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NMJC Offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing

NMJC Offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing photo 4/17/2014 8:28:15 a.m. - Hobbs, NM.  

It is an exciting time to be a nursing student in Lea County! The registered nursing program at New Mexico Junior College (NMJC) has signed a partnership with the University of New Mexico to provide a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at NMJC. Nursing students who want to pursue their bachelor’s degrees can remain in Hobbs and complete their classes at NMJC. The BSN classes are scheduled to begin in the fall semester of 2014.

Development of this partnership began four years ago when community colleges and universities formed an association called the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC) to create a common statewide curriculum for nursing education that allows students to receive uniform instruction across the state and bachelor’s degrees in their home communities.  Delores Thompson, MSN, RN, CNE, FNP-BC, Director of the Registered Nursing Program at NMJC serves on a seven-member Leadership Council for NMNEC and has been actively involved in development of the common statewide curriculum and the UNM/NMJC BSN partnership. 

Prior to the NMNEC university and community college partnerships, pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs were only offered at four-year universities in Albuquerque and Las Cruces.  Additionally, the programs of study for nursing education differed from school to school making transfer among nursing schools difficult.   Over the next few years, the common statewide curriculum will be implemented by all state-supported nursing education programs allowing students to seamlessly transfer across nursing education programs in New Mexico. NMJC is the first rural community college in the state to implement this program.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez recognized NMNEC in the 2014 State of the State Address for its efforts to create higher quality healthcare in both urban and rural New Mexico.  “We have taken some strong first steps toward creating more jobs in the health care industry, like training and educating more nurses by instituting a common statewide nursing curriculum.  Credits will transfer seamlessly between every college or university, and students can now earn bachelor’s level nursing degrees in their own community. Thank you to the nursing consortium…”

Thompson, Director of the NMJC Nursing Program says, “The conceptual teaching and learning approach of the new NMNEC curriculum is on the "cutting-edge" of national nursing education reform, and we are very proud that the NMJC Nursing Program has been instrumentally involved in the NMNEC initiative and are leading the way for other New Mexico nursing programs."  This instructional approach will be utilized for both the associate's degree and the bachelor's degree programs offered through NMJC.

Sixteen students will be admitted to the BSN partnership program this fall.  The NMJC Nursing Program has received grant funds to support the hiring of two additional nursing professors for the new program. Enrollment volume and faculty staffing for the associate's degree program will not change.  The associate's degree and bachelor's degree programs of study contain numerous common courses allowing students from both programs to attend many of the same courses.

“Up to 100 of the 130 credit hours required for the bachelor's degree may be taken at NMJC tuition prices,” says Thompson, “creating an extremely cost-effective and time-efficient BSN option for local students. Students who go away to college often do not return to their home communities to work.  The availability of BSN education from Hobbs will keep many students in our local communities to eventually join the local nursing workforce.”

For information, contact Delores Thompson: 575-492-2519 or dthompson@nmjc.edu.

For information on the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium: www.nmnec.org

NMJC is a comprehensive community college promoting success through learning.

[Photo attached:  Delores Thompson, Director of the Registered Nursing Program, and Dr. Dennis Atherton, Vice President of Instruction, sign the Memorandum of Understanding with UNM.]

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