West Texas A&M University

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Department of Nursing Success Stories

Department of Nursing

Success Stories

First Dean. Dr. Heidi Taylor was been named the first dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at West Texas A&M University. Her appointment was approved by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents at its December 2007 meeting. Taylor, longtime head of the Department of Nursing at WTAMU, served as interim dean of the new college since its inception in fall 2006.

Increase in Graduates. West Texas A&M has been awarded $273,059 by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for achieving the third-highest increase in nursing graduates among public universities in the state.

Interactive Manikin. The Department of Nursing unveiled its most recent acquisition, an interactive manikin capable of providing feedback on the performance of student nurses. SimMan® has realistic anatomy and high-tech clinical functionality. It can be computer programmed to simulate most any ailment—simple or complex.

Studying Health and Wellness. Helping people achieve and maintain good health is a major focus in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Lana Skarke, instructor of nursing, has devoted the majority of her professional life to improving the quality of life for rural and agricultural families through a variety of initiatives. Thousands of elementary school students have attended Progressive Farmer Farm and Ranch Safety Day Camps that Skarke has helped coordinate. Camp instructors teach everything from disability awareness to tractor safety.

Treating the Medically Underserved. The University’s Health Partner’s Clinic opened in 2003 as part of a federal initiative known as “Healthy Neighborhoods” to meet the primary care needs of the medically underserved in southeast Amarillo. Today the full-service health clinic has more than 2,500 patients on file, and they come from throughout the city, not just the southeast quadrant. The clinic is staffed by five full-time employees. WTAMU nursing faculty and students pitch in, too, as the clinic offers everything from care for acute and chronic illnesses to immunizations and pregnancy tests.