Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso is celebrating the Hunt School of Nursing’s 10-year anniversary in 2021. TTUHSC El Paso invites the community to participate in a year-long effort to celebrate the work of nurses and highlight the challenging conditions they often face in the workforce. In celebration, we invite you to get to know some of our Hunt School of Nursing faculty who are shaping the future of health care for the Borderland. They are dedicated to excellence and committed to care.
This month’s highlight features Azucena Ortega-Madani, M.S.N., M.P.H., APRN, CNM, FNP-C, assistant professor for the Hunt School of Nursing.
As the only remaining member of the inaugural faculty from the start of the Hunt School of Nursing, Azucena Ortega-Madani, M.S.N., M.P.H., APRN, CNM, FNP-C, assistant professor, has seen many changes in 11 years. The school has matured as it has grown from being part of a regional campus of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center to one of four schools in a stand-alone university, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.
“Knowledge is power,” Ortega-Madani said. “The Hunt School of Nursing has empowered both women and men to enhance the health care system in our community. Having the opportunity to celebrate 10 years of supporting my students graduate and excel in the nursing field has given me a greater sense of well-being in my profession.”
To date, the Hunt School of Nursing has graduated more than 800 students, with the vast majority of those graduates staying in the region. Ortega-Madani has been a part of all of these journeys, as a peer and educator.
Ortega-Madani began her career in Mexico, graduating as a medical doctor in 1998 from Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez. In 2009, she graduated from the El Paso regional campus of TTUHSC with a Bachelor of Science in nursing. Shortly after, she graduated with a Master of Public Health in 2010 and a Master of Science in nursing in 2012 with a specialty in midwifery from TTUHSC in Lubbock. In 2018, she earned a post-master certificate from South University to become a family nurse practitioner. She is dually certified as a family nurse practitioner and as a midwife.
“I moved to El Paso and saw the opportunity to use my experience as a physician to improve the communication between health care professionals and patients on the U.S.-Mexico border,” Ortega-Madani said. “The goal was to contribute to the cultural competence needed in the Paso del Norte region. El Paso has a wide variety of world views and beliefs. The health care system must include people from different backgrounds to provide access to quality care.”
Ortega-Madani wants her students to graduate as culturally competent nurses but acknowledges that their program is rigorous and the past year has added new challenges.
“Our students must manage their time wisely,” Ortega-Madani said. “Ecclesiastes 3:1 says there is a time for every purpose. Time management is key to success in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program but just as important in a clinical setting and especially in a hospital. Students today face rigorous curriculum and competition between their personal life, school, and work. Our biggest challenge, as faculty, is to make them understand they must dive deep into their coursework while also committing to clinicals.”
Ortega-Madani‘s passion for nursing drives her students and her own career.
“Nursing is a caring profession that goes beyond patient care. It’s a profession that nourishes its professionals as well. My favorite part of being a nurse and an educator in the health care field is the diversity. As a nurse, you can shine in any area with commitment and hard work.”