Blinn graduates rank among state leaders on national licensure exam
Twenty-one Blinn College District vocational nursing graduates were welcomed to the profession during the Brenham Campus program’s 57th pinning ceremony Thursday, June 14, at the Dr. W.W. O’Donnell Performing Arts Center in Brenham.
This year’s graduates include: Lyric Brooks (Brenham), Callie Bryd (Brenham), Angel Ekarius (Schulenburg), Skyler Handy (Carmine), Alexandria Haynes (LaGrange), Carleigh Hightower (Brenham), Terin Hill (Katy) Michelle Mayfield (Industry), Angelica Mejia (Brenham), Aldair Novelo (Hempstead), Nneoma Okoro (Brenham), Laura Polasek (LaGrange), Cinnamon Routt (Brookshire), Darby Savoy (New Ulm), Rachel Smith (Brenham), Pebbles Toliver (Columbus), Shatavia Turner (Hempstead), Samantha Vera (Brenham), Barbara Wallace (Bellville), Kandace Williamson (Columbus), and Maggie Woodruff (LaGrange).
The 10-month program provides students the education and training necessary to become highly skilled licensed vocational nurses capable of working in a variety of medical settings. Students spend 35-40 hours each week engaged in classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences, with significant additional time required for study.
“We are very proud of our graduates for their hard work and determination,” said Michelle Marburger, Director of the Blinn-Brenham Vocational Nursing Program. “Our program is fast-paced and rigorous which requires great time commitment and daily dedication. We have enjoyed the opportunity to teach them how to become safe and prudent nurses.”
Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and the Nursing Jurisprudence Examination, and are considered licensed vocational nurses after passing both exams. Approximately 98 percent of Blinn-Brenham vocational nursing graduates in the past five years have passed the NCLEX, including a 100 percent passing rate in 2013, 2015, and 2016. The statewide average is approximately 87 percent and the national average is approximately 84 percent.
For the second consecutive year, PracticalNursing.org has ranked Blinn-Brenham 11th out of 80 vocational nursing programs in the state of Texas. The rankings were based upon each school’s NCLEX rates over the past five year, with extra weight placed upon the most recent exams.
Graduates who pass their state board exams are qualified to work in a variety of settings, including home health, dialysis, hospitals, clinics, and physicians’ offices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for vocational nurses is expected to grow 12 percent between 2016 and 2026, resulting in 89,900 additional positions. In 2017, the median pay for a vocational nurse in Central Texas was $44,950 per year, according to Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley.
For more information on the Blinn-Brenham Vocational Nursing Program, visit www.blinn.edu/twe/vocn_brenham/.
(Courtesy: Richard Bray, Blinn Information)