Guest speakers discuss home health careers with VGCC Nursing students

Vance-Granville Community College Practical Nursing students recently learned more about the home health career field from representatives of Well Care Home Health, who visited the college’s Main Campus in late July.

The company, based in Wilmington, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. “Well Care is a unique company in providing home health,” Clinical Coordinator Mary O’Shea, a registered nurse, told the students. “It is an independent, family-owned business that is not affiliated with a major hospital, and it’s one of the few five-star-rated quality home health agencies in the state.” O’Shea said Well Care has grown dramatically over the years and now serves 42 counties in North Carolina, including the VGCC service area. “It’s awesome to be part of an organization that strives for excellence all the time,” O’Shea added. 

O’Shea said she could identify with the students, who were close to graduating, recalling that she graduated from the Watts School of Nursing in Durham. “I admire you guys for sticking with it,” she told them. “Nursing has given me a great career over 25 years, and I’ve always been able to find a job that allowed me to fulfill my family responsibilities. I don’t know a lot of professions could say that they did that.” O’Shea said that about half of her career has been in the home health field. “Home health is a really unique animal,” she said. “There isn’t another part of nursing where you go into someone’s home, where you’re invited into their home.”

She explained that Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) “have a vital role in the home health world” and often perform tasks, such as complicated wound dressings, that only registered nurses would perform in a hospital setting. O’Shea noted that Well Care home health nurses generally see each patient three times a week. “You arrange your schedule for each day’s various home visits, and are paid per visit,” she said.

Next, Well Care Human Resources Recruiter Kendra Dillingham addressed students and offered tips on obtaining jobs, including interviews, resumes and communicating with potential employers, as well as specific details about careers at her company. She said that one of the advantages of a home health career is that nurses have opportunities to get to know their patients very well. “Something I love about the health care community is that you all have so many opportunities to switch types of work and types of patients you work with,” Dillingham said. She added that computer skills are important for employment as a Well Care nurse because her company uses electronic medical records “100 percent.”

The three-semester VGCC Practical Nursing diploma program prepares individuals to provide nursing care to meet the health care needs of the individual throughout their lifespan. The role of the LPN is a dependent role under the supervision of the registered nurse (RN) and other health-care providers approved by North Carolina law. Graduates of the program are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN), which is required for practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Employment opportunities include hospitals, rehabilitation/long term care/home health facilities, clinics, and physicians’ offices. For more information, contact VGCC Nursing Department Chair Erica Jastrow at [email protected] or (252) 738-3457.


VGCC ranked in top 20 online colleges in North Carolina

A national organization has recognized Vance-Granville Community College as one of the top 20 colleges in North Carolina offering online programs. California-based ranked VGCC 19th on a list that included both two-year and four-year institutions of higher learning. Among just the two-year colleges, VGCC ranked tenth-highest.

“Focusing on affordability, student services, and the availability of online programs, we used the most recent government data to evaluate colleges and universities across the country,” said representative Kelly Rivett of the way in which her organization ranks institutions. The website reported that 52.9% of VGCC students took some or all of their courses online, according to data collected in 2015. is a resource for people who want reliable information about online colleges and degree programs. Its stated mission is “to empower students with knowledge about distance education.” Interactive tools on the website allow students to filter close to 3,000 colleges by state, tuition, school type, military benefits and religious affiliation.

VGCC has expanded its online course offerings in recent years. In 2015, the college launched the VOLT (Vanguard Online Learning through Technology) initiative, primarily with working adults in mind. Through VOLT, six two-year degree programs are now offered 100-percent online — Associate in Arts and Associate in Science (both also known as “College Transfer”), Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Medical Office Administration – Coding Specialist, and Supply Chain Management. In addition, students can take online courses in combination with traditional face-to-face courses to complete any VGCC degree program.

A number of 12-week online classes will begin on Sept. 12. For more information on enrollment, call VGCC at (252) 738-3330 or visit


VGCC students inducted into NC A&T Nursing partnership program

GREENSBORO — Eleven Vance-Granville Community College students were formally inducted into the North Carolina Piedmont “Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses” (RIBN) program in a ceremony on Aug. 4 at North Carolina A&T State University’s Union Square Campus in Greensboro. RIBN is a partnership involving the university, VGCC, Davidson County Community College and Guilford Technical Community College.

At the induction ceremony, the A&T School of Nursing welcomed students from VGCC and the other community colleges who will be simultaneously enrolled at the university. RIBN students earn associate’s degrees in nursing over three years (while also taking A&T courses online) and then continue for one year of additional courses at A&T required for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

This year’s inductees from VGCC included Caliegh Katz and Sarah Riley, both of Creedmoor; Chiatyra Turner of Ebony, Va.; Henrry Reboccar-Miguel and Alexis Williams, both of Franklinton; Nigoria Alston and Dawson Peoples, both of Henderson; Rachel Spall of Kittrell; Jessica Morris of Oxford; Kati Hand of Wilton; and Joshua Miller of Zebulon.

Erica Jastrow, the Nursing department chair for VGCC, pinned a “RIBN ribbon” on each of the college’s student inductees as part of the ceremony, while Academic/Career Coach Seletha Pherribo read a brief biography of each one.

With 11 out of the 18 students selected for this year’s cohort, VGCC had more inductees than the other two community colleges in the partnership, combined. In 2016, the first year of the RIBN partnership, the initial cohort consisted of three students, one from each community college.

The North Carolina Piedmont RIBN initiative is one of nine such partnerships that have been launched in North Carolina since 2008 under the direction of the Foundation for Nursing Excellence (FFNE) to increase the educational preparation of North Carolina’s nursing workforce.

VGCC Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Levy Brown was on hand for the ceremony and made brief remarks. “Students, we are very proud of you for taking this huge step,” Brown said. He encouraged the inductees to maintain their current levels of “enthusiasm, commitment and persistence” in order to be successful.

In closing remarks, Dr. Terry Ward, director of the A&T School of Nursing, applauded the students and said she was excited by the diversity that they represent. She also recalled that she started her own education at a community college, but there was nothing like RIBN at that time to help create a straightforward pathway to completing a bachelor’s degree. “We have developed a program which will allow you to move down this path of higher education seamlessly, setting you up for the awesome success that you desire,” Ward said. Using the metaphor of tying a ribbon, she added, “Today represents you tying yourselves together with us and with your colleagues to meet the needs in our communities for nurses. You are the future of nursing.”

In addition to RIBN, VGCC has a partnership with A&T to allow graduates of its Associate Degree Nursing program to transition easily to the university’s four-year Bachelor’s program. For more information about Nursing at VGCC and bachelor’s degree options, contact academic/career coach Seletha Pherribo at (252) 738-3518 or instructor Heather Wilson at (252) 738-3393.


VGCC offers Business Accelerator course for entrepreneurs

The Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center is offering a new six-part course, “From Idea to Open: The Business Accelerator,” on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., starting Sept. 9, in Building 7 on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County.

The instructor for the course will be Chisa Pennix-Brown, CEO of Lady Bizness, based in Greensboro. Pennix-Brown has over 15 years of experience in business coaching, community outreach, and social media insight. She holds a master’s of business administration (MBA) degree and has served as president of the Piedmont Triad Chapter of the National Black MBA Association.

“Opening a business takes a lot of energy and planning,” Pennix-Brown said. “For those that have a great idea and want to turn it into a business to make money with immediate results, they need a program that is geared to go from ‘Idea to Open’ in a short amount of time.” Pennix-Brown said that the Business Accelerator is a specially-designed, “boot camp-style” course for serious entrepreneurs.

Upon completion of the course, attendees will receive a Business Accelerator Certification and “can expect to have a completed strategic, financial, marketing, and business plan,” she added. “This program is unique as attendees will have one-on-one access with professionals in the legal, accounting, insurance, financial, graphic design, and marketing industries to complete their business vision.”

Classes are scheduled for Sept. 9, Sept. 16, Oct. 14, Oct. 21, Nov. 4 and Nov. 18.

The cost of the course is $70.

Registration can be completed online at The deadline to register is Aug. 29.

For more information, contact Tanya Weary at [email protected] or (252) 738-3240.


VGCC Practical Nursing graduates receive pins

Vance-Granville Community College honored 16 students who have completed its one-year Practical Nursing program during a pinning ceremony on Aug. 2 in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus. Upon receiving diplomas, graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the national exam for licensed practical nurses (NCLEX-PN).

Among the graduates recognized at the ceremony were Victoria Adesina, Christine Atieno and Kristen Clay, all of Durham; Melissa Liming of Franklinton; Christina Basnight, Frank McGhee, Jr., Antonea Nowell and Katlyn Waddell, all of Henderson; Amy Bass of Louisburg; Frances Beddingfield of Oxford; Veronicah Nyakego of Raleigh; Mariana Ascencio and James Simpson, both of Roxboro; Rashida Washington of Stem; Rachael Basham and Gabrielle Hernandez, both of Wake Forest.

In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Levy Brown, the college’s interim vice president of academic affairs, congratulated the students on completing the rigorous program, which included precepting rotations at local health-care facilities. “With their completion of the Practical Nursing program, we are excited to watch these graduates go out into the world as Vanguard nurses,” Brown said. “Having come this far, many members of this class plan to continue their education in our LPN to ADN Transition program, for licensure as an RN, and then continue for a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Several would like to obtain a Master’s degree in order to work as Nurse Practitioners.”

VGCC Nursing Department Chair Erica Jastrow added her congratulations to the graduates on their success. “With success comes great responsibility,” she said. “These students will have the responsibility of preparing for a challenging licensing exam, and then keeping their patients safe, caring for them as if they were their own family members, and working with their team members to create a positive work environment. I am confident that they will accept these responsibilities and will excel in them.” She thanked students for their dedication and their family members and friends for supporting the graduates.

Antonea Nowell, the class president, made remarks on behalf of her fellow students. “To our faculty, we extend a special ‘thank you’ and a debt of gratitude for helping us reach our goals to become nurses,” Nowell said. “I want to congratulate my classmates. I feel honored to have been able to grow with you. We pushed through, encouraging and inspiring one another along the way. Some of us had to work full-time jobs, raise our children and travel over an hour to class, but we overcame every obstacle to make it to this moment that marks the beginning of our future.”

Kathy Bray, a longtime VGCC clinical nursing instructor and registered nurse, served as the guest speaker. She told the graduates that the mission of the nurse has three important qualities: caring, advocacy and empathy. “Caring begins with caring for yourself,” Bray advised. “If you’re not taking care of yourself, physically, emotionally and spiritually, chances are you will not be able to give optimal care to others.… Don’t forget the little things. That’s what patients and families and remember. Always greet your patient with a smile.”

Of the second component, advocacy, Bray said: “You may be called upon to provide emotional support. Outside of their families, you may be the most trusted person in the eyes of the patient.” Finally, she said that “empathy is the ability to understand another’s experience, to communicate and confirm that understanding to the patient, and then act in a helpful manner. Empathy begins when a nurse takes his or her profession seriously. The empathetic nurse views nursing not as a job or a task, but as a service to others.”

The ceremonies concluded with the graduates receiving their distinctive pins, roses and lamps. Finally, instructor Crystal Senter led the group in reciting the “Florence Nightingale Pledge” by candlelight.



Computer-aided design course offered at VGCC

Vance-Granville Community College has scheduled a “CAD with Solid Edge” course, to be held Monday through Thursday, Aug. 29 through Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. until noon, on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. Grant funding from the NC TechHire program can help eligible area residents pay for this training.

Solid Edge is a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software program, produced by Siemens PLM Software, which is used in a variety of industries, including advanced manufacturing.

This course introduces students to basic three-dimensional solid modeling and design software. Topics include basic design, creation, editing, rendering and analysis of solid models, and creation of multi-view drawings. Upon completion, students should be able to use design techniques to create, edit, render and generate a multi-view drawing.

Solid Edge is a portfolio of affordable, easy-to-use software tools that address all aspects of the product development process – 3D design, simulation, manufacturing, data management and more, thanks to a growing ecosystem of apps. Solid Edge combines the speed and simplicity of direct modeling with the flexibility and control of parametric design – made possible with synchronous technology. With Solid Edge, students can learn to create and print 2D drawings from 3D solid models and send solid models to a 3D printer.

The instructor for the course is Peter M. Robinson.

Students may become certified through Siemens upon passing the credentialing exam.

The cost of this course is $187 plus the cost of the textbook and the exam.

The course is approved for funding through the NC TechHire grant that VGCC received last year as part of a consortium of four community colleges. Area residents between the ages of 17-29 may qualify for grant funding, which can pay for registration fees, course fees, and certification fees.

Registration can be completed online at The deadline to register is Aug. 22.

For more information, contact Sara Lloyd at 252-738-3433 or [email protected].


Microsoft Office training courses scheduled at VGCC

Microsoft Office software training courses are set to be offered soon at Vance-Granville Community College, and grant funding from the NC TechHire program can help eligible area residents pay for them. These courses are offered in a “hybrid” format, with some coursework online and some on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County.

The “Microsoft Office Specialist I” course is scheduled to start Aug. 24 and continue through Nov. 2. The on-campus meetings are set for Thursdays from 5:30-8:30 p.m. This course introduces students to word processing (Microsoft Word) and presentation (Microsoft PowerPoint) computer applications. The deadline to register is Aug. 18. The cost of the course is $187.

“Microsoft Office Specialist II” is scheduled to be held from Sept. 11 through Nov. 13, with on-campus meetings on Mondays from 6:30-9:30 p.m. In this course, students learn how to create and use spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel) and databases (Microsoft Access). The deadline to register is Sept. 4. The cost of the course is $187.

Upon completion of these courses, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the role and function of computers and the ability to use the computer to solve problems.

These courses are approved for funding through the NC TechHire grant that VGCC received last year as part of a consortium of four community colleges. Area residents between the ages of 17-29 may qualify for grant funding, which can pay for registration fees, course fees, and certification fees.

Registration can be completed online at

VGCC Culinary program moves to new scheduling format

The Vance-Granville Community College Culinary Arts program is changing the way it schedules core courses when the fall semester begins on Aug. 14. Culinary courses will now be taught in eight-week sessions rather than in the traditional 16-week semester format.

“One benefit of the eight-week format is that our students will have more concentrated time in each specific lab,” explained VGCC Culinary Arts Program Head/instructor Chef Teresa Davis. Even though each individual course will be completed in fewer weeks than under the former schedule, the amount of instructional time spent in each course will be the same. A baking class might meet for three hours each week instead of one hour, for example, allowing students to continue their training rather than waiting several days between classes.

“We think that this schedule should make it easier for many students to schedule their classes around their jobs and other responsibilities, along with any Work-Based Learning opportunities that they may have,” Davis added.

Four courses will be offered during the fall semester’s first eight-week mini-term, from Aug. 14 through Oct. 11: Sanitation & Safety (CUL-110), Baking I (CUL-160), Culinary Skills II (CUL-240) and Pastry & Confections (CUL-280).

Then, two other courses will be offered from Oct. 12 through Dec. 11: Culinary Skills I (CUL-140) and Global Cuisines (CUL-230).

The Culinary Arts degree program, based at the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford, prepares students to assume positions as trained culinary professionals in a variety of settings, including full-service restaurants, hotels, resorts, clubs, catering operations, contract foodservice, and health care facilities. In addition to the associate degree, VGCC offers certificates in “Basic Baking” and “Restaurant Hospitality.” Eligible high school students can enroll in Basic Baking through the Career & College Promise program.

For more information about the Culinary Arts program, contact Chef Teresa Davis at [email protected] or (919) 690-0312.

Recent VGCC Culinary Arts graduate Hayya Wright of Louisburg prepares a dish in the kitchen at the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford, where the program is based. (VGCC photo)


VGCC Pharmacy Technology students train foster parents

Students in the Pharmacy Technology program at Vance-Granville Community College recently helped provide important training to Granville County foster parents.

Under the supervision of Pharmacy Technology Program Head Dr. Erica Fleming, students conducted medication management training, which is a state requirement for family foster home licensing, at the Granville County Department of Social Services (DSS). In such training, foster parents learn about understanding prescription labels, administering drugs, record-keeping, medication disposal, medication storage, psychotropic medications and medication errors. 

“VGCC offered an excellent training opportunity,” said LaVerne Smith, licensing and adoptions social worker for Granville County DSS. “The presentation was very informative and the handouts and visuals were excellent. It addressed all areas that our families need to know. This resource will be a great addition to our training repertoire. We are hoping to work in partnership with the Vance-Granville Community College Pharmacy Program to continue Medication Management training on a yearly basis.”

Fleming said that the partnership with Granville County DSS not only helped local foster parents, and in turn, foster children, but also formed part of the VGCC students’ study of community pharmacy practice.

For more information on the VGCC Pharmacy Technology program, call Dr. Fleming at (252) 738-3482.

From left, VGCC Pharmacy Technology student Tamika Everett of Creedmoor, Kristen Honaker of Henderson, Lesli Miranda of Henderson, Licensing and Adoptions Social Worker LaVerne Smith of Granville County DSS, program head Dr. Erica Fleming, Emily Adcock of Oxford and Ashley Hobgood of Henderson.

VGCC Franklin Campus salutes Child Care Center graduates

Six new graduates of the Child Care Center on Vance-Granville Community College’s Franklin County Campus were honored in a ceremony on July 12 as they prepared to enter kindergarten. The students were Cody Collier of Henderson; Arianna Abbott, Colton Leonard, Joshua Stallings and Aiden Zalewski, all of Louisburg; and Chase Snelling of Youngsville.

Welcoming remarks were provided by Bobbie Jo May, the dean of the Franklin County Campus. She thanked and applauded the staff of the five-star center, and said that the VGCC mission of educating, inspiring and supporting a diverse community of learners to achieve success starts at the pre-school level. “Your children have developed a love of learning here,” May told the assembled family members. “Our staff’s patient instruction and love for these children have helped to turn them into strong, confident kindergarten students.”

Child Care Center manager Michelle Patterson Jones and child care center teacher Teresa Gallatin presented the children with diplomas. Jones also handed out unique “personality certificates” to the students.

Abbott was honored with certificates for “Creativity” and for being a “Math Monster.” Leonard received the “Reading” and “Lawyer” awards. Zalewski was presented with certificates labeled “Enthusiastic Learner” and “Wild Kratts” (after the educational television series about animals and the environment). Stallings was named a “Peace Maker” and a “Creative Thinker” and received a certificate for “Giant Improvement.” Collier received the “Active Athlete” and “Most Dramatic” awards. Snelling was recognized for being “Quiet as a Mouse” and the “Academic Whisperer.”

Lila Johnson of Louisburg, a younger student at the center, served as marshal for the graduation, carrying the American flag as the students processed and recessed.

With the departure of the graduates, spaces for several children are currently available. Parents from among the general public can enroll their children there, as can parents who are VGCC students or employees. For more information, call Michelle Patterson Jones at (919) 496-1567.