Monday, August 16, 2021
  Around Campus, Community

By News and Internal Communications

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UTRGV has received a gift from South Texas Health System to name the School of Nursing Skills Laboratory.  

In addition to naming rights, the gift of $150,000 will purchase patient care mannequins and hospital beds and will help restore training equipment.  

“South Texas Health System is honored to be able to continue to support UTRGV and its great School of Nursing,” said Lance Ames, chief executive officer of South Texas Health System Edinburg and South Texas Health System Children’s. “We have worked with UTRGV for many years now, and the quality of nurses we get from the program is tremendous.”

He said that during the pandemic, STHS saw first-hand how important it is to have a strong group of nurses available in the Valley.  

“Our partnership with the UTRGV School of Nursing for the skills lab is instrumental to providing cutting-edge technology for nurse training, and to ensure those who graduate from the program have the most advanced training in the region, now and well into the future,” he said. 

The newly named South Texas Health System Nursing Skills Laboratory serves a key role in the education of nursing students through the simulation of real-world scenarios and sophisticated learning technology in a hospital-like environment. Learning stations allow students to practice on adult-sized patients. 

“A simulation lab gives nursing students the opportunity to get hands-on experience without being in a live setting,” said Cat Domian, chief nursing officer of South Texas Health System Edinburg and South Texas Health System Children’s.  

“Allowing students to practice the skills they learn during the program allows them to graduate with more experience, and they feel more comfortable when utilizing those skills and doing those tasks in a real-life setting. It really puts them ahead of the game when they finish the program and come on board as a graduated nurse,” Domian said. 

The UTRGV nursing skills lab serves as the bridge between coursework and clinical rotations.

“Over the years, thousands of students have used the skills lab to put into practice the fundamentals learned in the classroom,” said Dr. Guy Bailey, UTRGV president. “The generous gift from South Texas Health System will ensure that we continue to provide top-tier technology and experiential learning opportunities for our students.”

He said the skills lab offers a safe environment for students to hone their skills. It is also a controlled space that allows for learning opportunities beyond the textbook. Students work independently and with peers, integrating theory with practice while making real-time medical decisions.  



The UTRGV School of Nursing provides educational programs and develops scientific and intellectual inquiry to promote health equity in the Rio Grande Valley and beyond. The School of Nursing supports the mission of UTRGV through programs that educate individuals to meet the health care needs of a culturally diverse society.

Through a competitive admission process and rigorous course offerings, the school strives to educate thoughtful, innovative, dedicated and service-oriented scholars prepared to enrich their communities and make a positive difference in the world through nursing. 


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.