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Thirty-two Blinn Vocational Nursing Program graduates receive their pins during ceremonies at the O'Donnell Center

10-month program includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical training

10-month program includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical training

June 16, 2023

The Blinn College District’s newest Vocational Nursing Program graduates were honored at a pinning ceremony Thursday.

Thirty-two students who completed the traditional face-to-face program received their pins in a ceremony held at the Dr. W.W. O’Donnell Performing Arts Center on the Brenham Campus.

Graduates were Paige Arney, Franklin; Kadecia Baird, Alvin; Sydney Bowers, College Station; Ashley Broyles, Bryan; Mackenzie Burke, Brenham; Yasmeen Castillo, Navasota; Sara Davis, Somerville; Kenzie Faour, Hempstead; Guadalupe Gaucin, Caldwell; Temeshia Gentry, Bryan; Faith Herbert, College Station; Jessica Hernandez, Caldwell; Shelby Hernandez, Brenham; Mirea Howard, Bryan; Rylee Jackson, Giddings; Ignacio Jimenez, Bryan; Savannah Kasmiersky, Fayetteville; Lauren Lissy, Plano; Kimberly Mitchell, Bryan; Hannah Monzingo, College Station; Kerah Pendergraft, Brenham; Jacqueline Ramirez, Bryan; Savanna Ramon, Caldwell; Tamara Roberts, Cypress; Karalie Ross, Columbus; Rosena Sidelien, Cypress; Shelby Smithson, Temple; Tonasia Taylor, Bryan; Berenice Torres-Hernandez, Caldwell; Tina Turner, Brenham; Brinlie Webb, College Station; and Kaitlyn Zissa, Brenham.

The 10-month program includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical training. Clinical rotations are held at hospitals and other healthcare facilities throughout the area. According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, almost 98% of Blinn’s graduates from the program during the past three years have found jobs in the profession.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2021 annual median pay for a vocational nurse was $48,070, and employment is expected to increase 6% between 2021 and 2031, creating 41,300 new jobs nationwide.

Program graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) and the Nursing Jurisprudence Examination and are considered licensed vocational nurses after passing both exams.

Blinn also offers a blended online Vocational Nursing Program that allows students to complete their theory coursework online while attending face-to-face clinical and laboratory experiences. Designed for individuals balancing a job and their nursing studies, Blinn’s online-blended Vocational Nursing Program was launched in 2018 and was the first of its kind in the state.

A pinning ceremony for the current class of blended online program students will be held Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the O’Donnell Center.

Program Director Dr. Michelle Marburger said each of the latest graduates – and their support networks of family members – persevered through the rigorous sessions.

“We know it has not been easy for any of you,” Marburger said. “We know it has been one of the most challenging years of your lives. You’ve laughed together and cried together. You pushed through, even though you didn’t have any pushes left.”

Pendergraft and Arney said they feel prepared to begin their careers as nurses.

“It’s tough, but it’s tough for a reason,” said Pendergraft, who plans to work in a hospital emergency room. “It’s been worth it.”

“It’s been a lot of great friendships,” Arney added. “I learned a lot. It’s prepared me to be a more prudent nurse.”

For more information regarding Blinn’s Vocational Nursing Program, visit

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