The Hallettsville Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture held a ribbon cutting on March 9 for Victoria College’s Zelda L. Allen School of Nursing.
Seventy years of training nurses in Lavaca County and the surrounding area was celebrated on March 9 at Victoria College’s Zelda L. Allen School of Nursing in Hallettsville.
The Hallettsville Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture conducted a ribbon cutting during the event, which also included tours of the facility that was recently updated with state-of-the-art equipment and renovated thanks to a grant from the Dickson-Allen Foundation.
The Vocational Nursing Program in Hallettsville was established in 1948 and has graduated approximately 1,034 students since its inception. The school is the oldest of its kind in the state.
“Victoria College is very proud to be a part of this community,” Victoria College President Dr. David Hinds said. “It is an honor and a privilege to be able to train students from Lavaca County and numerous other counties to enter healthcare professions and make an impact on this region.”
“Our Hallettsville community and surrounding areas have been so blessed to have the Zelda L. Allen School of Nursing, especially in such close proximity to our hospital, Lavaca Medical Center,” said Hallettsville Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Executive Director JoAnn Shimek. “The nursing school has benefitted many men and women in our area over the years who have made successful careers out of nursing. We need good nurses, and I believe this facility has provided that. We thank Victoria College for teaming up with Hallettsville to offer this great service.”
Thanks to a $164, 320 grant from the Dickson-Allen Foundation, the school was able to purchase classroom equipment, skills lab equipment, office furnishings and outdoor signage. The foundation also awards annual scholarships to students of the school.
“The Zelda L. Allen School of Nursing would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to the Dickson Allen Foundation, Lavaca Medical Center and the M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation for their generous support for nursing innovation in our community,” said Michelle Hall, coordinator of the school’s Vocational Nursing Program. “The impact of improving our student resources directly affects our students’ success. This in turn enriches the students’ lives and keeps nursing viable in our area.”
The Renger Memorial Hospital School of Vocational Nursing, named in honor of Dr. Harvey Renger Sr., was established in 1948. In 1977, the school was moved to its current location at the Lavaca Medical Center and renamed the Lavaca Medical Center School of Nursing.
A new facility was built on the grounds of the Lavaca Medical Center thanks to a grant from the M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation in memory of Hallettsville resident Zelda L. Allen, who battled cancer the final five years of her life and had created close relationships with local nurses during her illness. In 1984, the facility was renamed the Zelda L. Allen School of Nursing and became affiliated with Victoria College.
Victoria College’s Vocational Nursing Program offers a 12-month certificate program in Victoria, Cuero, Gonzales and Hallettsville. The VN Program is fully approved by the Texas Board of Nursing. Successful completion of the program will enable students to apply to take the National Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Satisfactory achievement on the examination will qualify for licensure as a vocational nurse.
For more information on the Zelda L. Allen School of Nursing, call (361) 798-2289 or email Patricia.Grahmann@VictoriaCollege.edu.
Photo caption: Pictured from left are VC President Dr. David Hinds, Vocational Nursing Program Coordinator/Instructor Michelle Hall, Vocational Nursing Program Chair Joyce Harper, Dean of the Division of Allied Health Darla Guajardo, Administrative Assistant Tricia Grahmann, Instructor Deedra Lahodny, Hallettsville Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Executive Director JoAnn Shimek and Elsie Grahmann, who was one of the first graduates of the school.