Sarah Jackson – Graduate Highlight

WVJC is eager to introduce you to one of our 2020 Nursing graduates, Sarah Jackson! Sarah started working toward her goal of working in the medical field by completing the Clinical Medical Assistant program. Upon completing and obtaining employment as a medical assistant at the Pediatric Clinic through WVU Medicine, Sarah realized that she loved the healthcare field. It made her want to further her education to “learn how to help people in more ways!”

When determining where to go to college, Sarah said, “I chose WVJC because they were invested in my success. When I chose to go to nursing school, I wanted that same feeling. That kind of tight-knit feeling is why I would recommend WVJC. The small class sizes make it very personal and having a degree in 18 months was appealing. My instructors were caring and dedicated to making us the best nurses we could be. I also made great friends along the way. My favorite instructor was Joanne! She was so special to all of us and was always there to talk when we were having a tough time.”

A required part of the licensing process in WV is the NCLEX. Sarah expressed how she “felt confident that the program gave me all the information I needed to pass the boards.” The school utilizes classroom instruction, ATI curriculum and HURST review to help students to prepare for the NCLEX. Though ATI was not Sarah’s favorite thing, she said it “really did help me with my critical thinking skills.” When asked if Sarah felt prepared for the NCLEX she exclaimed, “As prepared as anyone can be for the scariest test of their life! I knew if I kept studying I would pass, though.”

Sarah now works on a Trauma floor. “It’s a fantastic place to learn how to be a nurse in the real world and prepare me for any future career changes.” Sarah shared this picture with us after she survived her first night on the trauma floor. Her ideal job is working in an emergency department. Long-term, she hopes to find herself living in Oregon working in an ED (Emergency Department) and “loving my life as a nurse!”

If you are interested in starting nursing school, request information here!

Shayla Bolyard – Student Highlight

Shayla Bolyard is a practical nursing student at West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport. She is a 2019 graduate of South Harrison High School. Her initial plans after high school were to pursue a teaching career, aspiring to be a kindergarten teacher. However, after starting her college career, majoring in education, she decided to change her career path based on job security.

Shayla still had a strong drive to help children, so she began searching for another career that would fulfill her dream. She decided she wanted to be a pediatric nurse and started looking at different nursing programs in the area. Shayla chose WVJC Bridgeport for many reasons. Being a Lost Creek native, the campus is almost in her backyard. She loved the idea of being so close to her college. She also wanted something that was fast-paced to keep her engaged. Since classes have started, she says the best thing about the Practical Nursing program is the people in the program. She also says she feels the instructors are very invested and truly care about the students.

When Shayla is not in class she keeps herself very active. She works a couple of days a week as a waitress in a local restaurant. Her parents recently adopted a new baby, so she enjoys being at home, loving on the little one. If you can’t find her working or spending time with her new sibling, she is probably with her long-time boyfriend of five years. After graduation, Shayla wants to work in pediatrics, but she has also recently become interested in emergency medicine.

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

Taylor Hare – Student Highlight

Taylor Hare graduated from Preston High School in 2020. During her time there, Taylor completed a CNA and phlebotomy course that solidified her decision to become a nurse. Taylor knew from a young age that she wanted to make a difference in peoples’ lives. She has also had personal experiences with ill family members that further motivated her to pursue her dream of helping others as a nurse.

It was important for Taylor to attend a school that offered a fast-track program and small classes with one-on-one help. Taylor says, “WVJC has been the most considerate, helpful facility compared to all of my other choices.” Her favorite part of attending WVJC is the availability of assistance. “If I have a question or I am unsure of something, there is always somebody that I can contact. I always receive a helpful response within a short period.” Her favorite class is the Fundamentals of Nursing Lab because she loves to do hands-on activities. Recently, Taylor learned about tracheostomy care, how to suction a tracheostomy, and how to do a physical assessment on a patient. Her teacher is very descriptive and delivers adequate directions that are important when learning in the medical field.

After graduation, Taylor hopes to work as a labor and delivery nurse or work in the emergency department. In 5 years, Taylor would love to be working in a hospital and be caring for patients. She also has the goal of owning her own house near her hometown in Preston County because staying close to family is important. Overall, Taylor is excited to make positive impacts on peoples’ lives as a nurse. If you’re interested in getting some more information about WVJC’s fast-track Nursing program or any other program, request information here!

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!

Q & A With Nursing Student Cheryl Weise

Did you ever go to college before, if so where and what was your experience?

I haven’t really been in school since I was in high school twenty years ago. This whole experience is new and exciting for me.

What were you doing before you decided to go to attend WVJC

I  had my fair share of random jobs. I worked as a waitress, with an airship, in retail, and even a small stint on an oil/gas well site. I have been happy with all my jobs but I needed to engage myself more. I had also just gotten married and I knew that it was time to start thinking more about the future for me and my wife.

Why did you choose WVJC?

The accelerated program was a big attraction for me. I’m 38 years old and anxious to start this new part of my life.  I knew it would challenge me but also it would ultimately allow me to graduate sooner and start my new career. When I met with admissions and was able to speak with Chasity about the program and the school the pieces just seemed to fit.

Why did you choose your program?

Nursing seemed to be the most natural choice for me. As cliche as it sounds, there is a sense of self-worth and being satiated in helping people. I could have done that in a lot of different jobs but nursing will let me use my head and my heart.  What better way to do it? I never thought it would be easy but I always knew it would be worth it!

What is your favorite part of attending WVJC?

Learning !!  I can’t say it enough. The learning process of becoming a nurse and learning new skills while becoming better at critical thinking makes me excited to come to class every day. I genuinely enjoy being engaged in the whole process. Having said that, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my classmates. I’m sure everyone thinks they have the best class or students in it but this experience wouldn’t be nearly as great without each and every personality in that class. They are the best!!

Who is your favorite teacher, or what is your favorite class and why?

I wouldn’t even begin to try and pick a favorite instructor. Everyone that I have had has all had their own special qualities that encourage the learning side in me. Class however, every semester I have a new favorite class. Nursing Care of the Client/ Medsurg, more specifically Gerontologic Nursing was my favorite so far. I especially love the lab and clinical portions. However, I am looking forward to starting Maternity and Pediatric Nursing this semester.

What is your ideal job after graduation? 

I can only say that the strongest pull is towards a hospital setting. When I first started school I thought I knew exactly what field or type of nursing I wanted to do but I have since allowed my thoughts on that to be a little more fluid. Everything I learn seems to pull my interest in another direction. Ultimately,  I think I will let that fluidity to keep playing itself out and reevaluate my thoughts on that once I get closer to graduation.

How would you like your life to be in five years?

In five years I see myself being more secure and confident in my career and life. I do plan to continue my education past this and my undergraduate. Ultimately, I want to be happy in my career which can only help me feel more fulfilled in my life.

Would you refer WVJC to a friend? Why?

I would recommend WVJC to friends. Everyone that you interacted with or even just pass by in the hall at school really do their part in making you feel welcome and included. I have never felt like a body in a seat at WVJC, rather a person with a name, and everyone knows it.

Brandee Clevenger – Student Highlight

Brandee chose West Virginia Junior College’s Practical Nursing program because she wanted a school that was smaller to receive one on one attention and excellent outcomes. After doing some research, she found that the WVJC Bridgeport campus has maintained a 100% NCLEX pass rate, since starting the Practical Nursing program in 2015. After her interview, she knew she was interested and in the right place to achieve her goals.

She began her courses shortly after being accepted into the program. Her excitement was overwhelming, and she couldn’t wait to reach her goal. She said she likes WVJC because of the smaller classes because it allows for more one on one instruction with the nursing instructors. She wants to become a nurse because every day is different and a challenge. As a nurse, she will also learn something continually.

Brandee’s hobbies include riding horses, gardening, and spending time with her family. When she graduates this December, she plans on working in the cardiac unit or pediatrics. Brandee explained the heart has always fascinated her, and pediatrics will always hold a special place in her heart because children are the sweetest. Her five-year plan is to complete nursing school and get a position in a hospital. She plans to continue her education with the WVJC Nursing program as part of her five-year plan. She said, “In summary, my plan is to become an RN and be a successful nurse.”

Tierra Justice – Student Highlight

“I was three years into a teaching degree and decided I wanted to be a nurse.  I moved to Morgantown and started applying to programs.”- Tierra Justice

The path to college and a career can have its twist and turns. Sometimes a student can enter into one field of study and find a more appealing path along the way. Tierra Justice certainly found herself along that path prior to coming to WVJC. Not only did she seek a path to the nursing field, but she also moved from the southern part of WV to Morgantown in the process.

Once she started looking into WVJC’s Nursing program, Tierra knew it was for her. “Unlike most nursing programs, our program is set up into 6-week terms instead of full semesters. It allows us to focus more on the individual classes and graduate quicker,” she said.  Tierra also noted that the admissions process was really simple along the way.

As a student in WVJC’s Nursing program, Tierra has really found a home.  She says that Joanne Kozich was her favorite instructor.  “She is always ready to go to bat for us when we have concerns. She goes out of her way to make sure we understand the material and makes herself available for questions. I’m the president of my cohort and she has been the biggest help with fundraising and pinning planning as well.”  In addition to classroom instruction, Tierra says that her clinical instructors have really made a mark on her education as well. “The factors that stand out most are the small class sizes, instructors, and clinical experiences.”

Want to learn more about WVJC’s Nursing program?  Request information here!

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!

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.