(HARLINGEN, Texas) – A commitment to patient care often motivates many vocational nurses to do more for patients — especially to further their medical education.
“My family first encouraged me to enroll in TSTC’s Nursing program in 2022,” the Los Fresnos resident said. “I start my full-time job as a registered nurse with Origins Recovery Center in South Padre Island in September.”
Karla Romero, health services manager for Origins Recovery Center, said she had the privilege of working with Flores when Flores was a vocational nurse.
“Jeana was able to de-escalate several patients while working in mental health,” she said. “It takes patience and empathy to help people while they’re in crisis. Now with added skills as a registered nurse, it will bring more to her career.”
Flores worked as a full-time vocational nurse at Valley Grande Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Brownsville in 2011. Additional opportunities arose when she transitioned to the Willacy County Regional Federal Detention Center in 2014, followed by Valley Baptist Medical Center in 2015, and Origins Recovery Center in 2017.
“What I enjoyed about the work culture at Origins Recovery Center is having a team that helped me to understand the clientele,” she said. “Mental health is not an easy career to work in. You’re trying to help patients who are dealing with an addiction. It was amazing to see a patient completely transform after completing a 30-, 60- or 90-day program.”
Flores credits her training in TSTC’s Nursing program for much of her professional success.
“The program helped me to understand more about a patient and what to look out for medically,” she said. “In clinicals our class followed a registered nurse for 13 weeks at Valley Regional Medical Center. I had the opportunity to experience many situations, learn how to handle them and how to talk to families.”
Janie Rodriguez, a TSTC Nursing instructor, said Flores adapted well to different scenarios during clinicals.
“Jeana took care of pediatric patients, adults and the geriatric population,” she said. “This requires knowledge of all ages of the lifespan. She cared for patients with different levels of acuity, such as minor injuries to traumas and patients in cardiac or respiratory arrest.”
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, go to tstc.edu.