Illiana Rodriguez (left), a TSTC Nursing student, stands by her mother, Celina Romo, a TSTC Vocational Nursing alumna.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – A pledge to patient care is a bond that Illiana Rodriguez shares with her mother, Celina Romo, as Rodriguez pursues a medical education at Texas State Technical College’s Harlingen location just as her mother did.

Their dedication to health care is one of the reasons why they and others like them are honored during National Nurses Week, which is observed from May 6 to 12.

Rodriguez, a third-semester student in the LVN to RN Transition Nursing Program, first earned an Associate of Science degree in Biology from TSTC in 2021, followed by a certificate of completion in Vocational Nursing in 2022.

She said her mother’s medical journey inspired her.

“(She) was a student in the Vocational Nursing program while I took prerequisites to get accepted in the same program,” the Raymondville resident said. “My mother had a busy life but completed the program. Since she did it, I knew I could do it as well.”

Rodriguez said she felt destined to be a nurse since middle school.

“I’ve taken care of some of my family who were sick,” she said. “I’ve always had a desire to help others.”

Christina Alvear is one of Rodriguez’s Nursing program instructors.

“During our clinicals, Illiana was open to opportunities to learn and practice in each unit,” she said. “Her positive attitude and active learning will help her gain knowledge to be a compassionate and skilled nurse.”

Romo said her daughter has made her proud.

“I had a lot of determination when I was a student in the program,” she said. “That helped Illiana know what to expect.”

Romo recalled a special memory from her daughter’s Vocational Nursing pinning ceremony.

“After the ceremony ended, she asked me to place the pin she received on her,” she said. “It was nice and it meant a lot.”

Romo’s four-year career as a nurse has proven to be a success. She worked at a mental health facility for one year, and currently she is a nurse at Myra Green Middle School with Raymondville Independent School District.

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

For information about National Nurses week, visit

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit

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