University's School of Nursing Training for the 21st Century

As the new millennium approaches, nursing roles and responsibilities are rapidly changing but nurses who graduate from the Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing at Texas A&M International University will be well prepared for the future, said the School's director, Dr. Susan Baker.

"Current trends suggest that nurses will be increasingly involved in broader community-based health care models and systems. In the future, institution-based care will serve as a short-term, highly technical, and procedure-driven component of the larger community-based system. Nurses will be responsible for overseeing the health care of members of communities over prolonged time intervals," explained Dr. Baker.

Nurses in the emergent health care system will need to provide and manage health care in ways that are cost-effective, consumer-oriented, and likely to result in optimal health. Future nurses must also effectively serve a population which is increasing more diverse.

How will the Canseco School of Nursing prepare their graduates for the changing future?

"The faculty at A&M International are devoted to providing the best possible nursing education to prepare future nurses. Demands for changes in the nurses' role will require added emphases on complex care, health promotion and advocacy. To effectively serve a diverse population and to address rapid changes in health care systems and treatment, we teach nurses to develop critical thinking skills which will enhance creative and flexible problem solving," observed Baker.

She noted that nursing education in a border community like Laredo presents unique opportunities to prepare professional nurses to improve the well-being of complex and diverse populations.

"As an international city spanning the border between the US and Mexico, Laredo offers a culturally, economically and politically unique setting in which health problems originating in either country merge as residents of Texas and Mexico live and work together," said Baker.

The prevalence of registered nurses in Webb County is less than half the Texas average and the shortage has prompted hospitals to import nurses from as far away as Canada and the Philippines. The Canseco School of Nursing is dedicated to preparing new registered nurses who are highly skilled, culturally competent and know the Spanish language.

"Students are integrated into the community, and begin to respond to its needs, beginning with the very first clinical nursing course. They apply basic nursing skills learning in the laboratory setting to meet the needs of residents in long-term care facilities. They assist with neighborhood health fairs. This spring, a student group traveled to Austin to meet with legislators as part of 'Nurse Day at the Capitol,'" Baker said.

"Nurses graduating from the Canseco School of Nursing will be instrumental in realizing the University mission of improving the quality of life for citizens of South Texas and nearby international communities," she added.

For more information on the nursing program at A&M International, please contact the University's Canseco School of Nursing at 326-2450. University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Additional information may also be obtain through the University's Home Page on the World Wide Web at http://www.tamiu.edu.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu