Youth Prodigy Program Helps Local High School Grads Interested in Nursing
08/20/2007

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Health Resources (THR) Youth Prodigy program is designed to attract young people to the nursing field and to alleviate a nursing shortage that will continue to worsen as baby boomers reach retirement.

The program offers education and employment to high school graduates who are interested in pursuing an Associate Degree in Nursing prior to obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The program offers paid summer training and part-time job placement. Students work part-time at one of THR’s 13 hospitals while attending school, and THR covers the cost of tuition, fees, books and related supplies.

Thirteen of the 18 students participating in this year’s Prodigy freshman class will be the first generation in their families to graduate from college.

“The prodigy program is very challenging; it requires a lot of work before, during and after classes,” said Iris Andrade, a 2007 graduate of The Academy of Irving who finished the summer training component last week. “It is also fun – you get to meet many new people and make new friends. And it is rewarding because of the hands-on training. In order to be in the program you must have maturity, passion, commitment and desire.” Andrade earned her certification as a patient care technician this summer.

Once students have completed summer training and passed the certification exam, they apply for part-time positions at THR facilities. These paid, part-time positions afford them the same benefits as any other part-time employee of THR.

“This program has been a positive impact on these student’s lives and we are happy to see them working towards their goals,” said Nan Branch, a Career Center Specialist with THR.  “Plus, it is mutually beneficial in the sense that it gives these young adults a paid opportunity to start their careers in nursing and THR is cultivating their own care givers to meet future demands for nurses.”

If you would like to learn more about THR’s Youth Prodigy program for next year’s high school seniors interested in a career in health care, call 817-462-6162 or e-mail THR at THRYouthProdigy@TexasHealth.org.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR controls 13 affiliated hospitals and a medical research organization, and is a corporate member or partner in seven additional hospitals and surgery centers. THR’s family of hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.TexasHealth.org.