Thank you for your interest in the Medical City Healthcare Texas 2-Step Nursing Program, a learning program that allows qualifying and current employees to earn an Associate Degree in Nursing. Employment alone is not qualification for the program.

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Texas 2-Step program fights nursing shortage, rewards employees with paid education

When Rudy Diaz started volunteering at Medical City McKinney five years ago, he never dreamed it would be the first step in his dream of earning a college degree. Friday afternoon at Medical City Dallas, he fulfilled his aspiration of not only earning that degree, but also becoming a nurse, joining 12 Medical City Healthcare colleagues at a special “pinning” ceremony for graduates of the Texas 2-Step Nursing Pathway program.

The Texas 2-Step Nursing Pathway is a learning program that allows current Medical City Healthcare employees to earn an Associate Degree in Nursing. Employees must meet admission requirements. Once admitted, Medical City Healthcare pays for tuition, fees, books and uniforms up front in exchange for a 2-year commitment to work full-time as a Registered Nurse.

The first step of the program is earning the associate degree. The second step is obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing – hence the name “2-Step Program.” Any employee from Medical City Healthcare’s 13 North Texas hospitals, seven off-campus emergency rooms, CareNow urgent care network or 11 affiliated surgery centers can apply for the program. Previous graduates had prior jobs across the spectrum, including operators, cooks, imaging techs, and other positions. Rudy Diaz started as a volunteer but was working as a phlebotomist in the lab when he applied for the program.

“The Texas 2-Step Nursing Pathway program is a win-win,” says Tricia Scott, RN, Medical City Healthcare director for workforce development. “It helps our hospitals fill RN positions in the midst of a nursing shortage, and it is a wonderful way for Medical City Healthcare to make a valuable investment in our employees.”

The program is provided through a partnership with Collin College and El Centro College. Since the first class graduated in May 2010, over 300 nurses have been added to the Medical City Healthcare workforce, more than 80 percent of those nurses have stayed.

“Nurses are at the core of the compassionate care we provide to patients,” says Zach Mueller, Chief Nursing Executive at Medical City Healthcare. “We are proud to provide the opportunity of a college degree to employees who otherwise might not be able to attend college and add more talent to this respected profession. Investing in our employees, and the future of our nursing workforce, is paramount to us because it ensures we can continue to provide exceptional care to the communities we serve.”

As Baby Boomers age and the need for healthcare grows, the current U.S. nursing shortage is expected to intensify. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections, there will be approximately 1.05 million available job openings for nurses by 2022.

“That’s a big relief,” says Rudy Diaz about emerging from college debt-free and with a guaranteed nursing position. “It gives me the ability to focus on my career. Now I will be able to spend more time with my parents instead of picking up extra shifts to pay off college debt.”

About Medical City Healthcare
Medical City Healthcare is one of the North Texas region’s largest and most comprehensive healthcare providers and includes 13 hospitals, more than 7,000 active physicians and 14,000 employees in North Texas. Three Medical City Healthcare hospitals are accredited comprehensive stroke centers, five hospitals hold the prestigious Magnet Recognized® status from the American Nurses Association, and six have been recognized by The Joint Commission as Top Performers in the nation. Part of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the nation’s leading provider of quality healthcare services with 165 hospitals in the United States and England.