Tuition-free nursing program launching this fall in Weslaco
Marissa Borrego said she’s always wanted to be a nurse.
"Since I started working, I knew that this was the field for me,” Borrego — an administrative assistant at Knapp Medical Center — said.
The cost prevented her from taking that first step, Borrego added.
“I don't think I would be able to go to nursing school," Borrego said. “I'm a mom, so it would definitely be very hard."
Dialysis technician Dalia Gutierrez said she also dreams of being a nurse, but a similar barrier kept her from becoming one.
“The tuition is very hard,” Gutierrez said.
A new program in Weslaco will soon open the door to becoming a nurse for both of them.
Borrego and Gutierrez are both hoping to be part of the first class for the Texas School of Health Sciences, a two-year college opening in the fall in Weslaco.
Through a partnership with Prime Healthcare, the school is offering an associate’s degree in nursing for free.
Graduates will also leave the school as Prime Healthcare employees in one of the three regional hospitals, Texas School of Health Sciences President and CEO Kyle Hunt said
Hunt said the program will make it easier to enroll while addressing a growing problem.
“There is a nursing shortage, but there's also a shortage of clinically proficient nurses,” Hunt said.
Students must attend classes 40 hours a week, a sacrifice both women are willing to make.
“It's gonna be very hard, but it's definitely gonna be worth it,” Borrego said.
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