Methodist Mansfield Medical Center & Texas Tech University Health Center Partner

Kenya Menjivar
Waxahachie Daily Light

On Wednesday, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center announced their new collaboration resulting in TTUHSC's expansion of its traditional nursing program to the area through a satellite campus. 

This new collaboration has been several years in the making, officials said.

Methodist Mansfield President Juan Fresquez Jr. was the first to speak on the new partnership.

The speakers and dreamers of this collaboration from Methodist Mansfield and TTUHSC gather around for a photo.

“It gives me great pleasure to be with you here today,” Fresquez said. “Today I’m very happy to announce we’re creating a premiere best-in-class nursing school satellite campus right here in the city of Mansfield. It’s a partnership between world-class Methodist Health System, the city of Mansfield and our first-round pick, Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Nursing.”

Methodist Mansfield will be hosting the first satellite campus in Tarrant County, with 20 students making up the first class. They will attend the campus as juniors and finish two years of undergraduate, officials said.

Dr. Lori Rice, TTUHSC president, said she is proud to be part of this collaboration as it will help close the gap in nursing shortages for the state of Texas. 

“We are so proud to be here and a part of this commitment. The vision of our great university is to transform healthcare through innovation and collaboration and we are deeply committed to these types of private, public and partnerships that we are able to engage in,” Rice said. “We’ve been working really closely for nearly three years years to establish a nursing program with a top performing nursing school, with world-class faculty and our magnet designated hospital, to combat the nursing shortages in Texas."

Of the class accepted for the fall 2021 semester, 100% of the students are from the Metroplex. The goal of this new partnership is to bring more nurses into the Metroplex area. By having nursing students attend the Methodist Mansfield Satellite Campus, they are more likely to stay in the area, Fresquez said. 

“Where team members and city and community leaders came to us and said 'we want you. Please come join our campus and help us grow Texas Tech and quality nursing here in the Metroplex.' And so we began to work together as a team to make that happen,” Rice said. “When you think about Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and its commitment to the Metroplex, we’ve been here since 1999, so this makes perfect sense for us to join the Mansfield and Methodist hospital system family and become a part of this team to provide health care.”

The School of Nursing’s traditional BSN programs are currently offered throughout the state in Lubbock, Odessa and Abilene. Mansfield will be added to that list in the fall. 

The nursing school satellite campus will be in the professional building in suite 218, ranging over 6,000 square feet of classroom teaching space. The suite will consist of four classrooms, two stimulation rooms, three testing rooms, a nursing station, a reception area lounge, six staff offices and a clinical teaching space, officials said. 

“This satellite campus will also allow students access to clinical rotations, working side by side with world class Methodist System Care nurses at multiple Methodist Health System facilities. We’re thrilled that our health and science students in this community will now have an opportunity for nursing degrees without ever having to leave home,” Rice said. 

Fresquez said that Methodist Masnfield currently has 114 unfilled positions he hopes to help fill with quality nurses through this program.

Through a Zoom video call, Michael L. Evans, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, School of Nursing dean at TTU, shared a few words. 

“Everything we do is about innovation and collaboration and this program here in Mansfield is exactly what we’re all about when we speak about innovation and collaboration," he said. "The program we’re standing up here in Mansfield is a program we already have in existence in three other campuses across Texas. There are very few schools who can take a program and stand it up somewhere else. The program is connected to all three of the other programs in the state."

State Rep. and former Mansfield Mayor David Cook also took to Zoom to applaud the program.

“There is a need in our state to provide educational opportunities that will support the growing health care industry, especially in the area of nursing,” Cook said. “Mansfield is a city that takes an active role in growing its local economy and improving the quality of life of its residents through providing critical services and educational opportunities. This collaboration between TTUHSC, Methodist Mansfield and the city of Mansfield is a perfect example of bringing all of those goals together and creating a win-win for everyone.”

Mayor Michael Evans shared statistics about the nursing shortages in Texas, bringing perspective to the severity of the issue. 

“We understand that by 2030, Texas will have a 60,000 nurse shortage, with 25% of that shortage in North Texas. The RN vacancy rate in DFW is 8.2%, with a turnover rate of 18%," Evans said. "More must be done. This partnership will make a significant impact in providing our communities with the nurses that we need for today and the nurses that we will need in the future ... We believe that this satellite campus will not only benefit the local health care industry but also our residents, as these students join us as allies in building a healthier city.”

The city of Mansfield is providing approximately $1.9 million over two years to bring the satellite campus to Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, according to a news release.

City Manager Joe Smolinski said the city’s commitment to this project illustrates the importance Mansfield assigns on the new alliance between Methodist and TTUHSC.

“Since its opening in 2006, Methodist Mansfield has played a significant role in our local economy. With numerous medical and health care businesses locating in Mansfield over the last 14 years, our city is now seen as a leader in the region and state for an industry that continues to expand and grow,” Smolinski said. 

According to its website, Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Nursing offers four undergraduate pathways in nursing: traditional BSN, second-degree web-based BSN, Veteran to BSN, and RN to BSN. The graduate programs include nine master’s specializations, eight post-master’s programs, graduate certificates in global health and rural community health and a DNP program that includes BSN to DNP and post graduate DNP program.

To view drone footage of the professional building, visit https://www.ttuhsc.edu/communications-marketing/videos/media_page/2021/april/Methodist_Mansfield_POB_drone.mp4 .