Texas Border Business
McALLEN, TX – New South Texas College president Dr. Ricardo J. Solis, along with leaders in healthcare, and economic development have begun plans to nearly double its output of healthcare professionals.
Speaking at Dr. Solis’ first official visit to STC’s Nursing and Allied Health (NAH) campus Sept. 21, administrators with the campus say plans have already been set in motion by the new president.
“STC has continuously been responsive to the healthcare needs of our community, and I think with the leadership of Dr. Solis, we will be able to provide new opportunities and take it to the next level,” said Dr. Jayson Valerio, STC Dean of Nursing and Allied Health.
“You heard Dr. Solis mention that we are the largest producer of healthcare personnel, and we are producing about 250 nurses a year, and our mission is that in order to meet the healthcare needs of our healthcare partners, we want to produce at least 400 nurses a year,” Valerio said.
By 2032, Texas as a whole will need over 57,000 registered nurses, according to Texas Department of State Health Services.
The Rio Grande Valley region employed 14,619 active RNs in the Valley as of 2019, according to DSHS, and supply of RNs in the Valley is projected to grow by 25.9 percent by 2032 while demand grows by 20.5 percent.
The registered nurse (RN) position vacancy rate in Texas was 9.8 percent, and in the RGV, it was 11.6 percent, according to the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies.
“You are the true heroes. Even before the pandemic, South Texas College was the clear, top choice for producing healthcare professionals in the most sought-after healthcare careers in America,” Dr. Solis told the students, staff, and faculty who gathered to hear the new president’s plans Sept. 21.
“The Valley is the fastest growing community in the entire nation due to our young demographic population…we have an incredible opportunity to address the workforce and economic development needs of the Rio Grande Valley,” Dr. Solis said.
“What we have done over the last year and a half has taught us two very important lessons,” Solis said. “First, we have to be prepared for unprecedented times and secondly, we are going to have to work together within the higher education institutions, healthcare partners, and especially with the community we serve. This is going to be the key to success to overcome these challenges. This is the perfect institution to be in, with the best career choice made to help your fellow citizens. For that we commend you.”