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Blinn vocational nursing programs rank among the state’s best

PracticalNursing.org recognizes Brenham, Bryan programs for training high-quality healthcare professionals

March 2, 2017

The vocational nursing programs on Blinn College’s Brenham and Bryan campuses have been recognized as two of the state’s finest by a national website dedicated to guiding future nurses.

PracticalNursing.org ranked the Blinn-Brenham Vocational Nursing Program 11th and the Blinn-Bryan Vocational Nursing Program 16th in the state. The rankings were based upon each school’s National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) rates over the past five years, with extra weight placed upon the most recent exams. For a full description of the methodology used, visit: www.practicalnursing.org/lvn-lpn-ranking-methodology.

Combined, Blinn’s vocational nursing programs produce 40-50 graduates each year, providing a deep pool of local workforce talent. According to Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley, local demand for licensed vocational nurses is expected to increase 21.8 percent between 2012 and 2022, and 35 local positions are expected to open each year.

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 Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for vocational nurses is expected to grow 16 percent nation-wide between 2014 and 2024, resulting in 117,300 additional positions. In 2015, the median pay for a Texas vocational nurse was $43,170 per year.

In September, the Brenham Campus Vocational Nursing Program announced that all 23 of its 2016 graduates passed the NCLEX on the first attempt, marking the fifth time in the past six years that the program has accomplished the feat. Of the 26 programs state-wide that earned 100 percent pass rates, only three had a greater number of students testing.

The perfect pass rate continued a longstanding tradition for the program – over the past six years, 108 of the 109 graduates to take the exam passed on their first attempt. Statewide, approximately 85 percent of students passed last year, while nationwide that figure was approximately 82 percent.

“Our students deserve all the credit,” said Michelle Marburger, Brenham Campus Program Director. “Their hard work and dedication have made this possible. I am also very proud of my faculty, who work tirelessly to produce safe and prudent nurses. We firmly believe that teamwork makes the dream work!”

Over the past five years, the Bryan Campus Vocational Nursing Program has posted a 96.7 percent first-attempt pass rate on the NCLEX, including 100 percent pass rates in 2012 and 2013. The program is based at Blinn’s Health Science Center Campus, where students regularly gain hands-on experience at the College’s 26,000-square foot Simulation Center.

The Simulation Center includes an emergency medical services skills/simulation lab with an ambulance simulator, an operating room with attached scrub area, 16 mid-fidelity private hospital rooms, six low-fidelity private hospital rooms, six high-fidelity intensive care unit rooms, a physical therapy lab, two radiologic technology x-ray suites, one apartment setting room, and a virtual IV training room. Through faculty-developed simulations, students develop their procedural skills and enhance their clinical decision-making process in a safe, controlled healthcare environment.

“My faculty and I strive for student success,” said Tammye Anderson, Bryan Campus Program Director. “Our program is very intense and the students are in class or clinical for 8-9 hours per day, Monday through Friday. Through tough love, our students graduate confident and prepared to begin a career in nursing.”

Students on both the Brenham and Bryan campuses spend approximately 40 hours each week in classroom and clinical settings, with significant additional time required for study. Class begins at 6:30 a.m. three times per week.