Partnership opens TSTC Nursing program to Breckenridge High School students

(BRECKENRIDGE, Texas) – Seven Breckenridge High School seniors will get a head start toward a nursing career this fall.

A partnership between Texas State Technical College, Breckenridge ISD and the Breckenridge Economic Development Corp. was formed to provide Nursing program classes at TSTC’s Breckenridge campus. The students’ tuition for the four classes will be paid by the Breckenridge EDC.

“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,” said Breckenridge High School principal William Paul. “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.”

The students will take two classes in the fall, Essentials of Medical Terminology and Essentials of Medication Administration. In the spring, the classes will be 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.”

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.”

Paul said having the Breckenridge EDC as a partner was a perfect fit.

“Virgil and the EDC have been great partners throughout this process. They helped make this possible for our students,” he said.

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

“This partnership not only helps us locally, but it helps our regional workforce. Hopefully we can keep them in the region after they graduate,” he said.

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

“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.”

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

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.

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.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.