Program Expands to San Antonio
Texas needs more Emergency Nurse Practitioners (ENPs), so Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth is expanding the state’s only ENP educational program to UT Health San Antonio.
This strategic clinical partnership is funded through a two-year, $1 million training grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The grant also provides ENP students with financial support while they complete their clinical requirements.
“The coordinating board is very supportive of this type of educational model,” said Elda Ramirez, PhD, RN, ENP-C, professor at Cizik School of Nursing and the grant’s project director. “We can start by offering the program to students in the San Antonio region, then we can continue to collaborate throughout the state.” Ramirez is a former PARTNERS Research Scholar in the Department of Graduate Studies.
The post-master’s ENP program draws students from all over Texas who study remotely with regular trips to Houston. Expanding geographically means less travel and more clinical rotations closer to home for many students. The team tentatively plans to conduct some in-person classes in San Antonio this spring.
Bradley Goettl, DNP, ENP-C, is an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and the School of Nursing at UT Health San Antonio. He and Ramirez have joint appointments to both universities, and he helps direct San Antonio program.
The San Antonio educators have affiliation agreements with local hospitals and health systems, including the county-owned University Hospital, where Goettl practices. As UT Health San Antonio’s clinical partner, the hospital houses the city’s largest emergency department and serves 22 South Texas counties. ENP students will benefit from interprofessional education with simulation and training alongside emergency medicine residents and physician assistant students.
“Our initial goal is to start providing formal training for emergency nurse practitioners in the San Antonio region,” Goettl said. “Long-term, our plan is to develop our own program that will mirror Houston’s. This partnership will allow us to share faculty, strengthen both programs, and plan for future growth.”