In an effort to increase the nursing work force in the Rio Grande Valley, the McAllen Medical Center Foundation recently contributed $52,000 to The University of Texas-Pan American Foundation as part of a larger scholarship fund for students seeking a nursing degree.
Schrock said the funds are to be used at the University's discretion to aid in faculty development and student scholarships.
Lydia Aleman, executive director of UTPA's Division of University Advancement, who accepted the gift on the University's behalf, said the donation will allow UTPA to retain and graduate more aspiring nursing students from the Department of Nursing.
"The McAllen Medical Center Foundation is donating to a quality program that has been nationally recognized," Aleman said.
She said many students seeking nursing degrees have benefited from the annual gift provided by the hospital foundation. Last year's donation gave the UTPA Foundation the opportunity to offer more scholarships, which resulted in 78 nursing graduates in December 2006.
"This represents a significant increase in our graduation rate to 78 percent, the rate prior to that was around 72 percent," Aleman said.
In June 2007, the UTPA Department of Nursing ranked 13th in the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education list of "Top 25 Nursing Schools Graduating Hispanics" in the nation. The report was based on 2006 statistics by the National Center for Education Statistics. The nationally recognized nursing program at UTPA currently admits 100 students.
In addition to the recent donation by the McAllen Medical Center Foundation, South Texas Health System hospitals currently serve as clinical rotation locations for students in the UTPA nursing program.
"We are committed to help aspiring nursing students excel academically and in their clinical experience," Rebecca Ryder, Interim CEO for McAllen Medical Center, said.
For more information on the UTPA Department of Nursing, visit http://www.utpa.edu/dept/nursing/. To support the advancement of the University, call 956/381-3361 or 1-888-432-4033 or visit http://dua.utpa.edu/.