(SWEETWATER, Texas) – People with a passion to help others have many job options in the medical field.
One of the fastest-growing jobs is that of registered nurse. Texas State Technical College trains future registered nurses at its campuses in Harlingen and Sweetwater through the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program.
TSTC is now accepting applications for the spring 2022 program. The deadline to apply for the Harlingen program is Nov. 5, and the deadline to apply for the Sweetwater program is Oct. 22.
“There is a significant and growing need for registered nurses throughout the state of Texas and all over the United States,” said Lisa van Cleave, the ADN program director in Sweetwater.
In September 2019, more than 250,000 registered nurses were employed in Texas, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. In comparison, in September 2008, the state had 162,304 registered nurses employed.
According to onetonline.org, registered nurses in Texas have an annual average salary of $75,320. In the Valley region the average salary is $69,890, while in the Big Country the average is $66,360.
Graduates of the program credit TSTC instructors for their success today.
“The instructors told us from the beginning that this was not going to be easy,” said 2020 graduate Shannon Powell. “They gave us all of the tools in order for us to succeed. It is just amazing that I was able to go to school and work in my hometown.”
“Academically, you could lean on the instructors for assistance at any time,” said Crystal Funderburk, also a 2020 graduate. “The coursework is laid out where we could understand things. The instructors set it up that way so we could all succeed.”
The program includes three semesters of nursing-related courses, simulation labs and clinicals. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN) to obtain licensure as a registered nurse from the Texas Board of Nursing. Graduates may not work as a registered nurse until they successfully pass the NCLEX-RN.
“After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a registered nurse and can work in hospitals, day-surgery centers, rehabilitation centers, physicians’ offices and home health care agencies, among other areas,” said Shirley Byrd, TSTC’s program director in Harlingen.
Information sessions for prospective students have been scheduled at both campuses. In Harlingen, sessions are scheduled for Sept. 13, Sept. 27, Oct. 4, Oct. 18 and Nov. 1. Sweetwater sessions are scheduled on Sept. 7, Sept. 19, Sept. 23, Oct. 9, Oct. 19 and Oct. 21. Students who apply are required to attend one session.
For more information about the ADN program, its requirements and the application process, visit https://www.tstc.edu/programs/nursing.