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State Grant Provides Opportunities for Employees at Memorial Health System of East Texas

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Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) at Memorial Medical Center—Lufkin and Memorial Medical Center—Livingston have recently been given the opportunity to work towards becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) while maintaining their current job status.  Memorial Health System of East Texas was recently awarded the second half of a two-year grant under the Hospital-Based Nursing Education Partnership Grant Program (HNEP) from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The grant allows for a partnership between Memorial Health System of East Texas and Angelina College, Memorial – Angelina Health Careers.  This partnership, which began in May 2010, offers an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) to two groups of students: those entering the nursing program at the Livingston campus of Angelina College and current Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) employed by Memorial Health System of East Texas. 

“With this grant, we will be able to produce 12 LVNs in Livingston, transition 12 LVNs to RNs in Livingston and transition 12 LVNs to RNs in Lufkin,” said Tyane Dietz, Director of Funding at Memorial Health System of East Texas.  “The money will cover books, tuition and testing for the transition students.  It will also cover supplies, equipment and salary for instruction on the Livingston campus.”

Memorial--Angelina Health Careers is one of eight partnership programs to receive the funding.  “The competition within the Nursing Education Partnership Program is fierce and continued funding was contingent upon last year’s management, performance and oversight of the grant,” explained Ms. Dietz. 

“The results of the program have not only been beneficial to the graduates but to the hospital and community, as well” said Mario Estrella, Vice President of Patient Care Services at Memorial Health System of East Texas. 

Since the program’s inception a year ago, 11 nurses in Lufkin have transitioned from LVN to RN.  A new transition class of 9 began this summer, comprised of 6 nurses from the Lufkin hospital and 3 nurses from the Livingston hospital.  The first class of 12 students at the Livingston campus will complete the LVN program this summer.

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