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

WVJC Scholarships

Are you interested in gaining a quality education in just a few months without having to worry about breaking the bank? At WVJC, we offer 10 different scholarships for our students to help give them the peace of mind they need to focus on getting their degree!

Keep on reading to learn about all of our scholarships and discover which one is best for you and your needs!

We not only offer general scholarships for all of our students to take advantage of, but we also offer specific ones based on the program you decide on!

Note, our scholarships vary by campus, so some scholarships may not be available at the campus of your choice. Check the catalog of your campus of interest for information.

General Scholarships

No matter if you are a young adult looking to gain more skills for your career, or are a parent looking to get started on your next exciting journey, our general scholarships are for everyone!

  • Academic Success Scholarship
    Based on academic achievement and the credential level of each student.
  • Alumni Legacy Scholarship
    If you have a family member who is an alumnus of WVJC, you are eligible.
  • Career Enhancement Scholarship
    Are you an employee of a local business? We would love to help enhance your skills and boost your value to the workplace!
  • Friends of Coal Scholarship
    This scholarship is given to past and present coal company employees and their families.

Scholarships for Our Nursing Program Students

WVJC offers both registered nursing and practical nursing at select campuses.

  • Nurses Touch Lives Scholarship
    This scholarship is given to qualified nursing students who demonstrate great potential to succeed in a career in nursing.
  • Nursing Pathway Scholarship
    You can have the ability to receive this scholarship if you are a graduate of WVJC’s allied health programs and plan on pursuing a career in nursing.

Scholarships for Students Out of High School

If you are a high school senior or have just graduated, these scholarships are for you.

  • Community Awareness Scholarship
    If you have had an active role in helping make your community better, you are eligible to receive this scholarship.
  • Early Admission Scholarship
    This scholarship is available to high school students who apply to WVJC before November 15th for early admission.
  • Imagine America Scholarship
    Seniors who have been recommended by their guidance counselors can be awarded this scholarship.
  • Stephen A. Callen Memorial Scholarship
    Created in honor of WVJC founder Stephen Callen, this scholarship realizes his vision of promoting quality and affordable education to West Virginia residents.

Learn More About WVJC

We have three campus locations throughout West Virginia, as well as the option for online education in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania! Learn more about each campus, their associate degree and diploma program offerings, and more in the links below:

Be sure to check out other great articles, student features, and more on our WVJC blog!

 Ready to Start Your Future with WVJC?

Apply for a scholarship today to get started on your rewarding career. Be sure to reach out to our team if you have any questions about our programs, campuses, or anything else!

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.

Pam Wilson – Faculty Highlight

Pam WilsonPam Wilson is the West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport Medical Director. She received her Practical Nursing education from United Technical Center and then received her BSN from Mountain State University in 2010.  Upon completing her education, Pam began her career as a nurse. She has experience in many medical forums such as Med-Surg, pediatrics, family medicine, OR, and hospice. However, Pam knew she wanted a career that would allow her to share her passion for nursing with others. That is how she ended up at WVJC.

Pam chose WVJC because she knew it would be a great experience to share her passion for nursing, as well as her experience in the field. She was excited to be able to help guide her students in the nursing field.  Pam stresses to all of her students the importance of “looking at each patient as a person with feelings and giving holistic care to the patients and their families.” Her favorite part of working at WVJC is, of course, her students. She is extremely dedicated to them and takes great pride in her work.

“They are such a blessing, and teach me things as well,” she says.  Pam especially enjoys working with her students at the clinical sites so she can see their passion for their work.

Pam finds her daily motivation in God. She says, “God called me to be a nurse in the 7th grade.  He truly motivates me every minute of every day.” A perfect day for Pam is doing some type of fun family activity with all of her children.  She says, “family is a treasure to me. They are my world.” She is proudest of her 5 kids who range in age from 16-22. Pam hopes to continue with her career at WVJC and continue to educate and direct students hoping to enter into the medical field.  She says “I hope to see hundreds of successful nurses graduate from our PN program and go out into the field giving excellent care to their patients.”

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

Student Highlight- Breanna Shingleton

Breanna ShingletonBreanna Shingleton is a past graduate who can’t seem to get enough of the West Virginia Junior College family and continuing her education. Breanna graduated from WVJC in 2013 from the Pharmacy Technician program. Her favorite thing about WVJC was that “everyone was friendly and knew her by name”. It’s a small campus which allows for more one on one time with instructors. This was a major factor in her decision to return to WVJC for the Practical Nursing program.

Before making the choice to enroll in the nursing program at WVJC, Breanna worked in the Pharmacy Technician field and also worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Breanna enjoyed her work, but never felt complete. She knew her lifelong dream was to become a nurse and she lives by the words “never let anyone tell you that you can’t, because you can do anything you put your time and heart into”. “I have been in the medical field for six years now and I can’t imagine myself anywhere else”, she says. Breanna knew she was progressing on the path to achieving her lifelong dream and choosing WVJC to help her along her journey was easy.

Breanna’s favorite parts about going to WVJC are the small classes, friendly atmosphere, and continuously welcoming feeling. She has many favorite teachers and staff members who motivate her to work hard and strive for success. Some of those faculty members are Ms. Alice, Mrs. Burner, Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Frye. These ladies always keep classes interesting, make her feel like she is where she is supposed to be, and help her to remain upbeat.

Breanna’s idea of a perfect day is drinking coffee on the front porch. However, Breanna enjoys every day that she wakes up and is alive. In five years she hopes to be married with children and working in her dream career as a nurse – helping babies and new mothers. Working with newborns is Breanna’s biggest passion because it involves taking care of people. “Who doesn’t love babies?”, she laughs. Breanna strives every day to work hard and stay on track to reaching her goals. She wants to, one day, look back and say, “that was a tough road, but here I am.”

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended the Pharmacy Technician program CLICK HERE for the Practical Nursing Program CLICK HERE

Admissions Highlight-Kristin Kirk

Kristin KirkDays come and go quickly, according to our High School Admissions Representative Kristin Kirk.  She strives to create opportunities for as many high school students as she can.  The excitement on the new student’s face’s, and seeing the excitement on the families of the graduating students faces keep Kristin motivated.

Kristin studied Communications and Marketing at Fairmont State University.  After college she began working at the Village Square Conference Center as an event planner.  During her work at the conference center, Kristin assisted couples in planning their weddings.  She enjoyed focusing on the details of their wedding in order to make their day special.  Even though Kristin enjoyed that job, it was just that—a job.  She wanted more.  Kristin began her career path as the High School Admissions Representative at the West Virginia Junior College in Bridgeport in September 2014.  Her desire to work with high school students within the school systems, and guide them through the college admission process was a motivating factor in accepting the position.

When discussing why she chose WVJC, she says, “I was immediately drawn to the atmosphere here at WVJC. I liked how friendly and helpful everyone was. I also liked the small campus, because I could see how well the teachers and students interact with each other.”  When I asked Kristin what her favorite part about working at WVJC she responded, “working with high school students during one of the most highly stressful, important times of their life. It’s a rewarding feeling that’s hard to explain.”

Kristin is not only motivated by her job, but by her family and friends. Kristin says, “In life there are only a few things that matter; God, Family, and Friends.  A perfect day for Kristin consists of spending time with her husband and 3 children.  Family, adventures, and traveling keep Kristin motivated, and she says that she encourages and challenges herself to “never live the same day twice.”  Kristin is most proud of her children “They are the highlight of my day.”  She is also proud of her husband for the support he provides, and the dedication he has for her and the children, and keeping them dedicated to anything they put their minds to.

Kristin gives thanks daily for her family, friends, and successful career.  Her goal is to continue to help high school students find their career path.  She hopes to always “make a positive impact on every student she meets, and help them achieve their own goals in life.” And, if she can, she would like to encourage and challenge each student, as she encourages and challenges herself, to “never live the same day twice.”

Employee Highlight-Alice Middleton

Alice MiddletonAlice Middleton is West Virginia Junior College-Bridgeport most valuable asset. She takes little credit but keeps the institution running.  Alice graduated from WVJC with an Associate’s Degree from the Medical Assisting program.  She then attended Fairmont State to earn a Business Degree.  That was still not enough for Alice, and she is currently completing her Master’s in Education through Fairmont State University while still working as the Front Office Manager at WVJC.  Alice lives by the words of Helen Keller “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

Previously Alice was a Financial Comptroller and business owner at Candlesticks Seven Stars Inc.  However, Alice has worked for WVJC for eight years now. Everyday, she strives to work hard and make everyone that walks through the WVJC door feel right at home.

I asked Alice why she chose to work at WVJC.  She responded, “I was offered a wonderful opportunity to become a financial officer after graduating from one of WVJC programs. I felt it was an exciting opportunity and would be a great way to start the next chapter in my life.  When the opportunity arrived I knew it was the right fit for me.” Her favorite part of working here (besides being everyone’s work mom) is the relationship she has with her colleagues and students.  She refers to everyone at WVJC as her family. All of Alice’s co-workers, say her warm heart and compassion toward everyone brings a sense of community to WVJC.  Alice says “It’s all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work, friends and family.”  She is motivated every day to enjoy her life to the fullest.

Alice’s idea of a perfect day is “waking up to a beautiful morning full of sunshine and having breakfast with my son.  Enjoying playing with my two Pitbull’s named Apollo and Mia and then ending the day with shopping and a nice evening dinner with my family.”  Alice is most proud of her family and completing her education.  She ends everyday thankful for life, and looks forward to the next day’s adventures.  Alice’s long term goals include advancing further in her career here at WVJC.  In the future during her retirement, she would like to write a book and open a restaurant where families can enjoy a home cooked meal and have some fun family activities. Leave it to Alice to want to spend her retirement making others happy and giving back.

LPN Graduate Highlight – Vannessa Crim

Vannessa CrimAs we kick off a new year here at WVJC-Bridgeport we sat down with one of our December 2016 Licensed Practical Nurse graduates, Vannessa Crim. Vannessa toured many colleges after her high school, hoping to find one that fit her college expectations. Vannessa was looking for a small community college that would know her by her name where she was not just a number. Her first step toward making the decision was meeting with the High School Admissions Representative Adam Pratt. He clearly explained the process and the dynamics of the school. The next step for Vannessa was meeting with the LPN Director; Lisa McDonald, whom made her feel comfortable. Vannessa quickly figured out she was in the right hands once she saw Lisa’s personality and the compassion that she had as the LPN Director. After meeting Lisa, she knew she was not only choosing the right college but the right field. WVJC was going to allow her to combine her love of science and compassion for others in the path to becoming a nurse.

Vannessa enrolled into the program and started her journey. This included a lot of long nights and headaches, but she always had the desire to learn just a little more. Time passed quickly as she progressed through the program. Her favorite part of the LPN program at WVJC was the large amount of hands-on experience during clinicals’ (after all she is a hands on learner). Vannessa quickly connected with her instructor, Pam Wilson because her dedication to the nursing field and the WVJC students. Her confidence quickly heightened as she continued to get words of encouragement from Mrs. Wilson and other WVJC staff members. Vannessa’s favorite words of advice from Pam were, “Get better, better than you were yesterday.” Her class of choice was Med-Surge. This class drew close to her heart because it covered material from the beginning of life to the care of a dying patient.

The idea of Vannessa’s perfect day is beginning her day working in a Wound Care Clinic with the sick and showing compassion towards the ones in need. Then ending her day with dinner and movie with her supportive sister. In five years she would like to be a more independent person, successfully working in her desired career and working toward her BSN.

When asked what advice would you give an upcoming WVJC student? Her advice was, “find out what area you are the most passionate about and excel at it and go for it.” “Make the year about yourself, use the resources available to you and don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

Looking back on the previous year Vannessa was not only excited about her new upcoming adventures but thankful she chose WVJC because she knew it was a place she could always call home.

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

Practical Nursing Graduate Highlight – Jennifer Knight

Jennifer Knight“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.