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Nursing Professor Earns CNE

Nursing Professor Earns CNE photo
Lorraine Hannah looks at a textbook in her office as she talks about teaching student nurses at New Mexico Junior College.

2/3/2017 2:27:24 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. [Story by Dorothy Fowler, Hobbs News Sun]

Lorraine Hannah, BSN, MSN, can now add the initials CNE to the sign on her office door.

Hannah, who was a critical care nurse for 24 years at Lea Regional Hospital before going to New Mexico Junior College as a teacher, knew she had the academic credentials and the experience to become a professor of nursing at the NMJC, but she wanted to know more about how to teach students.

“I didn’t know some of the things teachers need to know,” she said. “And so I began to study so I could become a more effective teacher.”

Hannah, a native of Canada, has lived in the United States and practiced her profession here since 1983.

“I earned a nursing certificate in Canada,” she said. “And I went back to school and earned both my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree in nursing at the University of New Mexico. I have a certificate in critical care nursing.”

Critical care nursing usually takes place in the intensive care unit of a hospital. The nurses who attend patients there attend a limited number of patients because, as the name implies, the patients’ conditions are critical. Good nursing care can and often does make the difference between living and dying.

“I loved critical care,” Hannah said. “It’s a place where you make a big difference.”

While she was at the hospital, she also taught classes. Those classes included technicians as well as nurses who needed to know more about handling cardiac patients and CPR classes that were sometimes open to the public.

“I really enjoyed teaching at the hospital,” she said. “Coming to the junior college was always on my bucket list and when this position opened up, I came.”

Hannah, who teaches second year nursing students, said she began her nurse education studies because she wanted to learn how to help students learn.

“I wanted to know how to make them want to learn and how to present material in a way that would help them remember it and know how to use it,” she said.

Although nursing studies still involve having students accumulate vast quantities of information, there is an equal emphasis on how to use that data to take care of patients, Hannah said.

“The CNE curriculum helps you learn how to get from the data to patient care. For example, we have a unit on diabetes. Students get a lot of information about diabetes. One day they come in and they find our high fidelity mannequin in a diabetic crisis and they have to apply what they’ve learned to save that mannequin’s life. They draw blood and get it to the lab, they call the doctor to get orders and they follow the orders,” Hannah said. “They might go through their whole clinical experience at the hospital and never see anthing like that, but we can provide that experience right here. We can set up situations where a student gets to apply both knowledge and skills.”

Information from the National League of Nursing says that the goals of CNE certification include “distinguishing academic nursing education as a specialty area of practice and an advanced practice role with the profession of nursing; recognizing the academic nurse educator’s specialized knowledge, skills and abilities and excellence in practice; strengthening the use of core competencies of nurse educator practice; and contributing to nurse educators’ professional development.”

Hannah agrees with all those goals, but “the real reason I wanted the certification was to help students learn what they need to know to take care of patients.”

Dorothy N. Fowler can be reached at 575-391-5446 or

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