Nurse Education Department’s “Trifecta Day” Included Pinning 29 New RNs as the Class of Summer 2017

Article by: Melinda Eddleman

No matter what order you pick the latest three accolades of Del Mar College’s Nurse Education Department, you still have a winning trifecta ticket. On Aug. 17, the College recognized a new scholarship for Nurse Education students through the DMC Foundation, a $264,402 Jobs and Education for Texans grant from the Texas Workforce Commission and the 50th anniversary of the RN program, complete with a pinning ceremony for their newest graduates.

Nursing students also provided facility tours and demonstrations to highlight the high tech simulated training they receive while preparing to become high demand healthcare professionals.

View remarks made by speakers covering all three announcements by clicking on the screen below:

 

 

 

“It’s an exciting day for the Department of Nurse Education faculty and students as we celebrate 50 years of preparing Registered Nurses who help advance the health of our community,” said chairperson Dr. Vangie De Leon. “We’re also celebrating and acknowledging the visionary leadership of faculty, deans and administrators who made possible additional resources, including a new scholarship and Jobs and Education for Texans grant.”

She added, “The scholarship will help students achieve their dreams.” 

The DMC Foundation unveiled the new Retired Lt. Col. Maria del Carmen Solis Nursing Scholarship named after its benefactor with the first recipient, Janet M. Macias, speaking about her selection and how the funds will impact her studies to become a Registered Nurse. Criteria for the scholarship include a 3.0 minimum Grade Point Average, financial need, and while not necessary, preference for a veteran student. The $6,000 annual scholarship can be used for Fall/Spring or Fall/Spring/Summer semesters and is renewable following a recipient’s first year through program completion if they continue to meet criteria.

During her years working as a military nurse, 98-year-old Lt. Col. Solis served during World War II and the Korean Conflict. She was also the first American military nurse assigned to Madrid, Spain. Read more about her by clicking here (PDF file).

As part of recognitions, the College announced the $264,402 award from the Texas Workforce Commission Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) Grant Program with the funds used to expand the Nurse Education Department’s training technology, including new simulation mannequins, or manikins, with programmable symptoms that test future nurses’ knowledge and skills. The department has added new laboratories that focus on different scenarios that prepare students to treat patients ranging from infants to adults with very advanced technology. The JET grant has provided the funds to acquire the latest technology that will keep students ahead of the curve.

Dr. De Leon noted, “The JET grant will further enhance our simulation learning to provide students safe places to practice and develop their skills through advanced technology.”

The Nurse Education Department also pinned the College’s newest RN program graduates during a traditional ceremony, complete with lanterns and the Florence Nightingale Pledge. Since 1967, the department has graduated over 4,000 students through the RN program. 

The 29 individuals making up the DMC Registered Nurse Summer Class of 2017 include Claudius Alexander, Kimberly Arteaga, Amber Dawn Bradley, Katherine Brennan, Julie Burnell, Diandra Flores, Krystal Star Garcia, Ninfa Hippensteal, Kristin Iyescas, Tamara Nichole King, Taylor Labay, Erica Luna, Valerie Mendoza, Alma Monreal, Desiree Marie Ocanas, Mildreth Alejandra Ostos, Alexis M. Ramirez, Ana M. Razo, Lisette Reyes, Dekara Nichelle Richman, Destiny Rubio, Cecil R. Russell, Jose Oscar Saenz II, Ercilia Crystal Soliz, Norma Jean Songer, Zeferino Tinajero Jr., Tamara Lynn Vasquez, Veronica Villegas and Krystal Rose Ybarra.

After marking a half century training Coastal Bend RNs, here’s to another 50 years preparing students for this high demand healthcare profession.

IN THE PHOTO: Del Mar College President Dr. Mark Escamilla (left) and Mary McQueen (right), Executive Director of Development and the DMC Foundation, visit with Retired Lt. Col. Maria del Carmen Solis before the College announced a new scholarship in the benefactor's name in honor of her service as a military nurse for 50 years.

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