See how Port Arthur nurse is providing tuition-aided opportunities for in-demand field

Published 12:28 am Friday, September 16, 2022

Qualified Port Arthur residents may soon have the chance to become a certified nurse’s aide with financial help from the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation.

Earlier this week, the PAEDC board approved an agreement with Angel’s Devine Touch to administer CNA training. The agreement allows the PAEDC to reimburse the training facility for tuition costs for qualifying Port Arthur residents, which will be based on annual income, according to information from the PAEDC.

The next step in the agreement is for the Port Arthur City Council to give their approval. The City Council meets twice a month.

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Memorial High School graduate Angel Maze owns Angel’s Devine Touch. She worked her way up in the nursing field from certified nurse’s aide to licensed vocational nurse to registered nurse with an associate’s degree.

Then she added a bachelor’s degree and is now in the master’s program at Lamar University.

She’s been in the career field 11 years and found her niche in teaching.

“This is the first step, the foundation of nursing,” Maze said of the CNA training.

Once a person graduates the class, they will be able to take the state exam and, after approval, they can begin their career.

She encourages students to push themselves forward in the nursing field.

One of her favorite stories is from last year. A West Brook High School student was taking the course half a day, and Maze noticed this person was passionate about nursing.

The girl graduated from high school and has now applied to Prairie View A&M University.

“It’s an overall good feeling to help her gain a goal,” Maze said. “I tell them, don’t stop there. You can try physical therapy, occupational therapy.”

Her job, she said, is to teach them to care for a patient.

The course

Maze said her school has been approved through the Texas Health and Human Services and is regulated by the Texas Workforce Commission, Career Schools and Colleges.

The course itself takes three to four weeks. She usually limits class size to 10 individuals.

Her hope is to help Port Arthur residents reach their career goal with tuition assistance.

“I’m trying to find another way for students to pay,” she said. “Right now we do payment arrangements if they are not able to do full tuition up front.”

The nation and state are experiencing a shortage of nurses. According to an article on the Texas State Comptroller’s website by Jessica Donald and Lisa Minton, nursing is one of the most in-demand fields in the health care industry and one of the most challenging.

In 2021 there were almost 400,000 nurses working in the state, ranging from CNAs to registered nurses and advanced proactive registered nurses.

The demand for nurses is projected to increase.

Maze said her next set of classes begins Oct. 10. It is not immediately known when the City Council will discuss the agreement.

As owner and director of the school, Maze gets asked how she does what she does.

“I don’t see it as a job,” she said. “It’s literally my passion, nursing.”