(BRECKENRIDGE, Texas) – Texas State Technical College Vocational Nursing student Lacey Hampton has a progression plan for her medical career.
“Since I have been doing the job of nurses for the past six years as a CMA (certified medical assistant), I decided, why not climb that professional ladder and become a vocational nurse?” she said.
Hampton, originally from Childress and now living in Abilene, is a CMA at Hendrick Medical Center South in Abilene.
Hampton researched several schools that offer vocational nursing and learned that TSTC is a respected institution. After more research and noticing another key factor — proximity to her home, she enrolled in the program.
“I was looking at the options for the best nursing school, and TSTC stood out,” she said. “It also benefited me that it was close to Abilene.”
Hampton said the program is challenging, but she welcomes that.
“It helps me to be challenged,” she said. “When I see a challenge, I know I can talk to the instructors. They are very encouraging and notice when I am at a point where I need some help. I like to have positive reinforcement from the instructors.”
During her first semester, Hampton found happiness working with nursing home residents during clinical sessions.
“I went there with a positive attitude, and one resident asked for only me to help her,” she said. “It made my day.”
Hampton said she participated in the medical-surgical nursing clinicals during the summer semester.
“That is where we saw cases from the head to the toes,” she said. “It was a different view for me, but I know I will be able to help the patients.”
Jordyn Martin, TSTC’s Vocational Nursing instructor in Breckenridge, said Hampton has a unique desire that shows when she is in the lab and during clinicals.
“Lacey is so caring, thoughtful and inquisitive. She has the desire to grasp every ounce of knowledge that she can get her hands on, which ultimately helps in her future patient care,” Martin said. “She has a warmth toward patients that will allow them to know that she truly cares.”
With her goal of becoming a registered nurse in the future, Hampton likes to remind herself why she entered the medical field in the first place.
“I love waking up in the morning knowing that I am going to help and inspire others,” she said. “I love to shine a light on my patients so they can have a better day.”
TSTC’s Vocational Nursing certificate program is also available at the Breckenridge and Harlingen campuses. Upon completion of the program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination, graduates are classified as licensed vocational nurses (LVNs).
According to onetonline.org, LVN jobs were forecast to increase 17% in Texas between 2020 and 2030. The median annual salary for LVNs in Texas is $50,910, the website showed.
TSTC also offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing at the Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.
The deadline to apply for the spring Vocational Nursing semester is Oct. 27. For requirements and more information, visit www.tstc.edu/programs/nursing.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.