At only 18-years-old, Citlaly Barragan earned her certificate as a nursing assistant from Texas Southmost College before earning her diploma from Los Fresnos High School.
Barragan was one of 11 students to graduate earlier this month from the Certified Nursing Assistant program offered at TSC and honored with a pinning ceremony.
The first-generation college student had the opportunity to celebrate the night of achievements with her mother and grandparents.
“I’m so grateful that I had this opportunity,” said the Los Fresnos native. “Not a lot of high school students get to say that they get to begin their careers right after high school.”
For the aspiring health care professional, TSC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program was her first step toward a career in the medical field.
“Everything that I’ve been able to do and will do because of this program is surreal,” she said. “I’m excited because I graduated and I’m ready to start working.”
Later this month, Barragan will take her licensure exam and plans on applying to local hospitals.
“I’ve been waiting for this chance since joining the medical academy in high school,” said Barragan. “And because of TSC, I have a great foundation to start with. This definitely helped me grow as a professional and a person.”
TSC Certified Nursing Assistant Instructor Maria Celia De La Garza said Barragan has the qualities of becoming a successful nurse.
“Citlaly is a very dedicated student, but also very compassionate and caring,” said De La Garza. “She has provided exceptional bedside care for her patients. I know she will go far in this profession.”
De La Garza said all of her students possess the qualities needed for this profession and she is proud of them. She added that the pinning ceremony hosted by the program is a way to honor everyone’s hard work and dedication in the course of the program.
“This pinning ceremony officially welcomes them into the profession and many students like Citlaly have already stated that they’ll be continuing their education to become registered nurses, nurse practitioners and even physicians,” she said. “These graduates are tomorrow’s caregivers and we’re happy we were able to honor them alongside Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District, their families and our health care community.”
As for Barragan, her next step is to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing and after a school year of virtual learning, she said she is happy she got to celebrate this next chapter in her life in person with her peers and family.
“I’m really happy that TSC hosted this ceremony for us. It meant a lot,” she said. “I can’t wait for my future, I can’t wait to explore the world of health care and beyond and I can’t wait to live life to the fullest.”
TSC’s CNA program welcomes a new cohort every fall and spring semester.
For more information about TSC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program, visit tsc.edu.