Community members holding shovels filled with dirt during groundbreaking
H S O N 10 year anniversary logo

How a shared vision of quality care for all established the Hunt School of Nursing

Historically underserved, El Paso has faced community-wide health care shortages for years. Ten years ago, nurses – often referred to as the backbone of health care teams – were especially needed as the city faced a 40% shortage when compared to nationwide averages.

Like the rest of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso campus, the Hunt School of Nursing’s beginnings are rooted in philanthropy and a collective mission to provide bright futures for soon-to-be health care heroes and Borderland residents.

Understanding the substantial impact a nursing school on the TTUHSC El Paso campus would have on the community, the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation began the important work to come by donating $10 million to establish the school of nursing in El Paso. Since establishing their foundation in 1987, Chairman Woody L. Hunt and his family have made it their mission to improve the quality of life in the Borderplex. Their generous gift became a historic moment not only for TTUHSC El Paso, but for the Hunt family, as the school would be named after Woody’s wife and the foundation’s vice president, Gayle Greve Hunt.

Ten years after seating an inaugural class of 38 students in 2011, the Hunt School of Nursing has accomplished great achievements and overcome challenging moments. From implementing its distinct academic programs and educating more than 800 nurses, to being a source of resilience during tragic and unexpected occasions, the school – and its leaders – have shown that this first decade is just the beginning. This feature in our special edition of TTUHSC El Paso Alumni & Friends is a look at the people, programs and accolades that have shaped the Hunt School of Nursing to be a leading provider of higher education in our region.

A decade after the establishment of the Hunt School of Nursing, El Paso now faces a 20% shortage of nurses, which speaks to the accomplishments of the school’s leadership, students and alumni. Those accomplishments, however, are more than a number – they’re reflected in the lives changed, dreams realized and the influence of younger generations of students across the Borderland for years to come.


El Paso Proud

Nursing student outdoors dressed in white coat.

Since opening in 2011, 90% of the Hunt School of Nursing’s 824 graduates have stayed in the area, reducing the local nursing shortage from 40% to 20% compared to the national average.

Reducing the shortage in the Borderland is a primary goal of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, but it’s also a personal mission for many students, current and former.

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Making History

Two nursing students practicing simulation training on a medical manikin.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso is proud of the role we’ve played in preparing the next generation of nurses for the past decade. During National Nurses Week in May 2020, TTUHSC El Paso announced a $650,000 grant from the Helene Fuld Health Trust to establish the first-ever scholarship endowment for the Hunt School of Nursing.

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Meeting the Need

Nursing students practicing simulation training on a medical manikin.

From hospitals to physicians’ private practices, health care would not be of the highest standard without nurses, who are considered trusted heroes.

In 2011, following a $10 million donation from the Hunt Family Foundation, the Hunt School of Nursing officially opened its doors to future generations of nurses who would change the scope of health care and ease critical nursing shortages in the region.

The Hunt School of Nursing features three degree programs, including the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, R.N. to B.S.N., and the Master of Science in Nursing.

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Lighting the Way

Nursing student and family standing next to new vehicle.

Every year, with help from community partners, Hunt School of Nursing students are awarded life-changing opportunities that give their careers a successful start. In 2019 and 2020, local organizations partnered with TTUHSC El Paso in support of the Hunt School of Nursing – all in anticipation of the school’s 10-year anniversary.

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Above and Beyond

Dean presenting student with an award.

In 2020, The Hunt School of Nursing became synonymous with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in Training.

The prestigious award, presented by The DAISY Foundation, was bestowed upon the Spring 2020 graduating class in May, as well as a second-year student in July.

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Raul Arizpe and Rhonda Newsome portraits

Hunt School of Nursing donors advance the university’s vision of improving health care and education for the Paso del Norte region.

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Educating Our Future

Faculty portrait of Manuel Santa Cruz.

A long-standing member of the Hunt School of Nursing, Manny Santa Cruz, D.N.P., R.N., M.B.A., reflects on 10 years of the school's growth. 

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Letter from the Dean

Faculty portrait of Stephanie Woods.

Hunt School of Nursing Dean Stephanie Woods, Ph.D., R.N., looks toward the school's bright future and its commitment to educating Borderland nurses.

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