LIFE CHANGING - WCJC ADN Program prepares graduates for rewarding careers

April 30, 2020
LIFE CHANGING - WCJC ADN program prepares Lena Bono-Spencer for rewarding career

Wharton County Junior College Associate Degree Nursing student Lena Bono-Spencer of Houston will graduate with her degree this May. She credits the college with preparing her for a rewarding future. 

El Salvador native Jose Reyes will graduate from Wharton County Junior College’s Associate Degree Nursing program this May.

WHARTON, TEXAS – With his mother working as a nurse for more than two decades in El Salvador, it was only natural that Jose Reyes would seek out a career in the medical field once he came to the United States at the age of 15.

“I basically grew up in the hospital,” said Reyes, who now calls Houston home. “I was always around medical personnel that inspired my love for applied sciences.”

Reyes sought out Wharton County Junior College for his nursing education after learning of the program’s reputation for top-notch instruction. He is set to graduate with his Associate’s Degree in Nursing this May.

“WCJC’s nursing program is very rigorous and requires strong commitment,” he said. “I am grateful to the amazing faculty and staff for all the positive feedback and devotion to teaching.”

WCJC’s Associate Degree Nursing Program Director Dr. Andrea Shropshire couldn’t be happier to hear such testimonials. She and her faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to create a prestigious program.

Over the past three years, the program has achieved a 71.8 percent completion rate (from a previous 58.7 percent completion rate) and has seen a 100 percent passing rate on state board exams. The ADN program most recently achieved national accreditation by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA). The program had previously obtained statewide accreditation by the Texas Board of Nursing and continues to hold that distinction as well.

“We have an amazing faculty and they love what they do and it shows,” Shropshire said. “We have an incredible program with remarkable students. Our number one priority is our students and their success.”

Houston native Lena Bono-Spencer will obtain her ADN degree this May and says she has little doubt that her WCJC education has prepared her well for a rewarding future.

“WCJC has helped me obtain the base skills and knowledge that is needed to obtain a new start in my career in nursing,” she said. “Nursing is a career that is designed to help others and one that is challenging, interesting and that makes a difference in people’s lives. That’s why this career is for me.”

WCJC’s program offers courses at both the Wharton Campus and the Sugar Land Campus, drawing students from all across the region. Various cutting-edge technologies are available, including a state-of-the-art simulation lab that allows students the ability to apply newly learned skills and theory in a simulated environment prior to entering the clinical setting.

Shropshire said students are drawn to the technological training as well as WCJC’s more personable smaller class size that includes a faculty mentoring and student success program. She said the college also has affiliation agreements with a host of area hospitals and out-patient clinical facilities for hands-on training, something that even continued in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When COVID-19 hit, we were able to continue operating at full capacity thanks to the continued support of our community partners,” Shropshire said. “We were able to transition to an online learning platform and create alternate clinical learning opportunities for our students like work study programs, COVID-19 screening and vaccine clinics, and the utilization of our simulation laboratory.”

Graduates from the WCJC ADN program are eligible for licensure as a Registered Nurse upon successful completion of the national NCLEX exam. A large portion of graduates further their education at the university level, obtaining a bachelor’s degree or higher. The program has numerous articulation agreements with four-year universities across the state.  

Sugar Land native Nidhi Rangarajan graduated from WCJC’s program and currently works as a Registered Nurse at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in the Women’s Services/Labor & Delivery unit. Rangarajan said WCJC’s program provided a solid foundation for a successful career.

“WCJC prepared me tremendously,” Rangarajan said. “The education and countless hours spent in clinicals and in the simulation lab truly instilled a strong confidence in me as I began to work with my own patients. Attending WCJC’s ADN program has been life changing, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity of education that this college provided me.”

For more information on the ADN program, visit the college’s website at