When Heather Gilbreath completed her B.S. Nursing in November, she became WGU Texas’ 10,000th graduate—a milestone for her and major achievement for WGU Texas, too.
Gilbreath, of Sulphur Springs, started her nursing career almost 22 years ago in psychiatric services. She wanted to work in labor and delivery but needed more nursing experience for this in-demand specialty.
Over those 22 years, Gilbreath gained experience and expertise and is now a nurse-patient educator at Medical City McKinney. Her oldest daughter followed in her footsteps and is an E.R. nurse at the same hospital.
But Gilbreath didn’t stop with her bachelor’s degree. After completing the undergraduate program, she enrolled in WGU Texas’ M.S. Nursing Leadership and Management degree program in March. She said she enjoys the flexibility of the competency-based program, that allows her to continue her education around a busy work schedule and family commitments. In fact, she tries to recruit as many coworkers to apply to WGU as possible.
During a surprise presentation at the hospital—surrounded by her manager, colleagues, friends and family, WGU Texas Chancellor Steven Johnson presented Gilbreath with a $2,500 Healthcare Partners Scholarship in recognition of her accomplishments.
“It is so great to recognize our 10,000th graduate and be able to celebrate this milestone with Heather.” Chancellor Johnson said. “She epitomizes what we see at WGU Texas every day—students who are improving their lives and the lives of others. We’re pleased to be able to support her through her master's program and look forward to seeing her grow in her career and take on new challenges.”
Since its launch in 2011, WGU Texas has significantly grown the number of college graduates in the Lone Star State by offering high quality, competency-based, online education that is affordable and accessible for non-traditional students. WGU Texas helps to address the state’s critical workforce needs in high-demand fields such as IT, healthcare, business, and education.
10,700 graduates have earned their undergraduate or graduate degrees with more than 12,000 currently enrolled students. “That’s 10,700 bachelor’s and master’s degrees awarded, and thousands of lives changed by the awesome power of education,” said Johnson.
HCA Healthcare affiliate Medical City McKinney is a WGU Texas healthcare industry partner. Through the partnership, employees are eligible to receive tuition discounts and apply for exclusive scholarships.