Sister Act: Scholarships Propel Sisters' Nursing Careers

Amanda and Rebecca Padilla with longtime donor Shirley Garrison.

Amanda and Rebecca Padilla with longtime donor Shirley Garrison.

School of Nursing scholarship recipients Rebecca and Amanda Padilla began their quests to become nurses while growing up in Levelland.

“What inspired us to become nurses was seeing how a nurse could impact a patient and family’s life when my grandmother was ill and at the end of her life,” Amanda Padilla said. “I not only want to treat patients, but I also want to soothe and comfort them and their families something I have learned to do here at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.”

The two young women are students in the School of Nursing’s Traditional BSN Program, and recently spoke at the school’s Donor Appreciation Luncheon.

The annual event honors donors who have supported student scholarships, research, programs and faculty development for the School of Nursing. Scholarships in particular enable the school to address the nursing shortage by giving students the opportunities to pursue a nursing education.

Texas and the nation are facing a critical shortage of registered nurses. Texas schools turned away 41 percent or 8,734 qualified applicants to nursing schools in 2009, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. To meet projected demands for RNs, Texas licensure educational programs must generate 15,199 new graduates by 2013 and 25,870 by 2020.

Rebecca and Amanda Padilla said they are examples of how donors who invest in students can help reduce the nursing shortage while making a positive difference in the lives of others.

“Scholarship donations make it possible for us to attend this prestigious nursing school,” Amanda Padilla said. “Donations also have also helped us realize how important it is to give back to the community. We look forward to being able to give back to the community once we begin our nursing careers.”

Rebecca Padilla’s career goal is to work as a labor and delivery nurse. She said it is rewarding to help women during the most stressful moments of pregnancy. Amanda Padilla strives to work in an emergency center before continuing her education and becoming a flight nurse. She said she wants to help people in their most dire moments of need.

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Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.