Paso del Norte Foundation is proud to partner with Texas TEAM Upper Rio Grande to support the future of nursing


A dedicated team of nurses in El Paso approached the Paso del Norte Foundation last year to partner on an initiative to support and advance nursing in the region.  The members of the “Texas Team Upper Rio Grande” are part of the Campaign for Action, a national initiative to guide implementation of the recommendations in The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, a landmark Institute of Medicine (IOM) report. 


The Campaign envisions a health care system where all Americans have access to high-quality care, with nurses contributing to the full extent of their capabilities. It is coordinated through the Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA), an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The Campaign includes 51 state Action Coalitions and a wide range of health care providers, consumer advocates, policy-makers, and business, academic and philanthropic leaders. The Texas Team is our state’s action coalition, cosponsored by TNA and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. The Upper Rio Grande Region (URGR) Texas Team is the action coalition that covers El Paso, Hudspeth and surrounding counties.


The Texas Team URGR is co-lead by Gloria Loera DNP, RN, and Linda Lawson DNP, RN, and is working within the region to actualize the four key recommendations of the IOM report: 


  1. Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.
  2. Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progress.
  3. Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the U.S.
  4. Effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and an improved information infrastructure.


With these recommendations in mind, the URGR Texas Team has provided educational and learning opportunities to move our community towards actualizing the IOM FON report recommendation.


  • In 2014, the URGR sponsored the state-wide meeting on the Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) where the discussion focused on assisting nurses to obtain higher levels of education, including progressing from an Associate’s degree in nursing to a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and Doctoral degrees in nursing.

  • In May 2014, the URGR hosted the first “Nurses Day Out” at Southwest University Park for an El Paso Chihuahuas game. More than 200 nurses and their families came out for the occasion sporting their special Nurses Day at the Ballpark shirts specially designed for this event.

  • In August 2015, the URGR hosted the MakerNurse project in El Paso. Nurses are solving challenges encountered at the bedside every day, developing new ideas and devices to improve patient care. Spearheaded by the Little Devices Lab at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, MakerNurse projects focus is to elevate and accelerate the ingenuity of nurses and to encourage innovation in nurses working across the United States.

  • In November, 2015, the URGR Texas Team will sponsor a full day training program called “Nurses on Board”. The program is being presented by the Texas Healthcare Trustees (THT), and is being offered to 32 nurses in our community in order to increase nurse participation on health care and community boards of directors. The program will include educational sessions on governance for nurses as well as create tools and resources to help them become successful leaders and community health advocates. This training will provide nurses in our community with governance and leadership education in order for them to be even more valuable assets to both hospital and community boards and will prepare local nurses for larger leadership roles to enhance the health of our community and Texans.

  • Also in November 2015, the URGR will provide a symposium on the IOM FON report to local University nursing students. The goal of the symposium is to educate nursing students on the report’s recommendations and opportunities to meet the challenges of collaborative healthcare delivery as highly educated nurses. The symposium will emphasize the role nurses play in transforming our complex healthcare delivery system, and their responsibilities as a member of the nursing profession to step into the increased interdisciplinary opportunities created by healthcare reform and fulfill the goals of the IOM report.


The URGR Texas Team members are excited to provide training and development opportunities to the nurses in our community, and are enthusiastically working to transform nursing and health care in El Paso and Texas. 


For questions or more information, contact:

Amanda Anaya