(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Through a new partnership, representatives of Texas State Technical College’s Nursing program in Harlingen and Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR) Health recently gathered at a luncheon to recognize seven TSTC Nursing students who are doing clinicals and preceptorships at DHR Health’s facility in Edinburg.
Each of the students received a $1,500 scholarship from DHR Health to use for continuing education assistance and related travel expenses.
Adrienne Reyes, a TSTC Nursing instructor, said the purpose of the partnership is for TSTC students to become familiar with all that DHR Health has to offer.
“The directors and staff from DHR Health have been very accommodating,” Reyes said. “The patient population at DHR Health is allowing TSTC students to gain hands-on experience that they may not get at other area facilities.”
“DHR Health is a Level I trauma center teaching hospital, and the TSTC Nursing students are benefiting from the patient care experiences during their clinicals and preceptorships,” Gutierrez said. “DHR Health unit nursing directors have been impressed by the students’ level of preparedness. Our goal is to retain the nursing students after they graduate from TSTC.”
Candace Gonzales, of Weslaco, is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing at TSTC.
Now in her second semester, Gonzales said she and her fellow classmates are gaining valuable experience in medical-surgical nursing.
“The clinicals have been amazing at DHR Health,” she said. “I have been an LVN for 21 years. This sparked an interest that I did not have before. The possibility of having a career in an operating room definitely excites me.”
Gonzales plans to apply for a job at DHR Health after she graduates in December.
Ricardo Gonzalez, of Los Fresnos, is also pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing at TSTC.
The second-semester student said he is pleased with the opportunity that DHR Health has provided.
“It is well organized, and I enjoy that,” Gonzalez said. “It is a good nurse-to-patient ratio, and the patients receive the right care. This elevates my learning because the care I provide for the patient is much more intimate.”
Gonzalez added that his duties include setting goals for each patient.
“We create a care plan, which involves a goal and nursing interventions,” he said. “There must be a therapeutic outcome for the day.”
Reyes said as the partnership continues to develop, the students may be able to do onboarding and potential paid apprenticeships.
“This will reduce the amount of time a new graduate has to spend in orientation,” she said. “They will already have experience and be familiar with DHR Health’s facility.”
DHR Health offers a wide variety of career opportunities in specialized fields, such as women’s care, pediatrics, emergency medicine, intensive care, mental health, and medical-surgical nursing.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing at its Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses. A Vocational Nursing certificate program is offered at the Breckenridge, Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.