Temple, TX (FOX 44) — Monday, Temple College celebrated the 50th anniversary of its vocational nursing program.

Current and retired nurses say this program is important to commemorate their work and remind others work is still needed in our area.

Carole Dean is one of five inaugural students who came to celebrate and said it was important to show up.

“To be back here tonight, I wouldn’t have missed it. I knew when I saw that in the paper I was going to come,” said Dean.

Josephine Aviles says she was apart of the program with her sister, and her cousin, Ofelia Rivera.

Aviles says they traveled everyday from Cameron to attend class.

Now retired, Aviles says there’s a need for nurses.

“There’s always a shortage of nursing and people are always going to need somebody to help them,” said Aviles.

Rivera still works in the Baylor Scott & White medical system and has similar thoughts.

“I see it all the time. Like I said, I’ve been there 20 years and there have been so many nurses come and go and we really need them,” said Rivera.

For Temple College’s future plans with its vocational nursing program, Dr. Audra Xenakis says they’re going to continue to prepare nurses to serve.

“In all the different aspects of nursing, whether you are a LVN, RN, ADN, BSN, MSN, or even a DNP, there is a place for us and our community deserves it,” said Dr. Xenakis.

Even with in the idea of advanced technology, Jackie Hawkins says nurses can’t be replaced.

“That touch, that touch, even though we get very technological in everything, we still have that touch of touching people and caring for the whole person, and that’s just what nurses do,” said Hawkins.

Future projects Temple College is working on is a new health science center to better prepare nurses.