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Blinn recognizes twenty future nurses with pinning ceremony

Vocational Nursing Program among the most challenging Blinn College offers

August 14, 2014


Twenty Blinn College Licensed Vocational Nursing graduates were recently welcomed into the profession during the program’s 52nd pinning ceremony at the Dr. W.W. O’Donnell Performing Arts Center on the College’s Brenham campus.

Ruth Arriaga (Giddings), Ashley Batts (Somerville), Jill Blasig (La Grange), Kelly Cipitelli (Washington), Bonnie Cortez (Brenham), Valerie Ford (Burton), Larry Fowler (La Grange), Kelly Gaskins (Burton), Julianna Jones (Brenham), Sibyl Jordan (Bellville), Susan Jordan (Hempstead), Carly Hester (Nixon), Caitlin Kerl (Ledbetter), Chanel Mallard (Navasota), Christina Moore (Boise, Idaho), Ashley Nichols (Brenham), Lauren Sawey (Brenham), Elizabeth Vaughn (Columbus), Gloria Villanueva (Hempstead) and Kayla Williams (Caldwell) received their nursing pins after successfully completing 19 courses in one of the most rigorous programs Blinn offers.

Last year, all 19 of Blinn’s vocational nursing graduates passed the National Council Licensing Examination on the first attempt, earning commendation from the Texas Board of Nursing. Since 2009, all 81 Blinn vocational nursing graduates have passed the licensing exam for a 100 percent pass rate. The national average is approximately 84 percent.

The 12-month program’s first semester includes 10 courses, and students must pass all their classes to advance to the next semester. Should they fail, they must re-apply for the program the following year. To pass, students must score at least a 75 percent, and the program also features a strict attendance policy. If a student fails an exam, they must schedule an appointment with their instructor, and together they go over the exam to discover the source of the student’s confusion.

“The consistency and excellence of our faculty is a big reason for our success,” said Program Director Michelle Marburger, who graduated from the program herself in 1988. “Our faculty knows the program and understands the ins and outs of the profession. We also have a strong applicant pool each year and our students work really hard.”

The vocational nursing program consists of classroom, laboratory and clinical experiences, some of which begin at 6:30 a.m. Hospitals and other health care facilities throughout the Brenham and La Grange communities are utilized for clinical rotations. Students are expected to spend 35-40 hours each week in scheduled, attendance-mandatory activities.

Graduates who pass their state board exams are qualified to work in home health, dialysis, hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices.

Blinn’s Division of Health Sciences offers associate degree nursing, dental hygiene, emergency medical services, physical therapist assistant, radiologic technology, fire science, therapeutics manufacturing, veterinary technology and vocational nursing programs designed to quickly train students for high-demand professions. For more information on Blinn’s vocational nursing program, visit: