Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Announces $2,330,291 for TAMIU’s Online Family Nurse Practitioner Program

Funding will work to fix nursing shortages in Texas by increasing opportunities to practice medicine

Laredo, TX | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Leslie Martinez, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), November 22, 2019

Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced $2,330,291 for Texas A&M International University (TAMIU)’s Online Family Nurse Practitioner Program (TOFP). This online program will ensure more Hispanic students have the opportunity to practice medicine and help address the nursing shortage in Texas.


“Our nurses are the front line of our health care system, but with the growing number of staffing shortages across the country, it is becoming difficult to meet the needs of our patients,” said Congressman Cuellar.  “This funding will create an online nursing program that will help create more opportunities for Hispanic students to study medicine and increase the number of nurses in underserved populations in the region. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fund programs that will make education more accessible and improve our community’s health care system. I want to thank President of TAMIU Dr. Pablo Arenaz, Interim Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Science Dr. Marivic Torregosa, and the rest of the University staff for their dedication to advancing the education experience of Hispanic and low-income students in the region.”


President of TAMIU Dr. Pablo Arenaz said, “ We are deeply appreciative of the leadership and partnership in delivering this grant provided by our Congressman, Henry Cuellar (’82).  A University does its best when it develops and delivers relevant programs for its students and our service communities.  This Grant will fund the TAMIU Online Family Nurse Practitioner Program and expand opportunities for our students to earn a postgraduate degree in this field.  We’re especially pleased that this Grant recognizes and builds on the success of our FNP program. TAMIU FNP students have earned an enviable 100% pass rate on the national certification examination for the last four years…on their first attempt. “


Dr. Arenaz continued, “Most importantly, the students completing this program have the potential to impact 604,800 patients every year.  Throughout this, our 50th Anniversary year, we have been celebrating the transformative impact of this University. With the support that this grant provides, we ensure that our legacy of transformation continues forward.”


TAMIU received the funding through the Department of Education’s Title V, Part B, Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans Program. In the FY20 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, Congressman Cuellar secured $30,000,000 for Title V, Part B, a $18.9 million increase from FY19.


Webb County is designated a Medically Underserved Area as well as an area with a Health Professional Shortage. With the establishment of the Online Family Nurse Practitioner Program, more students will be able to study medicine and practice in the area. The online program will emphasize workshops on Business Planning, Reimbursement and Billing, and Small Business Management.  These courses will prepare students to launch a clinical practice of their own. The grant will support 72 participating students who then can potentially provide high quality primary care to as many as 604,800 patients every year, once they are employed.