TSTC Vocational Nursing graduate Aaron Sotelo has a pin placed on her TSTC Nursing uniform by her father, Victor Sotelo, that signifies her as a newly graduated vocational nurse at the recent TSTC Vocational Nursing pinning ceremony.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Excitement spread as Texas State Technical College recently celebrated its latest Nursing program graduates in two pinning ceremonies held at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.

Twenty-five Associate Degree in Nursing graduates and five Vocational Nursing graduates were honored in separate ceremonies.

The graduates walked across the stage and received their traditional nursing caps and pins, which signify their program completion and devotion to patient care.

TSTC associate provost Anna San Pedro said the graduates’ dreams of becoming nurses have come to fruition.

“Never disregard the hard work and sacrifice made to attain this achievement,” she said. “It is just the beginning of your successful journey in health care. Maintain a positive outlook, and focus on becoming the best nurse. Never take for granted the privilege bestowed upon you to make a difference in someone’s life.”

Adrienne Reyes, a TSTC Nursing instructor, said she enjoyed motivating her students through their time in the program.

“They have demonstrated exceptional patient care in a clinical setting,” she said. “They had more uninterrupted clinical time, and it increased their communication skills and patient interaction.”

Brian Gamez, of San Benito, said his degree marks a family milestone.

“I participated in TSTC’s Vocational Nursing pinning ceremony in 2016,” he said. “This one means much more because I’m going to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree. I’m the first one in my family to earn a college degree.”

Gabriela Mendoza, of Raymondville, also was excited to complete the program.

“I worked as an LVN for a year, and then I decided to return to the Nursing program,” she said. “It’s wonderful to know about the vast job opportunities our Associate of Applied Science degree will provide.”

Heather Sauceda, TSTC’s Vocational Nursing program director, said she was proud that her students worked as a cohesive group to ensure completion of the program.

“Their commitment to patient care is outstanding,” she said.

Wendy Gordon, of McAllen, acknowledged her family’s help in achieving her dream of becoming a vocational nurse.

“Thank you to my mother for all her support,” she said. “I’m thankful to my children, who sacrificed many things so that I could finish this program.”

Vocational Nursing graduate Aaron Sotelo, of Lyford, said the accomplishment brought her satisfaction.

“I would like to congratulate my fellow classmates,” she said. “This achievement means something to all of us.”

At each event’s conclusion, the graduates recited the Nightingale pledge by candlelight. The pledge is named in honor of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, and is similar to the Hippocratic Oath in its focus on ethical patient care.

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

For more information about TSTC, go to tstc.edu.

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