HARLINGEN–Nine students from the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District’s Harlingen School of Health Professions are graduating high school and they are graduating from the Valley Baptist Medical Center School of Vocational Nursing. 

This is the first cohort of high school students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and a License in Vocational Nursing (LVN) in the Rio GrandeValley.

The students will be recognized at the 2021ValleyBaptistSchool of Nursing Graduation Ceremony on Tuesday, June 29th, at 7 p.m., at the Woodward Conference Center (near the hospital’s South Tower Entrance). Students will be presented with the school’s official graduation diploma by the nursing school’s director and members of theValleyBaptistexecutive team will be in attendance to mark the achievement.

“We are thrilled to be in partnership with Harlingen CISD,” said Manny Vela, CEO,ValleyBaptistHealth System andValleyBaptistMedical Center-Harlingen. “As a healthcare leader in South Texas, we understand the importance of sharing our resources, our facilities and our experienced staff, to help educate the healthcare providers and leaders of tomorrow. Our commitment to South Texas goes beyond delivering quality care – we are invested in this community’s advancement. It’s just what we do atValleyBaptist.”

The graduating cohort consists of seven females and two males ranging in ages 17 to 18. They are all Harlingen residents and members of the HCISD 2021 graduating class. The students recently participated in their high school graduation ceremony. To receive their license from the State of Texas to practice in healthcare as a Licensed Vocational Nurse, after graduation they will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN.

“This is a truly a major milestone for theValleyBaptistSchool of Nursing,” said Janis Baker, BSN, RN, and director of theValleyBaptistMedical Center School of Vocational Nursing. “This graduating cohort is a testament to the commitment ofValleyBaptistHealth System in providing healthcare to our community and continuing education. These nine graduates will very soon be helping to heal our community in the healthcare arena.”

An award-winning and nationally recognized healthcare system in theValley,ValleyBaptistMedical Center–Harlingen partnered with Harlingen CISD in 2019 to develop the dual enrollment program in which students attend classes at the health professions academy in the morning and complete their clinical rotations at the hospital in the afternoon.

In the classroom, students studied and learned the academics side of healthcare, and in the hospital, they learned both the academics and hands-on caring for patients. The graduating cohort successfully completed the required three (I, II, III) levels of the LVN program which are designed to give students the foundations of nursing, expand their critical thinking skills and nurture their compassion at the bedside.

“Our school of nursing team does an extraordinary job in guiding students and ensuring integration into VBMC nursing’s mission of delivering high-quality, compassionate care resulting in excellent outcomes,” said Stephen Hill, Chief Nursing Officer atValleyBaptistMedical Center-Harlingen. “As the students grow and learn from our nursing team, they too embrace theValleyBaptistcore beliefs, which include respect, advocating for our patients, acting with integrity and highest ethical standards and delivering results through accountability and transparency.”

TheValleyBaptistSchool of Nursing curriculum is precise in that it covers subjects that include: Foundations of Nursing; Fundamentals of Nursing I and II; Pharmacology; Clinical Level I, II and III; Maternal/Newborn Nursing; Pediatric Nursing; Medical-Surgical I and II; and more.

TheValleyBaptistSchool of Vocational Nursing was established in 1957, and to date the school boasts nearly 1,600 graduates.