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New Mexico State University

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MountainView Regional Medical Center partners with New Mexico State University

MountainView Regional Medical Center has partnered with New Mexico State University's Department of Nursing and the Dona Ana Branch Community College (DABCC) Nursing Program to establish an on-site Learning Lab for students in the new hospital.


06-square-foot conference center on the third floor of the hospital is valued at approximately $200,000 and has been dedicated as an instructional room for nursing and health-related subjects. The room will be used for conferences before and after clinical experiences as well as other nursing activities.

Students from New Mexico State and DABCC will start using MountainView as a clinical learning site in January, said Karen Hempstead, MountainView director of education.

"To master increasingly complex skills for effective patient care, both theoretical and clinical site-based learning is essential for nursing students," said Mary Hoke, head of the university's nursing department. "Clinical site-based learning enhances and adds relevance to theoretical knowledge."

"This was a need expressed to us by the university's nursing department," said Suzanne Quillen, MountainView marketing director. "This is really their classroom. Any other uses will be second to the needs of the nursing education programs."

In 2001 and 2002, MountainView also provided $80,000 in student aid to support nursing students at the university and branch. The financial aid is provided to nurses who are willing to commit to working at MountainView after graduation.

"This unique program provides an incentive for nursing students to remain in the Las Cruces community, which helps dampen the effect of the nursing shortage in our area," said Mike McDonald, development officer for the College of Health and Social Services.

"We wanted to help keep the best and the brightest in Las Cruces," Quillen said.

Hempstead said more than 10 recent graduates of the university and branch programs have gone to work for the hospital since August. The financial aid program will continue on an annual basis.

The New Mexico State Department of Nursing has about 30 students graduate each semester with Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees. The department has 15 full-time faculty and additional part-time faculty.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree plan includes two options to accommodate either the beginning nursing student who, after graduation, is eligible to take the examination for licensure as a registered nurse, or the returning nurse who wishes to complete a BSN. New Mexico State also offers a Master of Science in Nursing degree and Post-Masters Certificates.

DABCC's Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Program launched in the fall 1994 and graduates about 30 students each year. The community college's ADN program provides entry-level training and serves as a preparation for the licensure for registered nurses.

Julie M. Hughes
Nov. 14, 2002