The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Nursing program celebrates 50 years

Chancellor Eugene Giovannini speaks with two former nursing students, Glenda Sturges (left) and Christine Moss (center), from the program’s first class during the program’s golden anniversary celebration Oct. 12 on TR East Campus. Photo by Peter Matthews/The Collegian

By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief

TCC’s nursing program celebrated 50 years Oct. 12 with an audience full of current and former students, including two students from TCC’s first nursing class, Christine Moss and Glenda Sturges.

Sturges thinks it’s beautiful that TCC’s nursing program is celebrating its golden anniversary.

“I can’t say anything else but beautiful,” she said.

Sturges started at TCC in the fall of 1967 when she was 19. Moss was older and had two kids when she started the program with Sturges.

“Attending TCC was like a stepping stone,” Moss said. “It allowed me to continue on. It was really a leap into the future for me and through the years it has treated me well.”

Nursing allowed Moss to continue to take care of her family, and she encourages other young people to go into the medical field.

Nursing student Lourdes Hambrick was also at the celebration. A year into the nursing program, Hambrick is excited to be around to celebrate the anniversary, which she thinks is amazing.

“I am so proud I could be part of this,” she said. “It just goes to show how impactful this program has been to this community.”

Hambrick wanted to be a nurse “for forever,” and when she started looking into programs, she got a lot of positive feedback from former students about TCC’s program.

“They said, ‘Don’t go to other places. Do TCC first. Then if you want to move on, go later,’” she said. “They said ‘TCC is one of the best starting points.’”

Chancellor Eugene Giovannini, who spoke during the celebration, said nursing has become more and more critical today, he said.

“I’ve been in the business for 30 years,” he said. “I can tell you honestly that there is no program that community colleges offer that brings more credibility in the community than the nursing program.”

“Anytime I can be around a bunch of nurses, I get excited. We are the backbone of health care.”

– Lillie Biggins

Texas Health Harris Methodist President Lillie Biggins served as the honorary chair for the evening and has been involved with the college since TCC was TCJC.

“Anytime I can be around a bunch of nurses, I get excited,” Biggins said. “We are the backbone of health care.”

Nursing represents the care delivered in the hospitals, she said.

“I know that all of the hospitals in this community rely on this class and all the classes that have gone before and will follow them to take care of our patients,” she said.

Nurses are the last ones to leave the building and the first ones to arrive, said Biggins who is still very proud to be a nurse.

“If you look at the way I sign my name, I still say ‘Lillie Biggins, RN,’” she said.

Also in attendance was De Ann Mitchell who has been the nursing program’s director for the last six years. She said she is honored to be the program’s current director.

“It’s an overwhelming feeling to be associated with so many wonderful people,” she said.

The program has accomplished a great deal, growing to over 600 students, 45 full-time faculty and has about a $1.5 million in grants. The program was reaccredited in 2016 and has a pass rate higher than the state and national norm. The program is working to get it even higher, she said.

“We’re very proud of the accomplishments this esteemed faculty and wonderful support from the board and all of the administration has given us to do this work,” Mitchell said.

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