Jacob Leal, Joanne Shannon, Laura Zapata, Juliana Diaz

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – More than 75 Texas State Technical College Nursing students made an impression with their resumes when they networked with area medical representatives recently at the TSTC Nursing Expo.

Around 33 companies from across the Rio Grande Valley provided information on job opportunities, benefits and the qualifications they are seeking in potential candidates for employment.

“This event was to showcase both of our TSTC Nursing programs,” said Belinda Munoz, coordinator of Career Services at TSTC’s Harlingen campus. “It was also the first time it was held at the Learning Resource Center on campus. It was our largest turnout by far.”

Munoz added that she was pleased to see the students network.

“Their professionalism is evident when they explain their qualifications,” she said.

There was a morning session for the Vocational Nursing program followed by an afternoon session for the Nursing students.

Jacob Leal, who is pursuing a certificate of completion in Vocational Nursing, was excited at the prospect of employers extending job offers during the event.

“The companies that piqued my interest are Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in McAllen and Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville,” Leal said.

Now in his third semester at TSTC, Leal said the expo was engaging — and motivating.

“What makes me a top candidate is that I have a strong willingness to learn,” he said.

Maxine Garza is also pursuing a certificate of completion in Vocational Nursing at TSTC. She enjoyed interacting with medical facility representatives during the expo.

“It is important that there are job opportunities available to us,” Garza said. “The companies that interested me the most are Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, Harlingen Medical Center and Doctors Hospital at Renaissance. Each medical company has an area of interest that appeals to me.”

Garza noted what makes her a top candidate for employment.

“I love meeting new people,” she said. “I am quick to adapt to various situations. Patient care is my number one priority.”

Raul Garcia is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing in TSTC’s Nursing program. He appreciated that the medical company representatives were welcoming.

“They definitely want you to apply,” Garcia said. “They do a great job at pointing out their benefits and why you should work there. The companies which piqued my interest are Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville and Palms Behavioral Health in Harlingen. I have done my clinicals at both companies. I have grown familiar with how their operations are done on a daily basis.”

Now in his third semester at TSTC, Garcia explained what makes him a top candidate.

“I have a great attitude, I am punctual and my time management is up to par,” he said.

Pat Klase, assistant chief nursing officer at Su Clinica in Harlingen, said that the Nursing Expo provided her company with the chance to recruit potential employees.

“We are aware that several TSTC Vocational Nursing students are close to graduation,” Klase said. “We would like to hire some of them as interns and potentially as part of our staff.”

Carolyn Villarreal, clinical director of medical/surgical and patient safety attendance at Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen, said that TSTC is a valuable resource for potential vocational nurses.

“The candidate we are seeking must be a people person, eager to learn and committed to patient care,” Villarreal said.

Michelle Scurlock, senior director of nursing education at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, said that her company wants to give future nurses an opportunity to grow and advance in their careers.

“Doctors Hospital at Renaissance hires both licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses,” Scurlock said. “We would like to hire energetic and enthusiastic individuals who are willing to learn and be part of a dynamic team.”

TSTC offers a Vocational Nursing certificate program at the Breckenridge, Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses. An Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing is offered at its Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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