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Islander Alumna Heather Sherman Leal Recognized as First ROTC Graduate to Earn Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

July 29, 2015

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Army Nurse Captain Heather Sherman Leal, a 2004 ROTC graduate of the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and first member of the ROTC Islander Battalion to graduate with a nursing degree, has earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in Nurse Anesthesia from Northeastern University School of Nursing.

A special ceremony recognizing Leal’s completion of the three-year academic and clinical DNP program was held on June 19 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Her official designation as a DNP and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) means she is qualified to deploy her skills during time of war, civil disorder, natural disaster, and humanitarian missions.

“It is a great honor to have been the first ROTC cadet to graduate from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi nursing program, and a very special opportunity to represent my University in the first U.S. Army doctorate class of CRNAs,” said Leal. “The last 11 years since my ROTC graduation have been very rewarding, and I look forward to utilizing my training to continue serving our soldiers and their families.”

Along with the DNP degree, Leal has been selected for promotion to the grade of Major, and has been assigned to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center near Augusta, Ga.

“My time and education at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi set me up for achieving what I have today,” said Leal. “I am grateful to the nursing and ROTC leaders who invested in my future.”

Leal is married to Islander alumnus Victor Leal. They have two children, Andrew and Andrea.