CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — This past weekend, Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales released a statement encouraging nurses who have left the workforce, for whatever reason, to re-enter the field, as cases of COVID-19 grow across the Coastal Bend, Texas and the nation.
This weekend, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's College of Nursing and Health Sciences is preparing to graduate the next class of healthcare heroes. 146 nursing graduates and 16 doctorates from TAMUCC will be walking the stage this weekend.
"I'm actually really excited to be graduating," Alina Delgado said. "I’m a first-generation student for my family so I’m proud. I’m just ready to start helping people."
For students like Delgado, she believes her calling to serve others is needed now more than ever as COVID cases surge, and hospitals are searching for healthcare workers to staff their beds.
"This is what I want to be," she added. "I’m ready to help out the nurses. I know they are tired. We are there to give them more energy and help out the patients."
Dr. Hassan Aziz, Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, said the current nursing shortage isn’t new and it’s been happening for years.
But the pandemic has made it more visible. Nonetheless, he is very proud of what the students in TAMUCC’s program have been able to accomplish during the pandemic.
"These are students that started at the height of COVID, so they’ve seen it all done it all," Dr. Aziz said. "They are prepared for the workforce."
Dr. Aziz said not only are they prepared academically, but this class also had the opportunity to interact with the community during COVID vaccination efforts through the college.
"This extra "flavor" they got this year with the pandemic made them a little bit more excited to join the workforce but also prepared for whatever life will throw at them," said Dr. Aziz.
TAMUCC graduation will be this Saturday, August 7, at the American Bank Center.