During their Community Health Course, nursing students in the WVJC Morgantown ADN program participate in a Mass Casualty Incident Simulation at WV STEPS. Students teamed up to quickly assess and triage the patients in this simulation training. Triaging prioritizes patients in the order patients need to be handled to increase efficiency. As a nurse, prioritization is critical for effective and efficient care of patients. Check out the video below to see our nursing students in action!
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.”
~Passing the NCLEX-RN exam is required to become a Registered Nurse.
Amanda Poling has been employed by WVJC since December 2020 as the Clinical Coordinator for the nursing programs. She is responsible for the clinical side of both nursing programs at the Bridgeport campus. As the clinical coordinator, Amanda is responsible for developing affiliation agreements with various area hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. She ensures all students are compliant with West Virginia Board of Nursing requirements for clinical experience and schedules all clinical assignments for the practical nursing students and registered nursing students. She takes great pride in developing sound clinical experiences for the students and enjoys hearing all the stories students have from the clinical rotations.
When asked what motivates her, she had this to say, “What motivates me is hearing the excitement the students have after a wonderful clinical day. They are able to take the information and knowledge learned in the classroom and apply [it] to real patients. It gives them a sense of accomplishment when they are able to link a concept learned in the classroom to their live patient in the clinical setting.”
Prior to working at WVJC, Amanda wore many hats. She graduated from Alderson Broaddus College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After completing her nursing degree, she worked as a pediatric oncology nurse, traveled as a pediatric oncology nurse, worked as an outpatient infusion nurse, surgical nurse, and most recently, as an assistant professor of nursing. Amanda continued her education and obtained a Master’s of Business Administration in Healthcare Management Degree in 2016 from Western Governors University, and a Master of Science in Nursing Degree from Walden University in 2017. She also recently applied to The University of Southern Mississippi’s doctoral program.
Her favorite part of working for WVJC is watching the students become successful professionals. She also appreciates the flexibility and the wonderful administration and staff that have the same passion for seeing students succeed.
The WVJC Nursing Department is excited to announce that we have received a state-of-the-art mannequin for our nursing skills lab. Nursing students will be learning skills and thinking critically in our new state-of-the-art simulation lab! By using a high-fidelity mannequin that talks, has heart and lung sounds, and has the capacity to do a 12-lead EKG, plus many more realistic features, faculty will be able to mimic a real patient scenario with a real problem in a real hospital setting.
As healthcare changes, nurses are expected to hit the ground running with high-level decision-making skills, as well as technological and problem-solving abilities. Simulation has been accepted in nursing education as a valuable tool to let nurses have a variety of experiences that may not be available during their hospital rotations. For example, students may not see a cardiac arrest or an asthma attack during their time in clinical rotations. With simulation, students can practice their decision-making skills in a controlled environment. Errors in judgment can be identified and discussed, and best practices can be reinforced. WVJC students are required to pre-plan for their “patient,” come to the lab, take care of their “patient,” and then participate in post-conference for debriefing.
Simulation experiences will not replace hospital experiences but will add to students’ clinical knowledge. Research demonstrates that students feel more confident in the hospital setting after participating in simulation exercises. WVJC Nursing Simulation and ATI Coordinator, Dianne Phillips often quotes Coach Flint Wallace, “You play like you practice,” as well as, “I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand.” Therefore, WVJC wants to ensure students have the opportunity to practice as many real-world critical care situations as possible. We are so excited we have the opportunity to offer this to students!
WVJC offers short-term, career-focused programs in Nursing, Clinical Medical Assistant, Dental Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, Business Administration, and Network Administration/Security. At WVJC, our purpose is to empower change by creating opportunity. We believe in a WE CARE approach to helping students succeed in their education.
This Thanksgiving, our staff and faculty would like to share what we are most thankful for at WVJC, our students!
- Michelle Miles, WVJC Campus President said, “I am so grateful for our students. I have the pleasure of interacting with students daily and I love witnessing their growth and seeing their accomplishments. Students, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives!”
- Katie Harvey, WVJC Academic Dean said, “As an educator, I am thankful that our students allow us to become part of their extended families. We can experience their joys and offer support when they experience sorrows. I am thankful I can watch the growth of the student from the time they first step foot in the building to seeing them walk across the graduation stage. There is nothing like witnessing a former WVJC student find success in their career field as well as life itself!”
- Selena Ramey, WVJC Career Management Director said, “I am thankful for students who apply themselves and overcome obstacles to be successful in their careers.”
- Stephanie Duncan, WVJC High School Admissions Advisor said, “I am thankful for our students because they allow us to see real growth every day. Every student is different, but watching them during their journey from WVJC student to graduate is something I will always hold near and dear to my heart.”
- Kellie Moore, WVJC Admissions Manager said, “I’m thankful for our students because they bring me so much joy and happiness! I love seeing them accomplish their goals and transition into careers!”
- Sheena Pack, WVJC High School Admissions Advisor said, “I am thankful for the relationships I have with our students. I love witnessing their success and look forward to seeing them when I come to work.”
- Christina Hayslett, WVJC Financial Aid Representative said, “I am thankful for our students because they remind us every day is a new opportunity to start, to grow, and to succeed.”
- Chelsea Abbott, WVJC Medical Director said, “I am so thankful for my students. I am passionate about teaching them the skills they need for the medical field and watching them apply those skills in their careers.”
- Renee Rollins, WVJC Dental Assisting Program Director said, “I am thankful for my students who make me laugh in class and bring joy to not just me, but their fellow students.”
- Aaron Settle, WVJC Adjunct Instructor said, “Interactions with my students allow me to learn from them daily, just as I hope they are learning from me!”
- Kisha James, WVJC Nursing Instructor said, “I am thankful for our students because they remind me that we still have a striving generation in our future. All programs offered at WVJC are to better not only those coming out of high school but also adults in higher education. All of our students have a drive and determination and every day they make me feel like a proud momma.”
- Jonathan Lucas-Neel, WVJC Nursing Instructor said, “Teaching nursing at WVJC over the past year has brought me so many joys. I am thankful for the excitement that comes when students get to practice a new skill for the first time, to be present when they make a difference in the life of a patient, or even to see the satisfaction when they do well on an exam that I know they struggled to master. Working with nursing students has taught me to be a better nurse. It has made me evaluate the ‘why’ of the care we provide. I am enthusiastic to start our second cohort here at WVJC and thankful to have the opportunity to help train the next generation of nurses to care for our community.”
- Jennifer Bird, WVJC Administrative Assistant said, “This year has been so hard on everyone and I wanted to share some of the reasons why I am thankful for our students. I am thankful every day I get to see our students walk in the door, even with their masks on, I can see that they are smiling and happy to be coming in for class. I am thankful to be able to watch our students achieve their goals to graduate and provide a better life for themselves and their families. It is simply amazing to see them overcome obstacles to graduate; one of my favorite quotes is “So often you find that the students you’re trying to inspire are the ones that end up inspiring you.”
- Holly Mitchell, WVJC Adjunct Instructor said, “I am thankful for our students for overcoming a myriad of challenges and remaining relentless on their pursuit to succeed! They are truly inspiring and I’m blessed to be a part of their journey at WVJC!”
- Kelly Pauley, WVJC Nursing Director said, “I am thankful for my nursing students because they are so eager to learn, so driven to accomplish their dreams, and so compassionate. They teach me every day why I love what I do.”
- Mark Light, WVJC Adjunct Instructor said, “I’m thankful for my students because they challenge me. When I started at WVJC, I was worried that I would not be able to relate to my students’. One of the things we had in common was that we all spoke Appalachian American. (If you need to know what that is just ask one of my students). I was able to present the information to them in a way that was easy for them to understand and there is nothing more rewarding as an instructor than to see the lights go on in their students eyes that let you know they understand and comprehend what you are teaching them.”
- Hydiah White, WVJC Adjunct Instructor said, “I am thankful for our students because they are always helping me to become a better teacher. Everyone has a different learning style and I enjoy finding creative ways to explain the material. It can be challenging, but it is worth it!”
If you are ready to earn your education in a fast track, hands-on, career-focused program at a college with staff and faculty that cares about your success, request information here!
“I chose WVJC Bridgeport because I really wanted a LPN program that was only one year and close to home. I heard about WVJC from a friend who also went into the program with me” said Jennifer when asked why she chose West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport. “I have always wanted to be a nurse and I finally found the opportunity to do so.”
When asked what Jennifer’s favorite part of attending WVJC’s Practical Nursing program was, she said, “going to clinical sites, spending time with patients and learning nursing skills.”
Jennifer’s advice for future nursing students is “Study, study, study! It will fly by!”
Jennifer says, “I definitely want thank Lisa McDonald and Pam Wilson more than anything. These two are the reason we are great nurses. I love it every day at work when we use our nursing skills and apply it. I love it when we know what’s going on with a patient from assessing them. It’s all thanks to these two amazing teachers and amazing nurses. I actually miss school, and miss both of them! They were our second parents for a whole year. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart.”
My biggest supporters were my parents, my boyfriend and my son. They were there for me through everything, and allowed me to follow my dream by helping me whenever I needed it.
Jennifer is currently employed at River Oaks nursing home on the skilled side. She states “it’s very fast paced and there is a lot to get done, but I love it.” Jennifer is also applying and getting things ready to further her education into RN school.