Student Overcomes Obstacles and Earns Nursing Certificate

Sarah Morris had three children and was going through a divorce when she enrolled in New River Community and Technical College’s (CTC) practical nursing program.

“I always wanted to be a nurse,” she says. “I was born in Nicholas County, and New River CTC was two miles from home.”

A friend who had completed New River CTC’s practical nursing program encouraged Sarah to apply.

“I didn’t think that I could do it between studying and caring for my children. There were nights that I cried myself to sleep. It was so hard, but where there’s a will, there’s a way,” she explains.

New River CTC’s practical nursing program prepares students for career pathways allowing credits to transfer into more advanced nursing programs. The 11-month certificate program combines classroom and clinical experience in the areas of medical-surgical, maternal-child, geriatrics and mental health nursing.

Morris graduated in 2011 and is a chronic care management health coach at a physician’s office in Hurricane.

“The instructors were so informative. Everything they taught us made the board exam easier. It was hard, but I’d do it all again,” says Morris.

Recent graduates have done well both on the licensure exam and in the job market.

“Not all of our 2016 graduates have tested yet, but of those who have, we have a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam-Practical Nursing,” says Joanna Perry, an instructor of practical nursing. “We have a 100 percent job placement rate for our graduates because of the demand for nurses in our area.”

The Certificate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing is offered at the college’s Greenbrier Valley Campus in Lewisburg, Nicholas County Campus in Summersville and Raleigh County Campus in Beaver and can be completed in 11 months.

The program is accepting applications for fall through April 14.

For more information on nursing at New River CTC, contact Perry at or 304-883-2429.

New River Community and Technical College serves nine counties in southeastern West Virginia from the Greenbrier Valley Campus (Lewisburg), Mercer County Campus (Princeton), Nicholas County Campus (Summersville) and Raleigh County Campus (Beaver/Beckley).