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.

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!

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!

Registered Nursing Program – Bridgeport Campus

WVJC Bridgeport is set to complete our second six-week term of WVJC’s Nursing program! It’s been an exciting time for our campus as we’ve added an RN training program that prepares students to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses’ (NCLEX-RN)* exam to WVJC Bridgeport’s list of available course options.  WVJC Bridgeport started its first cohort of 40 nursing students on June 29th, 2020. Not only do we love to see people who are passionate about learning to care for those around them, but WVJC’s nursing program also helps fill a void in our community.

Currently, there are approximately 3 million registered nurses in the US with more than 5,000 employment vacancies. The Board of Labor and Statistics estimates more than 500,000 RNs will be needed by 2030 to cover the medical needs of the country and vacancies caused by RNs retiring. In WV alone, more than 2,000 new RNs will be needed by 2025 to meet the state’s health care needs.

WVJC Bridgeport’s Nursing program lasts 18 months, with classes starting each June. Classes are Monday through Friday with scheduling to assist students who are actively working. Those who have completed Practical Nursing programs** have the opportunity to test out of several classes and can potentially achieve their nursing degree in as little as one year.  If you have a desire to become a Registered Nurse, request information here!

*Passing the NCLEX – RN exam is required to become a Registered Nurse.
**See catalog for detailed eligibility criteria.
Credits may not be transferable. Individual results may vary. Information on this slide was current at the time of publishing.

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!

Practical Nursing Graduation – 2019

Graduation, the day we long for from the day we begin any educational journey. It is a time to celebrate; celebrate your accomplishments not only for yourself,  but with friends and family. The day where reality sets in and you start into another part of your life journey.

The dictionary defines graduation as “the receiving or conferring of an academic degree or diploma.”  Many of us look at graduation as a day of accomplishment and success, which you should.  Some question, “Am I told old to walk at graduation?” The answer is no.  Accomplishments should be celebrated at all ages and at all times in our lives.

In December 2019, West Virginia Junior College celebrated the success of eleven practical nurses as they walked across the stage at Via Veneto’s in Bridgeport. On this special day, we celebrated not only their accomplishments but also looked back upon the journey to get them where they are today. The laughter, hard work, dedication, many sleepless nights, and countless study sessions finally became a reality, that they were overwhelmingly proud of.  Family, friends, and instructors glowed in happiness in the success of not only the completion,  but also the level of professionalism from this group of ladies.

After graduation, they continued to accomplish many more achievements. Every December 2019 practical nursing graduate passed their NCLEX exam, which officially gave them the title of “Licensed Practical Nurse.”  Not only were they proud of themselves but also of each other. Together as a team, they continue to grow and prosper.  Each graduate also quickly obtained employment after graduation and are happy to be in the healthcare field, a dream they all had since they were little. “Every nurse is drawn to nursing because of a desire to care, to serve, or to help.”  – Christina Feist-Heilmeier, RN.

At WVJC Bridgeport, you become a part of a small family. The small classes and the one on one attention you receive, are like no other.  We offer many different programs within our WVJC family and we always celebrate everyone’s accomplishments during graduation.

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

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.”

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!