Judith Sauceda (left), a TSTC Associate Degree in Nursing student, discusses patient care with Marisa Cardenas Guerra, director of nursing for Harlingen Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, at the recent TSTC Nursing Expo in Harlingen.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Harlingen campus recently held its sixth annual Nursing Expo, where more than 85 TSTC Nursing students presented their resumes and credentials to area medical representatives.

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

“The plan to ensure this event’s success was to uphold a firm commitment and excellent communication for our Nursing programs and the medical employers,” said Belinda Munoz, coordinator of Career Services at TSTC’s Harlingen campus. “There was a morning session for the Vocational Nursing program and an afternoon session for the (Associate Degree in) Nursing students.”

Munoz was pleased that the students applied her suggestions for successful interviews.

“I was thrilled to see them dressed to impress,” she said. “I enjoyed seeing their face-to-face interactions with the medical employers. Most importantly, they were prepared with information about the skills, qualifications and certifications that are required for the job.”

Jasmine Johnson, who is pursuing a certificate of completion in Vocational Nursing, said it was fascinating to learn how many job opportunities are available.

“I enjoyed talking to representatives from Harlingen Medical Center and Valley Regional Medical Center,” she said. “Both companies have excellent staffs and do a great job at teaching students.”

Ben Aranjon is pursuing an Associate Degree in Nursing at TSTC.

“It motivates me when I see the medical representatives stand when they greet us,” he said. “To me that demonstrates they have a great work ethic.”

Dalia Curiel also is pursuing an Associate Degree in Nursing. She said her work experience makes her an ideal candidate for employment.

“I have experience working with medical-surgical patients as a vocational nurse for about five years,” she said. “I feel that experience would be beneficial to a hospital.”

Abigail Martinez, a recruiter for Harlingen Medical Center, said it was a pleasure to meet students from both Nursing programs.

“It’s wonderful to know that many of the students are interested in a health care career within their community,” she said.

Vanessa Alvarez, assistant director of programs for the Rio Grande State Supported Living Center, enjoyed observing the students’ inquisitive natures.

“They asked about different job roles and responsibilities,” she said. “Our company recently had huge pay increases, and we are now matching a competitive pay to that person’s skill set.”

Sandra Mendoza Ramos, registered nurse case manager for Little Miracles Home Health, could relate to the students as a graduate of TSTC herself.

“I’m an alumna of both TSTC Nursing programs,” she said. “I started here (at Little Miracles Home Health) as a vocational nurse, and they are great by providing that opportunity to develop your skills.”

Although the deadline to apply for the Vocational Nursing program has passed, the deadline to apply for the Associate Degree in Nursing program is June 30. Students applying to this program must already be classified as licensed vocational nurses.

For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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