Nursing grad proves it’s never too late to follow a dream

[SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va.] Maria Gail Mullins had wanted to pursue a career in nursing many years before enrolling in the practical nursing program at New River Community and Technical College’s Nicholas County Campus.

“Fourteen years ago, I had my application packet ready to mail to a RN program. My daughter was older, I thought that the timing was right, but then I found out that I was pregnant with my son,” Mullins explained.

When she enrolled at New River CTC in the fall of 2016, her husband had lost his job in the coal industry.

“We received scholarships for training from UMWA and both started taking classes. Going through a nursing program, you feel like you’re learning a different language. It was very challenging, a lot of hard work, but definitely worth it,” Mullins said. “We had a lot more riding on our success than most college students, but this proves that dreams do come true. I would do it again.”

Now Mullins works as a licensed practical nurse in the extended care facility at Summersville Regional Medical Center.

New River CTC’s practical nursing program prepares students for career pathways allowing credits to transfer into more advanced nursing programs. Recent graduates have done well both on the licensure exam and in the job market.

“Our 2016 graduates had a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX-PN [National Council Licensure Exam-Practical Nursing],” said Instructor of Practical Nursing Joanna Perry. “And we have a 100% placement rate for our graduates because there’s a high demand for nurses in our area.”

Students studying nursing at New River CTC benefit from faculty with extensive experience and simulation labs that provide hands-on experience outside of the clinical setting.

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

The program is currently accepting applications for fall and HESI testing has been scheduled for May 14 and 15, 2018.

For more information, contact Perry at or 304-883-2429 or Administrative Secretary Tina Bryant at 304-883-2444.

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).

Last updated on: Apr. 3, 2018