TSTC Nursing alumna Cassandra Borjas is studying for a Doctor of Nursing Practice Family Nurse Practitioner degree at Baylor University.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Nursing program has a reputation for producing top-quality nurses like Cassandra Borjas.

Borjas has worked hard both academically and professionally to get where she is today, and now she is studying for a Doctor of Nursing Practice Family Nurse Practitioner degree at Baylor University.

“As a person, I have always wanted to help others,” the Harlingen resident said. “I used to volunteer at nursing homes when I was a student in elementary school. The work the nurses did appealed to me. That appreciation developed into an interest in anatomy and physiology during my teenage years.”

At TSTC, Borjas earned a certificate of completion in Vocational Nursing in 2016 and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing two years later. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2019.

She has gained valuable work experience along the way.

She began her medical career as a vocational nurse at the Brownsville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in 2016. That same year, she accepted a part-time job as a pediatric private-duty nurse with Epic Health Services (now Aveanna Healthcare) in Harlingen.

With the addition of her associate degree, Borjas transitioned to being a part-time registered nurse at Aveanna Healthcare in 2018. Additional opportunities arose when she became an RN in the telemetry unit at Harlingen Medical Center in 2018, followed by the intensive care unit at McAllen Medical Center in 2020.

Jesus Mendez, a registered field nurse for Aveanna Healthcare, said Borjas has been an asset to that company because she provides excellent customer service.

“Cassandra has demonstrated impressive skills by working with low- and high-acuity patients,” he said. “She can adapt to difficult situations when working with patients while being compassionate and adhering to our company’s core values.”

Borjas said each company where she has been employed has had its own special appeal.

“I loved working with the elderly patients at the Brownsville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center because they required special attention,” she said. “At Aveanna Healthcare, the youth are inquisitive and have lovely energy. Collaborating with medical professionals at Harlingen Medical Center was wonderful because the heart is their focus. As for McAllen Medical Center, I enjoyed the challenge of applying critical thinking skills in the ICU.”

She credits her training in TSTC’s Nursing program for much of her professional success.

“In the program, the hands-on simulation labs were educational,” she said. “The clinical experience, although intimidating, was a preview of where you would be working. The medical professionals are stern, but they are preparing you for real-world experience.”

Adrienne Reyes, TSTC’s Nursing program director, said that as a TSTC student Borjas demonstrated strong leadership capabilities.

“She genuinely cares for her patients’ well-being,” Reyes said. “That caring approach was observed by hospital staff and medical professionals.”

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing at its Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses. A Vocational Nursing certificate of completion is offered at the Breckenridge, Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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