HCA Houston Healthcare Donates $3.5 Million to UH College of Nursing

Tart and Nations
Kathryn Tart, UH College of Nursing founding dean and Kelli Nations, HCA Houston Healthcare chief nursing executive.
Simulation Center
Rendering of the HCA Houston Healthcare Simulation Center opening at UH at Katy (SmithGroup).
UH at Katy
The University of Houston at Katy is scheduled to open this fall (Tellepsen).

The University of Houston College of Nursing today received a transformative $3.5 million donation from HCA Houston Healthcare to benefit faculty, staff and students at the college’s future location in Katy and its current home in Sugar Land.

The donation from one of the region’s leading healthcare systems will fund three areas:

  • $2 million will fund the HCA Houston Healthcare Nursing Faculty Endowment to support the increased number of adjunct or full-time faculty members at HCA-affiliated facilities.
  • $1 million will fund the HCA Houston Healthcare Simulation Center opening at UH at Katy to provide hands-on, real-world clinical training and research using interactive modules. The center will be used to support the educational needs of nursing and healthcare professionals.
  • $500,000 will be earmarked for the HCA Houston Healthcare Endowed Professorship in Undergraduate Studies to fund the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Director and to expand BSN instruction and research.

“HCA Houston Healthcare recognizes the value of investing in the long-term success of our students and in providing quality healthcare in the Houston area,” said Renu Khator, president of the University of Houston. “Impacting the health and wellness of our city is a top priority and this partnership will provide our future healthcare professionals the tools they need to succeed.”

In addition, HCA Houston Healthcare has partnered with the UH College of Medicine to bring an initial 103 new, first-year resident positions as early as 2019 reaching a total of 389 resident positions by 2025, pending federal accreditation of the medical school.

“We are honored to support and be an integral part of UH’s academic trajectory in healthcare,” said Troy Villarreal, HCA Houston Healthcare CEO. “We look at this as a long-term collaboration to develop the most qualified healthcare professionals possible, while providing access to the best care possible.”

As part of HCA Healthcare’s $300 million companywide commitment to workforce development, HCA Houston Healthcare initiated a program that pays the tuition for its eligible nurses to pursue advanced degrees at the University of Houston College of Nursing.

With nearly 7,000 registered nurses, HCA Houston Healthcare is one of the largest employers of nurses in the greater Houston area with nurses holding positions from bedside caregivers in a variety of healthcare settings to leadership positions throughout the organization.

“This partnership is a continuation of HCA Houston Healthcare’s focus on nurses and nursing excellence, which has resulted in a positive impact on clinical outcomes, patient experience, efficiency of care, and nurse engagement,” Villarreal adds.

The UH College of Nursing is listed in the top five percent of the nation’s colleges of nursing based on three consecutive years of 100 percent first time pass rates for students taking the national licensure exam. Students taking the Family Nurse Practitioner national certification exam also have earned 100 percent first time pass rates for the last four years. 

“Our investment in the UH College of Nursing is a major step toward ensuring Houston maintains its status as a destination for world-class healthcare,” notes Kelli Nations, chief nursing executive at HCA Houston Healthcare.  “We’re proud to take a leadership role in developing the next generation of nursing professionals as we continue our mission of working to improve more lives in more ways.”

With an employee base of 15,000, HCA Houston Healthcare’s comprehensive network includes 14 hospitals, 9 outpatient surgery centers, 9 freestanding emergency centers and numerous freestanding diagnostic imaging facilities in the greater Houston area.

“We are grateful for the trust and support HCA Houston Healthcare has placed in our program,” said Kathryn Tart, professor and founding dean of the college. “It is an indication of the quality education, quality student and quality healthcare employee that emerges from our college and their partnership will further ensure the quality preparation and success of the next generation of nurses.”

The UH College of Nursing resides at UH at Sugar Land and will expand to the future campus in Katy when it opens this fall. There the college will debut a traditional BSN program, which will accommodate up to 30 students in its first cohort.

“Our college produces highly educated professionals who educate and fearlessly advocate for patients and communities,” Tart said. “They will devote their careers to promoting the health and wellbeing of our society at home and across the globe.”

“This is an exciting step forward for the College of Nursing and another example of the impressive culture of philanthropy that exists at University of Houston. Our generous donors, such as HCA Houston Healthcare, are the lifeblood of our organization and keep student success at the forefront of all we do,” said Eloise Brice, UH System vice chancellor for university advancement and UH vice president for university advancement.