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Nursing professor to retire after 27 years of service to UTPA
By Lori Prado, Intern
Posted: 08/24/2009
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One of The University of Texas-Pan American’s most prized College of Health Sciences and Human Services professors, Dr. Bruce Wilson, will retire this month after 27 years of service to UTPA.


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- Dr. Bruce Wilson
Wilson, who has been an integral part of the UTPA Nursing Department, has won numerous awards including The American Assembly for Men in Nursing’s Luther Christman Award, Identified Media Expert For Sigma Theta Tau for Men’s Health, Identified Media Expert For Sigma Theta Tau for Men in Nursing, Special Recognition from Texas League for Nursing, Listed in Who's Who in America, Listed in Who's Who in the World and American Assembly for Men in Nursing Member of the Year in 1998.

“Dr. Wilson is a great asset to our department. He has a wealth of expertise in technology, statistics and informatics. These are areas that are not easily found in a nursing department. He has also been a wonderful role model for all of our students, especially our male students. Nursing has always been a female dominated profession, but Dr. Wilson has demonstrated that men can also be successful in nursing,” said Dr. Carolina Huerta, nursing department chair.

As a registered nurse and professor, Wilson has worked with Rio Grande Regional Hospital, The University of Texas at Brownsville, Lamar University, St. Elizabeth Hospital, Kerrville V.A. Medical Center, Lutheran General Hospital and Bexar County Hospital District, and prides himself on being a mentor to other males in the nursing profession globally.

“I communicate regularly with men all around the world and particularly in the United States. Some of my advice includes, giving them a view of what the history of men in nursing is because nursing has a very strange perception of itself as being a gender,” Wilson said.

Wilson said that his post-retirement plans include continuing with his research full time on health and what it means to be healthy. His past research has focused predominately on men in the nursing profession and men’s health. The longtime professor believes that his greatest accomplishments are yet to come.

According to Huerta, Wilson helped initiate and implement the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at UTPA, which began in 1982.

“He has much expertise in the area of adult health, psychiatric nursing, statistics, and informatics. He has taught statistics and informatics in the MSN program since the program’s inception in 1994,” Huerta said. “He will be hard to replace and greatly missed as a faculty member.”

Lilia A. Fuentes, a family nurse practitioner and UTPA Department of Nursing faculty, who studied under Wilson in the 1990s, said the University is losing a great educator, who taught her about informatics and its use in the nursing field. Fuentes said through the computer knowledge she gained from Wilson, she has been able to implement new technology to better serve students in her courses today.

“Dr. Wilson is a great professor and I am very sad to see him leave. He was one of my instructors back in 1990 when I was in the associate’s nursing degree program. His lectures were always interesting because you could tell just how much he really enjoyed teaching. As a mentor, he taught us to believe in nursing and keep patients our primary focus,” Fuentes said.

To honor Wilson and his many years of service and dedication to the field of nursing, the UTPA Department of Nursing will host a reception for him Thursday, Aug. 27, 3 p.m. at the Health Sciences and Human Services Building - East, Rm. 1.102.