Amanda Poling – Nursing Staff Highlight

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.

To learn more about WVJC’s nursing programs, request information here!

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.

Cheslea Brown – Student Highlight

Clinical Medical Assistant student Cheslea Brown began taking classes at WVJC in September 2020.  Before starting classes at WVJC, Cheslea was a stay-at-home mom to her three children. She had never attended college before, but she knew it was time to further her education.  She decided to come to WVJC because of the small classroom environment and the welcoming staff. Cheslea’s motivation is to provide her family with a better future.

Cheslea said, “My favorite part about attending WVJC is how everyone wants to see you succeed, and they are there to help you.” Cheslea has enjoyed all of the instructors at WVJC. She said, “They are very kind and treat you respectfully.” Cheslea is looking forward to taking her medical assisting lab classes the most. During lab classes, students learn how to take vital signs, perform EKGs, phlebotomy, obtain specimens, assist with minor office procedures, and so much more!  She said, “The lab classes will help me better understand how things work, and I will gain the hands-on experience to prepare me for my career.”

In Cheslea’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her children, listening to music, and singing.  After Cheslea graduates from the Clinical Medical Assistant Program, she would like to further her education in the Associate Degree in Nursing Program at WVJC. In the next five years, she sees herself as a licensed Registered Nurse.  She said, “I want to fulfill my passion for caring for others and having job stability.”

Cheslea said, “I would recommend WVJC to anyone I know because it is a great atmosphere, the staff is friendly, and they truly want to see you succeed.” If you are interested in learning more about the fast track, career-focused programs at WVJC, request information here!

Honey Randolph – Staff Highlight

Honey is the nursing administrative assistant for WVJC. She was born and raised in West Virginia, grew up in Salem, and is the 5th of 6 children.

Honey joined the WVJC team in June of 2020. She started out being our Front Office Administrator/Registrar.

As the Front Office Administrator, she got to know the students by checking them in every morning. Part of her duties was to help the teachers with copies, grading, and making schedules.

In November 2020, Honey became our Nursing Administrative Assistant. Working with the nursing department has been a new challenge. From working with the students from day one to getting all of their admission paperwork to financial aid appointments to getting them set up on their first day, nursing is an entirely different world!

Honey says that WVJC has been a wonderful place to hang her hat. She likes the small office setting.

Honey stated that she feels this institution and the people it employs possess integrity, and she feels so fortunate to have the opportunity to build a career with WVJC. The students and faculty have become friends and family.

In her spare time, Honey loves spending time with family and friends, especially her 2 Lhasa Apso’s Tosha Bonnie Blue, who is 3 years old, and Ainsley Harper, who is 8 years old and is Tosha’s mother. Tosha and Ainsley love to take walks and are very spoiled.

To learn more about WVJC and to get to know Honey for yourself, request information here!

New Year, New Career at the Bridgeport Campus

It goes without saying that the year 2020 has been a roller coaster ride for us all. As we are rapidly approaching a new year, hoping it will be better than 2020, let’s consider a new you.   We all make the cliché “New Year’s resolutions,” like dieting, eating better, and exercising more. These are all important to our overall well-being, but this year maybe a new you, and a new career, is what you are seeking.

This is the time and year to evaluate your lifetime goals and dreams, and really think about your career. Perhaps for some, the pandemic has made you reevaluate your job. Many of you have possibly been putting off taking the next step to continue your education, due to children being your number one priority. However, even though that is understandably something that could hold you back, perhaps in 2021, it’s time to begin thinking about yourself and the career of your choice.

At West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport, we offer a variety of programs that might be what you are looking for. The training programs at WVJC include medical assisting, medical coding, IT, dental, nursing, and practical nursing. Our classes are small and hands-on with an externship that will allow you to be hands-on in the classroom and a real world setting.

The time is now! Use these steps to help guide you to a great career in the new year!

Brainstorm/Evaluate:

Brainstorming is a way to generate new ideas and is the beginning stage in developing the possibilities of what you are looking for. This creates an environment that is uninhibited and non-judgmental to explore all the many options of what you are looking for in your new career.

Get Motivated:

Motivation can be difficult from time to time, but is a key factor in being successful. Staying motivated to work toward your goals and dreams will help your dream and goals become a reality. Take the time to find a group of people you can rely on to help you stay motivated on the tough days.

Start Your Job Search:

Once you have decided to continue your education with WVJC and the program of your choice, start job searching. Researching the field and understanding the job market’s needs and demands will help you finalize your choice. This will help you explore your career choice and understand the places that would work for you and your lifestyle. Understanding the job demands in your town/city will be beneficial to you and your new start.

Toward the end of your program, every WVJC student is offered a Career Prep class that will help you build your resume, cover letter, interview skills, and, most importantly, assist you in landing that career you have always wanted. WVJC’s career management director will sit with you and really get an understanding of what career fits best with you and your lifestyle.

Dreams come true here at WVJC, and this is the year for you. When considering those new year’s resolutions this year, dig a little deeper and find the education and career you have been looking for.

To learn more about WVJC’s career training, request information here!

Morgantown Nursing Program Highlight

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Healthcare employment opportunities continue to rise.  Nursing, specifically, is expected to see better than average growth over the next decade.  “Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur for a number of reasons, including an increased emphasis on preventive care; increasing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and demand for healthcare services from the baby-boom population, as this group leads longer and more active lives.” (BLS 1)

The BLS is a great resource to learn about occupations of all types. When considering a new career or career move, though, there are a ton of other factors to consider. If nursing is on your list, the options are nearly infinite. Nurses work in all walks of healthcare, have degree paths available from associate to doctoral level, can work in virtually anywhere in the world, and are always in high demand. Given all of this, if you are heading down the nursing path, it is helpful to know what your goals are.

While the possibilities of the career are nearly infinite, the training and curriculum are fairly specific. We will focus our time here on the program at WVJC Morgantown. However, it should be noted that all programs in West Virginia are governed by the same body so the requirements to take your NCLEX certification are similar. Nursing programs have a very specific set of requirements to follow and this is part of what makes entry into a nursing program so coveted!

WVJC’s Nursing program has enjoyed quite a bit of student success over the last several years! This success earned our program a #2 ranking in the state of WV in 2019 (by registerednurse.org, which is an independent site designed to be a resource for those looking into the field- link below).

So far we know what the career prospects are like, how the training is set up, and what WVJC is doing. So, what does it take to get into and complete an 18 month Associate Degree program? Grit.  At least according to Nursing Program Director, Julie Whetsell. “If you look at the definition of the word Grit, it is described as strength of character, courage, and resolve. Which I can’t help but equate to the definition of a great nurse. A great nurse is a patient advocate, an outstanding communicator, able to hold their own in a trying environment, and extremely knowledgeable in their craft yet not afraid to ask questions. Nurses proverbially get pushed down a lot, and every time a nurse will show that resolve and get back up to keep caring for their patients. It is not a profession to be taken lightly, and neither is nursing school. A nursing student needs that same grit, in fact, I expect it. If they embody those qualities and are willing to buckle down and learn, becoming a nurse through our program is just 18 months away which is an amazing opportunity.”

If you have now determined that you have the “grit” needed to complete a challenging nursing program, you should know that WVJC’s program is a direct admittance program! There is no pre-nursing education coursework at all. If you meet the requirements, and are selected, you will enter directly into the Nursing program. This is one benefit of a short-term program like ours. Another interesting note about WVJC’s Nursing program is the schedule. Classes occur during evening and weekend hours. This gives students the flexibility during the day to study, do homework, work, etc.

At this point, you may be starting to wonder how to get the admissions process started for our program. Request information here!

References

BLS 1 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm

Link below https://www.registerednursing.org/state/west-virginia/#rankings

Thankful For Our WVJC Charleston 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!

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!

How to Enroll at WVJC Charleston In COVID-19 Era

At West Virginia Junior College, we understand the challenges that COVID-19 has created. Many of us have been faced with uncertainty, concerns of financial security, economic strains, and of course, our health and the genuine concerns for our loved ones, our neighbors, and our communities.  Even though we are living through difficult times, West Virginia Junior College is here for you. Now is a great time to think about your future and take the next steps to further your education in one of our career-focused programs.

The West Virginia Junior College Charleston campus offers many fast track, academic programs to assist you with your academic growth and to present you with opportunities in many different career fields, all of which can provide financial stability for you and your family.

Programs that are offered at the WVJC Charleston campus include:

Our purpose at WVJC is to empower change by creating opportunity. Our staff and faculty are eager to help you begin your journey in obtaining your college education in a fast-track program.  If you are interested in enrolling in fall classes, please request information here. Our admissions advisors are available to conduct a one on one college visit to identify your career goals and help you develop a plan on how to reach those goals. We look forward to hearing from you and are excited to help you take the plunge in finding that right career path for you! Request information HERE and learn more today!

Congrats Pam!

WVJC Bridgeport is proud to congratulate Nursing Director Pam Wilson, MSN on the completion of her Master’s Degree in Nursing Education from Western Governors University.

Pam has been employed at the Bridgeport campus since 2014 when she began teaching in the Clinical Medical Assistant Program. She then assisted in the development of the Practical Nursing Program that began in 2015. In 2017, Pam assumed the role of Medical Director and has maintained a 100% NCLEX pass rate for the Practical Nursing Program for the 2015-2019 graduating classes. Pam states that during the program she was able to learn many new teaching methodologies that she plans to implement into the Nursing and Practical Nursing Programs at WVJC Bridgeport.

Pam has a passion for teaching students the skills of nursing, but even more importantly the bedside care and compassion needed to be an amazing nurse. Pam has worked with local long term care facilities and hospitals to establish professional relationships that allow her students to experience hands-on educational rotations, so that upon graduation they are well rounded and highly sought after by local employers.

In her free time away from WVJC, Pam is a mother of 5 children and enjoys traveling to Colorado to visit her grandson, Elias. She is a proud military mom, whose son serves in the US Army with the Special Forces Unit. She loves to volunteer and help out local charities as well.

Pam is especially grateful to God, her parents, husband, kids, Jenica Greynolds, and Jenn Leer for all their support, encouragement, and guidance during this long journey!