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School of Nursing Names Skills Laboratory in recognition of gift from South Texas Health System

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Pictured from left are Todd Mann, CEO of STHS McAllen; Lance Ames, CEO for STHS Edinburg and STHS Children’s; Chuck Stark, regional vice president for STHS; Sharon Radzyminski, PhD, JD, CNS, RN, dean of the UTRGV School of Nursing; Dr. Guy Bailey, UTRGV President; Cat Domian, chief nursing officer, STHS Edinburg and STHS Children’s; and Brenda Ivory, CEO, STHS Heart and Freestanding Emergency Departments. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

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RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UTRGV has received a gift from South Texas Health System to name the School of Nursing Skills Laboratory. 

In addition to naming rights, the gift of $150,000 will purchase patient care mannequins and hospital beds and will help restore training equipment. 

“South Texas Health System is honored to be able to continue to support UTRGV and its great School of Nursing,” said Lance Ames, chief executive officer of South Texas Health System Edinburg and South Texas Health System Children’s. “We have worked with UTRGV for many years now, and the quality of nurses we get from the program is tremendous.”

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He said that during the pandemic, STHS saw first-hand how important it is to have a strong group of nurses available in the Valley. 

“Our partnership with the UTRGV School of Nursing for the skills lab is instrumental to providing cutting-edge technology for nurse training, and to ensure those who graduate from the program have the most advanced training in the region, now and well into the future,” he said. 

The newly named South Texas Health System Nursing Skills Laboratory serves a key role in the education of nursing students through the simulation of real-world scenarios and sophisticated learning technology in a hospital-like environment. Learning stations allow students to practice on adult-sized patients. 

“A simulation lab gives nursing students the opportunity to get hands-on experience without being in a live setting,” said Cat Domian, chief nursing officer of South Texas Health System Edinburg and South Texas Health System Children’s. 

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“Allowing students to practice the skills they learn during the program allows them to graduate with more experience, and they feel more comfortable when utilizing those skills and doing those tasks in a real-life setting. It really puts them ahead of the game when they finish the program and come on board as a graduated nurse,” Domian said. 

The UTRGV nursing skills lab serves as the bridge between coursework and clinical rotations.

“Over the years, thousands of students have used the skills lab to put into practice the fundamentals learned in the classroom,” said Dr. Guy Bailey, UTRGV president. “The generous gift from South Texas Health System will ensure that we continue to provide top-tier technology and experiential learning opportunities for our students.”

He said the skills lab offers a safe environment for students to hone their skills. It is also a controlled space that allows for learning opportunities beyond the textbook. Students work independently and with peers, integrating theory with practice while making real-time medical decisions.  

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