03:53 PM

Nursing student discovers the power of healing within Education

Student of the Week: Ashlee Villarreal

Surrounded by loved ones fighting illness, Ashlee Villarreal says her motivation to enter the medical field was her family.

Ashlee Villarreal, originally from Mission, Texas is a mom of two and is very determined to finish school, she says. Currently a student at South Texas College, Ashlee is pursuing an associate degree in Nursing. She says the biggest reason for joining the medical field was her mother.

“I know this sounds really horrible, but my whole life I’ve been surrounded by illness. My mom got breast cancer when I was 16, stage three breast cancer, stage three lymphatic cancer. My cousin passed away with a rare form of Leukemia when she was 11,” Ashlee said.

Before starting STC, she gained experience from taking care of her loved ones who were ill. Taking care of her loved ones motivated her that much more to pursue her goal.

“I remember going to the hospital and being interested in what the nurses were doing. Whether it was, seeing how they started an I.V., or seeing how they cleaned a wound, anything just really intrigued me.”

“I am very passionate about what I do because I love helping others,” Ashlee said. “If I can be that light in someone’s day, I will.”

The Associate Degree Nursing Program (ADN) will prepare students with the basic competencies to become safe practitioners in the healthcare field.

Upon successful completion of the Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing, the individual will be able to take the National Council Licensure Examinations for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Once the exam is successfully passed and completed, the individual will become a registered nurse.


“I am very passionate about what I do because I love helping others. If I can be that light in someone’s day, I will.”
Student of the Week Ashlee Villarreal

After Ashlee graduates, her career goal is to become an E.R. nurse. Ashlee says she has worked in different areas of the hospital floor and after having a powerful experience trying to save a life, she knew nursing was the field she wanted to be in.

“When I had my first code blue, meaning the patient came in dead, we were already doing CPR on site, CPR on the way, and then we continued CPR an additional 15 minutes in the hospital.”

“The situation was nerve-wracking and I had the biggest adrenaline rush,” Ashlee said. “Things like that make you look at life differently. It makes me appreciate my own life.”

Ashlee says South Texas College has prepared her for the future.

“The professors teach us how to take exams and deal with everyday life. As far as the healthcare industry, we learn to deal with different circumstances, and how to be professional when dealing with patients. STC has prepared me immensely.”

Ashley has a message for students wanting to accomplish their goals.

“It’s possible, if a mom with two kids can do it, you can do it.”