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State Nursing Education Coalition Assesses Progress

On Sept. 30, the New Mexico Nursing Education Coalition (NMNEC) held a conference in Albuquerque, hosted by the School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety (HWPS) at the CNM Workforce Training Center. The organization is involved in a cooperative effort including representatives from government, healthcare providers and New Mexico's 17 universities and community colleges that offer nursing programs to reorganize and standardize nursing curriculum across the state.

Aug 31, 2016

October 2011

NMNEC Conference 1
On Sept. 30, the New Mexico Nursing Education Coalition (NMNEC) held a conference in Albuquerque, hosted by the School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety (HWPS) at the CNM Workforce Training Center. The organization is involved in a cooperative effort including representatives from government, healthcare providers and New Mexico's 17 universities and community colleges that offer nursing programs to reorganize and standardize nursing curriculum across the state.

The coalition effort, mandated by the New Mexico State Legislature in 2010, has been proceeding for approximately a year. Dr. Elizabeth Berrey, executive director of nursing programs at CNM, says the latest meeting was designed for members to share the progress made so far and marshal their efforts to complete the plan so it will go into effect as scheduled in 2013. Dr. Berrey opened the meeting with introductory remarks, and CNM President Kathie Winograd and HWPS Dean Nicholas Spezza were on hand to welcome the coalition members.

NMNEC Conference 2
One of NMNEC's major goals is to allow all nursing programs to teach from a common curriculum, enabling students who need to move within the state to transfer to another institution without interrupting their education or losing credits. This is also expected to help alleviate the shortage of nurses in rural areas by allowing students to go to school near the communities where they live.

Another goal is to establish three-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs at community colleges; this will greatly expand the number of schools offering BSN programs, beyond just those at the university level. Students would also have the option to graduate after two years with an associate's degree. Current trends predict an increasing demand for nurses with bachelor's degrees. This increases graduates' qualifications and will also multiply the number of nurses eligible to teach, addressing the critical shortage of nursing educators limiting the number of students the educational system can accommodate.

NMNEC Conference 3
A third benefit of standardizing curriculum will allow nursing faculty members to collaborate more effectively and even teach at more than one institution. Core class instruction will be able to be delivered by distance learning. These measures will increase both the quality of instruction and the capability to teach more students, while saving money from educational budgets under fiscal pressure.

Nationwide, New Mexico is near the bottom of the 50 states in the number of nurses per 100,000 population. The progress made by NMNEC, including contributions from CNM administrators and faculty members, should help improve the situation.