Hunt School of Nursing Prevails During COVID-19 Pandemic; Graduates Entire Senior Class with Complete Clinical Hours
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso’s Hunt School of Nursing kicked off National Nurses Week by announcing all 86 students in its graduating class have completed clinical hours required for graduation. National Nurses Week, which begins each year on May 6 and ends May 12, recognizes the immeasurable contributions and impact nurses have on the lives of people in our community. TTUHSC El Paso will honor the nurses and nursing students on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic who have tirelessly cared for members of the community during this difficult time.
“Our nursing students have committed to an accelerated program, which is 16 months rather than 24 months, and have sacrificed jobs, and an income, while they work toward their degree,” said Stephanie L. Woods, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the Hunt School of Nursing. “Our faculty was faced with the question: How do you weigh the risk and benefit of asking our students to help patients with a virus that still comes with so many unknowns? Our students helped answer the question for us by responding overwhelmingly that completing their degree was their number one priority.”
As of 2019, the Hunt School of Nursing has graduated more than 600 students, with 90% of those graduates staying in the region. The school of nursing currently has partnerships with every hospital in the El Paso community, which includes both clinical rotation opportunities and job placements post-graduation.
To celebrate National Nurses Week, TTUHSC El Paso will host an appreciation breakfast on May 7 for nurses and nursing students at teaching hospitals, including University Medical Center of El Paso, El Paso Children’s Hospital and The Hospitals of Providence – Transmountain Campus. More than 500 meals will be provided through a donation from Bruce and Jackie Gulbas. Bruce Gulbas is president of National Restaurant Supply and a member of the TTUHSC El Paso President’s Development Council.
“The nursing students at the Hunt School of Nursing have proven to be the true heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bruce Gulbas. “Not only are they risking their lives every day to protect our community, but they are also determined to finish the clinical hours needed for graduation. This determination and selflessness are perfect examples of how the community is coming together during these critical times. We thought this was just one small way we could show how truly appreciative we are of their sacrifices.”
For the entire week, TTUHSC El Paso will honor nurses in the community in a number of ways, including free meals, student testimonials and new donor announcements. TTUHSC El Paso will also celebrate nurses with congratulatory messages on giant “greeting card” yard signs from Card My Yard, displayed outside of multiple El Paso hospitals during National Nurses Week. Nurses are encouraged to take photos in front of the signs and tag TTUHSC El Paso on Facebook (@TTUHSCEP), Twitter (@TTUHSCEP) or Instagram (@TTUHSCEP).
The celebration week will also include a virtual commencement ceremony for the Hunt School of Nursing, held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 9, via Facebook Live.
The virtual ceremony will follow traditional ceremony programs, with remarks from Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., president of TTUHSC El Paso, and Stephanie L. Woods, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the Hunt School of Nursing. As each name is read, a photo of the graduate will be shown on screen. To watch the ceremony, visit .
The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse for the vital role they play in providing health services. TTUHSC El Paso will join the WHO in a year-long effort to celebrate the work of nurses and highlighting the challenging conditions they often face in the workforce.