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The Innocence Project of Texas is part of a national program that uses newly discovered evidence (primarily DNA) to exonerate people behind bars who have been wrongly convicted of crimes. With the help of students from UT Arlington, more prisoners have been exonerated in Dallas County than in any other county in the nation. Under the supervision of Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice Dr. John Stickels, some 40–60 students are participating in the project at any given time, many of them criminology/criminal justice majors who earn course credits for their roles in attempting to win freedom for the wrongly convicted.

In Shadow of a Doubt we explored how law students on another campus, the University of Houston, research applications to help determine which cases the Innocence Project takes on, and how those cases are then argued in court. The project, in the words of Stickels, “…applies through practice what they’re learning in the classroom.”

In an article concerning the shortage of nurses in Texas, The Monitor in McAllen quotes the chairman of the Texas Nursing Workforce Shortage Coalition and the president and chief executive officer of the Texas Hospital Association, Dan Stultz:

“Demand for full-time registered nurses in Texas in 2008 exceeded supply by 22,000 and, without major increases in funding for nurse education, this gap will widen to 70,000 by 2020 as the state’s rapidly growing population ages and as older nurses retire or reduce the hours they work.”

The quality of our hospitals and healthcare depends on the quality — and quantity — of our healthcare workforce. Shortage of Nurses follows nursing students at two innovative programs designed to accelerate graduation and address the critical need for more healthcare professionals in our state.