Better Education: New Nursing Education Center is a dream come true

BY Amanda Sotelo

Texas State Technical College started the Fall 2016 semester by opening the doors to its new Nursing Education Center equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and simulation labs.

“This couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s perfect timing,” said Hector Yanez, interim vice president of Student Learning. “A building like this was needed on our campus and I can see it being fully utilized.”

Allied Health Division Director Jean Lashbrook said this building is a dream come true. In the 20 years she has been at TSTC she has pushed for a center like this.

“Our Allied Health division has grown in the past few years,” said Lashbrook. “We had four programs sharing three labs. We were outgrowing our space. So this is definitely the most beneficial move for our students and faculty.”

The Nursing Education Center is located right off Loop 499 on the main campus. It will accommodate vocational and registered nursing students with classrooms, computer labs and state-of-the-art simulation labs. The building will also be equipped with a centralized medical supply closet, student break rooms, cubicles for student testing, offices for faculty and a conference room.

“This building is just as much for faculty and administration as it is for students,” said Yanez.

“So everyone’s really excited for this brand new facility, and it will definitely be a showcase.”

Vocational nursing student Kevin Cole started his first day in the program at the brand new building. Although Cole is no stranger to TSTC – he graduated as a nursing assistant in 2015 – he said being at the Nursing Education Center is a new experience.

“It’s exciting to be in a new building furnished with new equipment we get to use and practice with,” said Cole. “I love that TSTC provides us (students) with these types of opportunities and facilities. It definitely makes me more confident going out into the workforce.”

For nursing students like Abbigale Prieto, the education center came a little too late. Prieto is in her last semester of vocational nursing, which means the majority of her time is spent at clinical rotations off campus.

“I’m a little jealous that I won’t be able to fully utilize this building and new labs,” said Prieto. “But I’m excited for the new vocational nursing students who are going to be able to use everything here to their full advantage. They’re going have a great learning experience.”

Lashbrook said the center is also a great asset to the Rio Grande Valley community.

“We can partner with local high schools, give tours and show those interested in our program what our facility has to offer,” said Lashbrook. “Not only that, the training that will happen in this building will prepare our students to enter the workforce and make a difference.”

For more information on TSTC’s nursing programs call 956-364-4797 or visit