Nurses in El Paso not only emanate qualities of care and compassion but leadership and the perseverance to continue advancing in their practice. That is why Texas Team Upper Rio Grande was created as part of the Campaign for Action initiative from The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, a landmark Institute of Medicine (IOM) report.
Nurses are the largest group of health professionals in Texas. The Texas Team Action Coalition is part of a larger national campaign working to transform healthcare through nursing. In the Paso del Norte region, the Texas Team Upper Rio Grande Region (URG) and its leadership are working at the local level to implement the campaign’s mission, which was outlined in The Future of Nursing, Leading Change, Advancing Health report from the Institute of Medicine.
Texas Team URG reached out to The Paso del Norte Community Foundation to help raise and grow funds in order to provide programs that assist nurses to continue their education, serve on boards and mentor other nurses in line with the IOM’s recommendations and Texas Team’s strategic plan.
Towards that goal, the Texas Team URG Nursing fund was established to support and advance nursing to ensure high-quality healthcare, with nurses contributing to the full extent of their capabilities.
“The Texas Team Upper Rio Grande has benefitted from partnering with the Paso del Norte Community Foundation because we have a partner who can assist us with our fund, assist us with the 501(c)(3) status, so we are able to do more,” said Dr. Amanda Anaya, DNP, Director of Nursing at the Southwest University of El Paso and Co-lead for Texas Team URG. “When you have a partner like Paso del Norte Community Foundation, you are able to set up larger events and encourage more nurses to attend. This type of partnership gives us the ability to reach out to individuals to bring them to El Paso in order to speak to nurses. The partnership has essentially enabled us to take our organization to the next level.”
One of the many fundraisers that Texas Teams URG has looked forward to for the past six years, is Nurses Night at Southwest University Park during an El Paso Chihuahuas home game. This year Nurses Night was postponed due to the current Stay Home, Work Safe order in El Paso County.
“During Nurses Night we celebrate nurses, those who have won awards this year, who have gone above and beyond in the community," said Dr. Anaya who encourages the community to continue supporting nurses in other ways.
One fellow nurse who Dr. Anaya mentored through Texas Team URG and her work at Southwest University is Dr. Sandra Imperial, DNP, who now uses the skills she’s gained to mentor other nurses who are just getting started in their careers. It was a simple invite to a Texas Team URG event that immediately got her involved.
“When she introduced the program to me I only had some nursing and leadership experience and Texas Team URG is geared to help nurses at whatever level of practice and to increase and strengthen your leadership skills at whatever level you are at and to be able to move forward,” said Dr. Imperial. Texas Team URG not only provides mentorship for all kinds of nurses to excel at whatever position but also encourages networking and involvement in community boards outside of the medical field.
“Because we deal with healthcare we have that different perspective that we can contribute,” said Imperial who currently teaches and serves on the Southwest University board. “Any small contribution that we can give those board members, is a different perspective that can make a difference in whatever decision they make.”
National Nurses Week took place from May 6 through May 12 and the World Health Assembly has also deemed 2020 the Year of the Nurse. During the current health crisis caused by COVID-19, nurses are on the front lines of fighting a global pandemic.
Dr. Anaya encourages the community to show their support for nurses, especially during this year.
“Recognition goes a long way. We want them to know that there are people behind them who have their back, that they have our support and we see their needs.”
For more information on Texas Team URG and how to donate visit the Paso del Norte Community Foundation's Texas Teams URG fund page https://pdnfoundation.org/give-to-a-fund/texas-team-urg-nursing-fund.