Photo courtesy TTUHSC El Paso
Thursday afternoon, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and Casa Nissan announced Hunt School of Nursing student Emmanuel Muniz as the lucky student receive a complimentary one-year lease of a 2020 Nissan Kicks crossover SUV.
For Muniz and his family, the use of the vehicle could not come at a better time.
Muniz had to sell his own car to help pay bills while enrolled as a full-time student in the Hunt School of Nursing’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. But selling the car left the family with only one vehicle for himself, his wife, 3-year-old daughter and 1-month-old daughter.
“These are strange times indeed, where nothing is certain,” Muniz said. “My family and I have been struggling even before the pandemic started. It’s been difficult for us since I lost my job back in October 2018, but for that same reason, I applied to the Accelerated B.S.N. program at TTUHSC El Paso.”
After he earns his degree, Muniz plans to become a registered nurse so he can provide a better income and future for his family.
“Each time I take our only car to school or my clinical rotations, I worry my wife will need it in case of an emergency related to our daughters,” Muniz said. “It’s hard to concentrate – leaving them unattended without a car – and I’m always finding myself checking my phone to see that they’re OK.”
Muniz added that the use of the Nissan Kicks for a year will give him and his family relief from stress, allowing him to focus on completing his degree.
Casa Nissan’s idea of a gift of a one-year vehicle lease to a Hunt School of Nursing student came about during the celebration of National Nurses Week in May.
TTUHSC El Paso organized several events during the week of May 6-12 to honor El Paso’s nurses and nursing students.
“This gift for a Hunt School of Nursing student is a great opportunity to show support for the next generation of health care heroes,” said Luke Lowenfield, Vice President of Operations for Casa Nissan.
“Emmanuel is an excellent example of our community’s future nursing leaders who will keep our local families healthy and thriving. Like so many nurses, Emmanuel continues to make sacrifices while working on the frontlines and juggling his studies. Team Casa is honored to assist Emmanuel as he embarks on a career of selfless service to others.”
Joining Lowenfield at the announcement was Tony Duran, General Sales Manager for Casa Nissan and Stephanie L. Woods, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the Hunt School of Nursing.
As of 2019, the Hunt School of Nursing has graduated more than 600 students, with 90% of those graduates staying in the region.
The school of nursing currently has partnerships with every hospital in the El Paso community, which includes both clinical rotation opportunities and job placements post-graduation.
The state of Texas is projected to face a shortfall of nearly 16,000 registered nurses by 2030, according to a 2017 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. An aging baby-boomer population, increasing rates of health issues such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes, as well as the recent COVID-19 pandemic are some of the major drivers of the nationwide demand for nursing professionals.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse for the vital role they play in providing health services. TTUHSC El Paso will join the WHO in a year-long effort to celebrate the work of nurses.