(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Tracey Cash is a prime example that it is never too late to follow another passion.
After spending 30 years as a hair stylist, and nine as a real estate agent, she set her sights on health care and began her journey into nursing at Texas State Technical College. She is now in her seventh year as a nurse after graduating with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing from TSTC.
“I have always had occupations that help people,” she said. “When I was a hair stylist, I helped people feel beautiful, and when I was in real estate, I helped people buy and sell homes.”
Cash’s affinity for giving is what led her to nursing.
“When I decided to change careers, I wanted to continue to help people while also having stability. I decided that the health care industry is where I could accomplish that; it’s the best decision I have ever made.”
Though she graduated in 2013, she still holds dear the support she received during her time at TSTC.
“My time there prepared me for the exams I needed to take to receive my credentials,” she said. “All the instructors and leadership of the Nursing program encouraged me and supported me every step of the way.”
Cash is also one of the many health care heroes on the frontline of the current fight against COVID-19.
“One patient I had in particular is a friend of mine,” she said. “She was very sick, and I was assigned to be her nurse. She was at a point where she wanted to give up, and I went into her room and told her I was her nurse for the day. Her face lit up like a light. Afterward, she told me that I was her spark that she needed to continue the fight. She is now at home continuing her COVID-19 recovery. That made me feel accomplished.”
TSTC Associate Provost Jean Lashbrook reiterated that Cash has the perseverance and spirit to continue thriving in her career as a nurse.
“She has always been an individual that will not give up,” Lashbrook said. “She has always worked very hard for everything she has and wants to attain.”
“Nursing school is tough,” Lashbrook added. “She worked very hard throughout both programs, with no hill too high to climb. Now Tracey’s in a climate where she is certainly the hero to many patients. I know, without a doubt, she is giving them her all.”
Cash has advice for others who one day want to be a nurse and a beam of light for their patients.
“Become a nurse with passion and compassion,” she said. “Become a nurse to be part of the change in a person’s life.”
Fall registration is currently underway. To learn more about TSTC’s Nursing program, visit https://www.tstc.edu/programs/Nursing.