WT home to military nursing professor

Nancy Turrubiates participates in a 6-mile ruck march with the Army.

Nancy Turrubiates participates in a 6-mile ruck march with the Army.

West Texas A&M University is home to more than 200 student veterans. These students can receive benefits through Veterans Services and can network with other veteran students in the WTAMU Veterans Network, a student organization.

In addition to the many veteran students, WT is home to a military professor, Nancy Turrubiates. Turrubiates is an instructor in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at WT and is an officer and a nurse for the United States Army.

Turrubiates, a Hereford, Texas native, has been a nurse for 21 years. She worked on an Indian reservation in North Dakota for 13 years, caring for the people of the Sioux tribe. She was sworn into the Army in 2008 by the medicine man of the tribe, who was a Korean War veteran.

“That was a real honor for me,” Turrubiates said. “He presented me with an eagle feather, which is a very honorable thing to receive from a Native American tribe.”

Turrubiates started as a first lieutenant and has since been promoted to captain. Her first  job in the military is to be an officer.

“Part of my duties as an officer is to make sure the junior officers, that are a lower ranking than me, are progressing in their career. The other part of that is to help mentor the enlisted individuals,” Turrubiates said.

Her second job is to be a nurse. She was mobilized for three years, and while she was active, she did a case management of medical profiles.

“I worked together with a team of physicians to review medical records of injured soldiers,” Turrubiates said. “These were all reservists that had been called to active duty and were injured, and we reviewed their medical records to assess whether they would be able to stay in the Army.”

Turrubiates is currently attached to a reserve medical unit in Lubbock, and they do drills to get ready for deployment.

“My unit is coming up for deployment in September, so we may get deployed either as a unit or individually to go wherever they need us,” Turrubiates said. “Let’s hope not, because I’m enjoying what I’m doing here…but it’s not if you’re going to go, it’s when.”

WT was named one of the 2014 top military-friendly universities by Military Advanced Education and G.I. Jobs magazine. The magazine produces the “Top Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities Guide” annually to provide pertinent information about academic programs available for prospective military students.

WT’s inclusion in the guide provides information about the many opportunities available for military students. Opportunities that mark WT as military-friendly include scholarships, waivers and exemptions for dependents, tuition assistance, transferability of credits and online degree offerings.

“Veterans have their own G.I. bills that the government provides that pay tuition,” Bonnie Cryer, sophomore Equine Industry and Business major, said. “They still have to pay fees, but it really helps them out.”

Aside from financial benefits, the WTAMU Veterans Network offers veteran students the chance to network with other veteran students. There is also a veterans lounge located in Old Main.

“It is a place where they can go to relax and hang out,” Nune Perez, junior Political Science major, said. Perez is the president of the Veterans Network.

The Veterans Network is currently waiting on a grant approval to improve the veterans lounge. Upon approval, the Network will host an open house at the lounge to showcase what they have.