Texas Border Business
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Being the director of the Vocational Nursing program at Texas Southmost College is a dream come true for Vaneida Soto.
It was a dream inspired by her former program director in 2013 when she was a student pursuing a nursing degree at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College.
“I admired his leadership, the impact he had on us as students, his instruction and motivation,” she said. “I always told myself that someday I would be like him.”
And that someday is now.
The Brownsville native started as a vocational nursing instructor at TSC one year ago and was promoted late last year.
“I’ve worked in the health care field since 2005, and I felt it was time for me to teach what I know,” said Soto. “But when I saw the director position open, I jumped at the opportunity.”
Soto started her journey in the health care field as a medical assistant in 2005 after earning her certification from a local for-profit school.
She would go on to work at local hospitals, clinics and outpatient dialysis centers before realizing she wanted more opportunities.
While working locally, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing and is currently working toward a master’s degree in the same field.
“Nursing has been a rewarding career. Helping people and impacting their lives in a positive way is what would get me out of bed in the morning,” said Soto. “And now as an instructor and director, I’m inspired on a whole new level – I get to educate the nurses of tomorrow.”
Soto said the career change has been a game changer. She is ready to focus all of her attention and skills on creating caring and highly skilled nurses to meet industry needs.
“The shortage of nurses across our region, state and nation is at an all-time high because of the pandemic,” she said. “Here at TSC, we are training the future nurses and health care leaders. We’re filling a demand with graduates who are dedicated to patient care and ready to help their community.”
As TSC’s newest Vocational Nursing director, Soto’s goal is to expand the program’s nursing labs to supplement the latest industry-standard equipment and simulation technology. She also plans on building upon the high-quality training TSC is already providing its students.
“Our job and goal as a department is to not only teach the technical skills, but also the soft skills, which at times define how you succeed in this field,” said Soto. “We want to help our students grow, gain confidence in their skills and be ready for a rewarding career in nursing.”
As for TSC’s newest family member, she said she is happy to be back.
“I’m home,” she said. “From student to faculty member, I still feel like everyone here is family. TSC is what shaped me into who I am today. And what makes TSC a great place is everyone’s dedication and willingness to work hard toward a common goal.”