Valley nursing education program will be first in the nation

Graduating high school with an associate TMs degree in nursing will soon be a reality for some Valley high school students.

PSJA, South Texas ISD, and South Texas College are partnering with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance to begin a dual-enrollment nursing program.

The program will be the first dual-enrollment program in the nation to offer an associate TMs degree in nursing to high school graduates.

The opportunity is something that you can TMt pass, said Iris Garcia, sophomore at PSJA Memorial High School. Garcia applied for the competitive program that would consist of two and a half years of rigorous curriculum and hands-on training at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.

There's actually a clinical capstone rotation, said Guadalupe Chavez of PSJA. They would be working with doctors and nurses and learning the different things that they can do as a registered nurse.

Partners of the initiative hope the program will help address the need for nurses across the Rio Grande Valley.

There's a shortage of nurses in this area. It TMs going to help the hospitals in that way, said Daniel King, Superintendent of PSJA. It accelerates the pipeline to get more nurses into the field earlier.

They also want to encourage young nurses to continue their schooling.

The possibility of them going on to get their bachelor TMs degrees or their master TMs degrees or going to medical school is that much better, King said.

The program comes at no cost to the students. That financial benefit is important to students like Garcia.

I believe without scholarships I wouldn TMt be able to go to college and pay for it on my own.Garcia says she hopes to be an inspiration to others in her family by pursuing a career in nursing.

Other PSJA or South Texas ISD students can apply for the program in their sophomore year.