From left, Dr. Gay Reeves, director of nursing; Wayne Miles, member of COM board of trustees; Dr. Amy Locklear, vice president of instruction; Kyle Tice, winner of the 2012 Vocational Nursing Program Outstanding Student Clinical Performance Award; Kathy M

Inserting IVs, dispensing medicine and calming nervous patients were all part of a 12-hour day’s work during clinicals for Kyle Tice and Kathy Maxey, winners of the College of the Mainland vocational nursing student awards.
“They demonstrated critical thinking skills in effectively providing safe, compassionate care to patients,” said COM professor and Vocational Nursing Program coordinator Misty Jones.
Along with 17 other vocational nursing students, both graduated in December after completing the one-year program.
Tice, who won the Outstanding Student Clinical Performance Award, had firsthand experience in hospitals after undergoing several surgeries.
“I’ve been the patient, and now I’m getting the opportunity to be a nurse,” said Tice. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”
Originally from Fort Worth, Tice took prerequisite courses at Blinn College in College Station and researched nursing programs in Texas. He came to COM because “COM has some of the highest pass rates [in the state],” he said.
He enjoyed becoming close with classmates and teachers in the program.
“We spend 365 days with these people. After a whole year, you become family,” Tice said.
Tice plans to continue his education with the COM’s He wants to specialize in the neonatal intensive care unit, motivated by seeing his infant nephew cared for in the hospital after his birth.
Maxey, winner of the Vocational Nursing Program Student of the Year Award, served as co-president of the vocational nursing student organization and participated in volunteer and fund-raising activities.

“Kathy consistently demonstrated leadership,” said Jones.

She frequently helped students review material outside of class, COM professor Kimley Lewis said.

“Kathy is very professional and dedicated. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think she’s already a nurse,” Lewis said.
COM’s vocational nursing program prepares students to work in hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities. For more information about the program, visit