|Eunice Rosas at Iguazu Falls, Argentina. The river in the background|
is on the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events
Eunice Rosas, M.S.N., R.N., is a nurse whose philosophy to good healthcare is “keeping the patient and the patient’s family in the middle” while practicing in an ethical and professional manner. She firmly believes that all patient services should be grounded on that principle, and Rosas has dedicated her life to advancing healthcare based on her philosophy.
On September 11, 2001, Rosas had a successful career in retail management. For 27 years, she was employed by B. Dalton Bookseller, Hastings, and other retail companies and had worked her way up the career ladder in various locations in Texas and Oklahoma. The terrorist attacks on the U. S. on that fateful day that has become known simply as 9/11 affected Rosas deeply and was her call to action to do something more with her life.
Rosas grew up in San Angelo and attended Central High School. Her father came from a family of migrant farm workers and dropped out of school when he was in the fourth grade to help in the fields. Her mother is a Mexican immigrant with only a sixth-grade education. In 1982 at the age of 16, Eunice dropped out of high school. She obtained her GED®, and in 1984 when her father passed away, she ran his construction business for a while before obtaining employment with B. Dalton.
Rosas recalled, “When I was almost 40 years old and 09/11 happened, I knew that if I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, I needed an education. So, I enrolled in the sonography program at Midland College. One of the requirements for sonography at the time was that students had to be a certified nurse aide. Once I took those nurse aide classes and did the required clinical rotations, I found that I loved direct patient care. That’s when I decided that nursing—not sonography—was the direction my life needed to take.”
Rosas enrolled in the associate degree nursing program at Midland College, graduated in 2006 and started working as a registered nurse for Midland Memorial Hospital (MMH). During the time she was at MMH, she led an interdisciplinary team to study best practices of patient care at MMH. The information obtained was used to implement an interdisciplinary professional practice model at MMH. As a result, the hospital saw an increase in nurse and patient satisfaction. While she was employed by MMH, Rosas enrolled in Walden University’s online master of nursing program, and in 2011, she received her master’s degree. Through her graduate courses, she became interested in healthcare in other countries, especially South American countries.
Rosas explained, “Many South American countries have excellent universal healthcare, but there is nothing in place to produce health industry employees such as nurses and pharmacists. This causes a huge breakdown in administering effective healthcare. For example, in 1992, Venezuela experienced a cholera outbreak. The resources such as medicine and hospital rooms were available to combat the disease, but there were not enough professionals to administer care. The nurses in Argentina, on the other hand, have created resources to create training opportunities for healthcare workers. They also have public health centers that are led by nurses. The result is that infant mortality has improved drastically.”
Currently, Rosas is living and studying the healthcare system in Argentina while taking online courses from Walden University toward her doctorate degree in nursing care.
“I knew that Argentina would be a good country on which to base my dissertation regarding South American healthcare because it has only been a democracy for 30 years, but the healthcare initiatives have been in place for longer than that” said Rosas. “I have found that Latin American countries continuously evaluate much of the United States’ healthcare system—both the good and the bad. There is tremendous need for nurses in Argentina to have access to knowledge and resources that United States’ nurses have. A nurse in Argentina only earns the U.S. equivalent of $600 per month.”
Rosas continued, “What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with Argentina. It is absolutely beautiful. I live in Mendoza, Argentina, which is at the foothills of the Andes Mountains and is approximately 120 miles northeast of Santiago, Chile. The area is surrounded by lakes, rivers and beautiful vineyards that comprise the surrounding rural communities. The country is breathtaking; however, living here for almost nine months has increased my patriotism for the United States. It is a cliché saying, but not living in the U. S. makes one appreciate our way of life and the things we take for granted.”
Family is important to Rosas, and she said she misses her mother, sister, brother and her eight nieces and nephews. In the true caring spirit that all good nurses seem to possess, Rosas has adopted three dogs since she first moved to Argentina—Oprah, a Yorkie; Bianca, a poodle; and Lali, a Maltese. Rosas is on target to receive her doctorate in a little over a year. Her ultimate goal is to teach nursing theory in an online program while still continuing to travel and study.
Rosas stated, “By learning about nursing best practices throughout the world, I’m hoping that I can apply and teach those ethical and professional practices that will continue to keep the patient and the patient’s family in the middle.”