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Registered NurseParkland Hospital Emergency Services
“I took some prerequisite courses at Richland and Eastfield and then started the Vocational Nursing program at El Centro in 2004. I had thought of going straight into the LVN to RN ‘Bridge’ program there, but I didn’t have the required A in math.
“So I started the VN program and finished it in 12 months, then worked as a medical/surgical vocational nurse at Medical Center of Lancaster.
“I went back to El Centro and went through the LVN to RN ‘Bridge’ program, so now I’m a registered nurse. I’m pretty sure I was accepted into Parkland’s Emergency Nursing Residency program because of my previous experience as an LVN; having that experience really helped.
“Working as a vocational nurse, I really got my feet wet in nursing. El Centro’s VN program was a stepping stone for me to become a registered nurse. The best part was the incredible amount of knowledge that they taught us both in the classroom and in our clinical rotations. I had most of my clinicals with Una Gordon, and she was just excellent — always open to answering questions. They taught us everything we needed to know so that we can take care of patients properly.
“I would definitely recommend El Centro’s nursing programs. The VN program is great because with a 12-month program, you can take classes and start working in a year. They also teach you everything you need to know to pass your boards; there was even a special review class to help us prepare.
“The VN program was always really well structured, too. The way it was set up, the first day they let us know what was due and when, and what would be expected of us, so we could prepare for it. Being a single mom, it was good to know when I would have a big project or exam due so I could start preparing for it in advance.”
Jennifer Wright earned a Vocational Nursing certificate from El Centro College, worked as a licensed vocational nurse and then returned to El Centro to follow the LVN to RN “Bridge” program to become a registered nurse. She worked as a caregiver to the elderly during evenings while working toward her VN certificate. After earning her RN certification, she was accepted to Parkland Hospital’s prestigious Emergency Nursing Residency Program for a four-month residency.