Nursing dean receives top honor from National Association of Hispanic Nurses

SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 12, 2010) — The dean of nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the first non-Hispanic nurse to receive the National Association of Hispanic Nurses’ highest honor.

Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, received the association’s Presidential Award for her commitment to advancing Hispanics in nursing and to graduating more nurses for South Texas.

Following a unanimous decision by its board of directors, the association presented the award at its 35th annual conference, held July 21 in Washington, D.C.

“Dean Breslin received this award for the visible commitment she has made not only to the association, but in promoting an increase of Hispanics in nursing,” said Norma Martinez Rogers, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, the association’s immediate past president and a professor in the Health Science Center’s Department of Family & Community Health Systems.

Dr. Breslin is also the first nursing school dean to receive the award.

In February, the School of Nursing received $3.9 million from Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas Inc. to begin three new degree programs to address the nursing shortage in South Texas, a 38-county medically underserved area that is populated largely by Hispanics and has relatively low income levels compared with the state as a whole.

The new programs include an accelerated bachelor’s degree for students who already hold degrees in other fields; an online master’s degree program; and a doctoral degree in nursing practice (DNP). These programs, along with traditional programs offered by the School of Nursing, will provide highly educated nurses for bedside practice, clinical leadership, research and education for South Texas. Part of the $3.9 million also provides scholarships for minority nurses entering the DNP program.

In July, the School of Nursing announced an additional $3 million to construct a Clinical Simulation Center that will offer not only realistic clinical education for students but continuing education and certification programs for nurses in South Texas and the opportunity for more extensive collaboration with educational and clinical partners in the region.

“We have been able to accomplish these initiatives as a result of our wonderful and diverse faculty and staff and our many community partners,” Dr. Breslin said. “I am honored to receive this award from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.”

The association commended Dr. Breslin for her support of its outgoing president, Dr. Rogers, whose two-year commitment ended at the conference.

Dr. Rogers will continue her involvement with the association as a founding board member and chair of the new National Association of Hispanic Nurses Fund, which seeks scholarship funding and offers mentorship and educational programs with the goal of eliminating Hispanic health disparities.

Adelita Cantu, Ph.D., RN, an assistant professor in the Health Science Center’s Department of Family & Community Health Systems, also serves on the association’s board of directors.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 2 percent of all U.S. institutions receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled a record $259 million in fiscal year 2009. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced 27,000 graduates. The $753 million operating budget supports six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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