Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ $3.9 million gift to anchor new nursing education pipeline

SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 8, 2010) — A $3.9 million gift from Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas Inc. will help The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio transform nursing education in South Texas.

The gift, presented at a news conference on Monday, Feb. 8, is the largest in the 40-year history of the School of Nursing. It will fund the creation of a new, collaborative nursing education and leadership pipeline that will rapidly bring new
nurses into bedside practice, clinical leadership, research and education.

Through the School of Nursing’s innovative plan, three new accelerated education programs will be offered to bring more bachelor’s-, master’s- and doctorate-prepared nurses into the workforce to address the nursing shortage in South Texas.

“Methodist Healthcare Ministries is a pivotal partner in our plan to graduate more nurses at all educational levels,” said Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing, and the Dr. Patty L. Hawken Nursing Endowed Professor in the Department of Family Nursing Care.

“A limiting factor in admitting more students has been hiring and supporting qualified nursing faculty. Many faculty members are retiring, and state dollars do not cover all of our expenses,” she said. “We greatly appreciate Methodist
Healthcare Ministries’ philanthropic investment to bring new nurses into the workforce.”

Roy R. Campbell III, chairman of the board of directors of Methodist Healthcare Ministries, said, “We are so pleased to help build the nursing pipeline. This fits perfectly with our goal of enhancing our gift to the Alamo Colleges that is at the beginning of the nursing education pipeline. The Health Science Center’s new degree programs will help nurses continue their education to improve health care throughout South Texas.”

Although the Health Science Center’s initiative involves several funding partners, the gift from Methodist Healthcare Ministries is the most substantial. It provides:

  • $ 2.7 million for faculty and curriculum specialists to design and teach three new nursing degree programs including:
    • An accelerated Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing for students who have a bachelor’s degree in another field and wish to join the nursing profession. The program will begin in May 2010 with 70 students. Nurses with a bachelor’s degree provide bedside care and fill entry-level management positions in hospitals.
    • An accelerated online master’s degree for nurses with an associate’s degree in nursing. This program will begin in January 2011 with 46 students. Nurses with a master’s degree can hold advanced management positions in hospitals, become clinical faculty members or enter research.
    • A Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) degree to provide highly educated clinical nursing specialists, executive leaders and full clinical faculty members. The program will begin in January 2011 with 10
  • $ 235,000 for computer equipment, software, enhancements to the university’s distance education program and miscellaneous expenses to support robust online learning programs in the School of Nursing
  • $850,000 for simulation manikins and other equipment for the new virtual hospital to be built in the School of Nursing beginning in March for use by nursing, medical and other health professionals throughout South Texas
  • $150,000 in matching funds to provide scholarships for 10 DNP students

When fully implemented, the three degree programs will help the School of Nursing admit an additional 20 traditional undergraduate students, 70 accelerated undergraduate students, 46 additional master’s students and 10 Doctorate of Nursing Practice students a year, giving students the opportunity to more quickly and conveniently earn their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree through the Health Science Center.




Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas Inc. is the largest faith-based, not-for-profit, private funding source for community healthcare services to low-income families and the uninsured in South Texas and is half-owner of the Methodist Healthcare System. For more information, visit

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the leading research institutions in Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $753.4 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $16.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $37 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 26,750 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit

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