Skip to main content

Blinn vocational nursing student gets inspiration from her mother

Ileesha Bradford says her mother sparked her desire to help others

Ileesha Bradford says her mother sparked her desire to help others

November 13, 2023

Ileesha Bradford didn’t have to look far to find the inspiration to pursue a career in nursing.

“My mom, Idell, worked in the medical field as a nurse’s aide,” said Bradford, a vocational nursing student at the Blinn College-Brenham Campus. “That sort of sparked my interest, and as I got older, I just fell in love with the idea of helping people.”

A 2020 graduate of Brenham High School, Bradford graduated from Blinn in May 2023 with an associate degree in liberal arts. She then entered Blinn’s acclaimed nursing program and wants to eventually become a registered nurse.

“So far, it’s been great,” she said. “I feel like I’m being prepared to be a prudent nurse, to be on the front line as a patient advocate.

“They’re really good about trying to make sure we know how to think critically, which is so important in nursing because you don’t always have situations that you find in textbooks. So to learn how to critically think is so important in nursing. I feel they’re really doing that here.”

The program is intense, but Bradford said she receives support from faculty members, her family, and other students in the program.

“My family helps to support me and encourage me whenever I feel discouraged. Sometimes you just need a reminder that you might not be able to see it in yourself, but others do,” she said. “The camaraderie makes it easier too, having the support system here in addition to your family.

“I’m really enjoying the program so far. Every day I learn something new.”

Bradford is a recipient of the Wheeler Upward Bound Nursing Scholarship. The scholarship, which was made possible by the F.W. Bert and Mae Dean Wheeler Foundation, benefits dozens of associate degree nursing, vocational nursing, and licensed vocational nursing-transition students each year. During the past five years, Blinn has received $1.4 million in scholarship funding from the Wheeler Foundation to benefit nursing students such as Bradford.

She also received the Melton Schoenvogel Scholarship, established in 2012 by Mrs. Clarence Schoenvogel. Mrs. Schoenvogel’s husband Clarence was the team physician for the Blinn football team for many years. The scholarship is awarded to a deserving student demonstrating financial need in the licensed vocational nurse or Associate Degree Nursing programs.

“Ileesha is a hardworking, dedicated, and compassionate young lady,” said Dr. Michelle Marburger, Vocational Nursing Program Director.

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 $54,620, and employment is expected to increase 9% between 2020 and 2030, creating 63,800 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.

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

Enjoy this article? Share it with one click!






Get Connected