Breckenridge Texan

TSTC partners with Breckenridge EDC and high school to offer new nursing program

TSTC partners with Breckenridge EDC and high school to offer new nursing program
August 05
11:52 2020

Seven Breckenridge High School seniors will get a head start toward a nursing career this fall through a partnership between the school district, Texas State Technical College and the Breckenridge Economic Development Corp.

The partnership was formed to provide Nursing program classes for the high school students at TSTC’s Breckenridge campus; the students’ tuition for the four classes will be paid by the Breckenridge EDC.

Virgil Moore, CEO and executive director of the Breckenridge EDC, said paying the tuition is an investment into the community.

“This is an investment on our part to put skilled people in the workforce at our hospitals and clinics in Stephens County,” he said. “What TSTC provides to our community is a tremendous asset. Therefore, funding scholarships for these students to take classes was an easy decision. It was an investment in our future.”

Moore said he is pleased to see local students attending the TSTC campus and working toward a career.

“This is a great opportunity for our high school students. This allows them to get a head start on pursuing a nursing career,” he said.

Breckenridge High School Principal William Paul said having the Breckenridge EDC as a partner was a perfect fit. “Virgil and the EDC have been great partners throughout this process,” he said. “They helped make this possible for our students.”

Vocational nurses are in high demand in the Breckenridge area and throughout Texas. Paul said having the partnership will help fill those positions locally and in the regional workforce.

“We are excited to rekindle our partnership with TSTC. First we had a partnership with the welding program, and now we are partnering with the LVN program,” Paul said. “The goal of any high school is to prepare kids for their next step in life. This partnership fills that need for students to be career ready. … Hopefully we can keep them in the region after they graduate.”

The Texas Education Agency’s push for career pathways helped lead to the partnership, Paul said. TSTC was a natural fit because of the nursing program and being in the same community.

“In talking with TSTC, the health care field — especially nurses — met the needs of our region in West-Central Texas,” he said. “We gauged the students’ interest, and I am hoping we can continue this program.”

The students will take two classes in the fall, Essentials of Medical Terminology and Essentials of Medication Administration, and two in the spring, Foundations of Nursing and Pharmacology.

Instructor Marchelle Taylor said the four classes will show students what to expect in the nursing field.

“This will give the students the chance to do the basic learning here,” she said. “They will be able to get credit when they pass the course and will be one step closer to applying for a nursing program.”

Taylor said TSTC’s administration wanted to grow the nursing program in Breckenridge. The pilot program could lead to opportunities with other school districts.

Now that the Texas Board of Nursing has approved the program, Taylor said she is ready for the online classes to begin.

“I am excited to see how this goes. I hope we can open it up to other schools in our area,” she said.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, visit the website at tstc.edu.


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