B-State Commemorates First Cohort of Accelerated Nursing Graduates

On November 30, 2023, the first group of students in West Virginia to complete their nursing education in an accelerated program was honored in a pinning ceremony at Bluefield State University. This pioneering group includes Christen Blackburn, Zachary Cline, Hannah Goode, Julie Murphy, and Angela Trussell. The pinning ceremony is a long-standing student tradition in nursing education and marks the completion of all educational requirements to be a nurse. Accelerated nursing programs allow students to earn their Associate of Science in Nursing (A.S.N.) degree in about 18 months.

The programs are funded by the West Virginia Nursing Workforce Expansion Program and are supported by the Higher Education Policy Commission. Governor Jim Justice dedicated $48 million to the program to increase nursing education opportunities in West Virginia and to expand the state’s nursing workforce. Each nursing student in the University’s accelerated program received a grant of $20,000 to pay for his or her education. The University’s first cohort began in August of 2022.

“Bluefield State has provided quality registered nurses for over five decades,” said Dr. Angela Lambert, Dean of the College of Health Sciences. “We are so excited for the first group of students to graduate from this program and begin their nursing careers,” she continued.

Sandra Wynn serves as director of the A.S.N. program at the University. “The students being pinned tonight have exceeded our expectations and will excel in whatever field of nursing they decide on. All are planning to stay in West Virginia and I can’t wait to see what their futures hold. They are now part of over 50 years of BSU Nursing alumni that make a difference every day,” Wynn said.

Ceremony Photos: https://bit.ly/pinning-ceremony 

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