at WVJC.

Logan attended Fairmont State University prior to coming to WVJC.  He said while attending FSU he did not know what career path he wanted to take and felt that led to him not enjoying the college experience.  Logan chose WVJC because he heard it was a good school from his friends and coworkers, a tough school, but worth it.  He worked in Fairmont as a CNA in a nursing home prior to starting WVJC.  He said he chose the LPN field because as a CNA, he loved the nursing field, so he decided he wanted to expand his knowledge to better assist people in need.  When asked about his favorite part about WVJC, he said, “My class. It feels like we’re all a big family.”  His favorite teacher is Mrs. Wilson and his favorite class is Pediatrics.  His idea of a perfect day is a day with no homework and studying. Logan works at Genesis Healthcare. He enjoys his job and all the new experiences. In five years, he would like to see himself as an RN with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and possibly married with his own house and kids.

Melissa was a stay at home mom for 17 years and did not attend college prior to coming to WVJC. She chose WVJC because she was searching for the next chapter in her life. She called for information, came in for an interview, and knew it was for her. She chose the LPN program because she loves helping others and nurses are highly sought after. When asked about her favorite part of attending WVJC she said, “I love the staff and that they have you working in the field with your clinical experience shortly after you start.” She loves all the teachers and says the classes are challenging but rewarding. Her idea of a perfect day is a day in the mountains or at the beach with no homework!

After graduating, Melissa began working at Bridgeport Health Care Center in Bridgeport.  She loves her new job and learns from her patients daily. In five years, Melissa would like to have job security and a feeling of doing well in the world when there is so much bad happening today

Practical Nursing Student Highlight – Kim DeMeester

Kim DeMeesterKim DeMeester is a West Virginia Junior College-Bridgeport student who is expected to graduate from the Practical Nursing program in December 2017.  She is excited to begin her nursing career, as it is the job she has always dreamed of pursuing.  Kim attended several other institutions before attending WVJC and has found the support and help to be exceptional. Her passion for education and learning is inspiring to many.

Kim worked as a program assistant at Fairmont State before making the choice to stay home to care for her sick parents.  After that chapter, she contemplated continuing retirement, but realized she was restless. She made the decision to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse.  She enrolled in WVJC’s Practical Nursing program because it was a small school with a personal feel and was close to her home.  She said, “I knew it was a small college that would give me the most up to date education.”

Kim chose nursing because she loves medical and science knowledge, and has experience caring for the ill.  She said, “I have always wanted to be a nurse. The field has a variety of positions and experiences and fulfills my desire to help people.”  Her favorite part of attending WVJC is that the instructors and director are available 24/7.  She says that she can contact them for concerns and is guided in the right direction.  She said, “It is wonderful to have a staff that wants to see you succeed as much as you want to succeed yourself.”  Kim could not pick one favorite teacher. She enjoyed both Mrs. Burner and Mrs. Wilson, saying they both worked hard at breaking down the courses and making them understandable and relatable to the students’ lives.  They both made each class enjoyable and always took extra time to educate on any subjects that students were struggling with.  Both women are very passionate about teaching and it is obvious when you have them in class.

After graduation, Kim hopes to work in a place where everyone works together as a team, and enjoys their job and is happy. As Kim aged and took care of her parents, she realized that, in life, what’s important in your career is not always about how much money you make, but how happy you are in your career choice. Kim hopes to one day even complete her RN degree. For now, she plans on being in a long term position that she loves and can learn from, so that she can always provide the best care to her patients.

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program CLICK HERE.

Practical Nursing Student Highlight – Kelsie Blosser

Kelsie BlosserKelsie Blosser is set to graduate in December 2017 with her Practical Nursing diploma. She is excited to graduate and start her career as a nurse, which has been a dream of hers since she was little. Kelsie attended a few other institutions before making the choice to attend West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport.

Before attending WVJC, Kelsie worked full time as an aid at Genesis Rosewood Center and held a part time job at United Hospital Center. After working long hours and not being happy with the direction her life was going, Kelsie made the decision to attend WVJC’s nursing program. She says, “I felt like I needed to take the next step in my life and go back to school and I just felt like WVJC was the right fit for me.” Kelsie was always told growing up she had the heart to be a nurse. She felt that starting as a Licensed Practical Nurse would be a great stepping-stone toward her lifelong goal of being a Nurse Practitioner.

Kelsie’s says her favorite part about attending WVJC is that “it’s a small enough campus that people know your name, but big enough to make a difference.” When she tried to pick her favorite teacher she couldn’t. Kelsie said Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Burner have both helped her so much with her classes, and have been very nurturing when the stress of school gets to be too much. A perfect day for Kelsie is one where all of her homework is done and she doesn’t have to remediate on a test.

After graduation, Kelsie is hopeful that she will become a nurse in the school system. This would be a great fit for Kelsie due to her compassion toward others and love for children. In five years, she hopes to be finishing school to become an RN and to have begun a nurse practitioner program. All the staff at WVJC has great hopes for Kelsie as she prepares for graduation and begins her career as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Kelsie lives by the quote “She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.” As she moves toward graduation, her future looks bright.

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program CLICK HERE.