Nicole Lopez chose nursing as a career because she wants to help people. And help in the nursing industry is needed now more than ever.
"It just never dawned on me that there would be a shortage of nurses," Lopez said.
Nursing officials at West Texas A&A say it's a critical need.
"The need for nursing services is continuing to grow tremendously as our population ages and as patients just get sicker and sicker," said Dr. Heidi Taylor, WT School of Nursing Dean.
The University hopes to reverse the trend. They are now offering free tuition to incoming freshmen or transfer students with financial need.
"Students with families less than $40,000 of annual income are going to have undergraduate tuition fees completely paid for," said Dan Garcia, Dean of Enrollment at WT.
The Buff Promise Program is available to students of all majors, but the nursing school could see the greatest benefit.
"The Buff Promise will ensure that our talented people out there who are interested in becoming nurses will have that opportunity," Taylor said.
School administrators say it's a well rewarded opportunity.
"As students go into that field, not only will they have the support to pursue their degree, but they will be entering a field that is going to compensate them well," Garcia said.