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TTUHSC Honors Nursing School Donors

By Derek Moy

Staff Writer, Daily Toreador

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ryan Bullard, a former military paramedic who also opened a clinic for those in need in Nicaragua, was among many nursing students who benefited from a scholarship given by donors to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Anita Thigpen Perry School of Nursing.

“Every little bit helps,” said Bullard, a second-year nursing student who is a beneficiary of the Mildred and Shirley Garrison Endowed Scholarship. “I could get loans to help pay for it, but I’ve got to pay those back. With scholarships I don’t have to repay and they just make such a big difference.”

The Perry School of Nursing hosted a luncheon Thursday at the International Cultural Center to honor its donors and included faculty, staff and student speakers.

Daniela Baca, a senior nursing student, also was a recipient of one of the scholarships and spoke at the luncheon.

Tech Chancellor Kent Hance spoke at the luncheon, honoring its attendees who consisted of nurses, donors and faculty members.

Because of their generous donations, he said, the school of nursing was succeeding.

Almost 97 percent of the 2008 class graduated and close to 86 percent passed the licensure exam on the first attempt. 

“You look at this nursing school — how far we’ve come and how fast and that we are the best,” Hance said, “and I believe that.”

The school’s Interim Dean Chandice Covington also spoke on behalf of the donors. She said without the donors, the school would not be as successful as it is. Covington also said she wanted to increase enrollment by 40 percent within the next couple of years.

“We feel we have the capacity that with the right resources that we can then ask Chancellor Hance friendship in providing faculty,” Covington said. “We believe we can do it with your help.”

At the 13 different tables, donors ate with the students who they donated to. Students could talk with the people who gave their time, talent and treasures to further their nursing education.

Almost 100 people attended and many of them were donors, students and faculty.

According to a release by the school, Texas is facing a critical shortage of registered nurses. Texas nursing programs must generate about 15,000 new graduates by 2013 and almost 25,000 by 2020 to meet projected demands.