Highlands, Luna Nursing Programs Implement New Partnership

The New Mexico Highlands University RN to BSN Program and the Luna Community College Nursing Program implemented a new educational partnership spring semester 2011 that makes it easier for Luna graduates to continue their nursing education at Highlands.
The articulation and transfer agreement between the two schools initiated an integrated, seamless nursing curriculum along with support services for nursing students.
This fall semester, 24 of the 44 the students enrolled in the Highlands RN to BSN Program are RNs who graduated from the Luna Nursing Program.
“There is a shortage of nurses in Northern New Mexico,” said Susan Williams, who established the RN to BSN Program at Highlands in 2008 and is its director. “An important goal of this agreement between Highlands and Luna is to help keep students in our local community for their nursing education and nursing practice.”
Luna has a long history of educating nurses, beginning in 1970 with a program for licensed practical nurses and adding a program in 1978 for registered nurses.
Susan Grohman joined the Luna faculty in August as the director for Allied Health Sciences, which includes the Nursing Program.
“By working together, we’re trying to make a smooth transition from our Luna associate’s nursing degree program to the BSN program at Highlands,” Grohman said. “This partnership with Highlands helps our Luna nursing students be more knowledgeable about what’s required for the RN to BSN Program.
“It also helps them learn about the opportunities a BSN can open up for them, like nursing management positions and advanced nursing education. The nursing profession is about lifelong learning,” Grohman said.
Grohman added that national studies show a correlation between better patient care and BSN-trained nurses.
“The Luna nursing faculty has been so supportive in encouraging students to continue their nursing education at Highlands,” Williams said. “Working together, our two nursing programs help build strong nursing leaders in Northern New Mexico.”
Williams said an important element of the partnership is advising students at Luna and Highlands, with an emphasis on core requirements and prerequisites for the RN to BSN Program.
Each month, Susan Martin, who coordinates advising and recruitment for the Highlands RN to BSN Program, talks with nursing students at Luna. Her next visit is Nov. 14 from 9:30 a.m. — 12 p.m. in Luna’s Allied Health Sciences Building.
Between them, Williams and Grohman have more than 40 years of experience in nursing and nursing education.
Williams holds her doctorate degree in community nursing education and has taught nursing at the university level for more than 20 years. Grohman has worked for 18 years in nursing and nursing education and holds a master’s degree in nursing with a focus in nursing education.
Most recently, Grohman taught nursing courses at the UNM Valencia campus in Los Lunas.
The two nursing directors are both active members of the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium. They said they exchange information often and explore ways to maximize resources.
Both nursing programs are accredited, Highlands through the National Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and Luna through the National League of Nursing Accreditation, which accredits associate nursing degree programs.
For details about the Highlands RN to BSN Program, contact Martin at 505-426-2116 or smmartin@nmhu.edu Or go online to www.nmhu.edu/nursing.

For details about the Luna Nursing Program, contact Grohman at 505-454-2527 or sgrohman@luna.edu Or go online to www.luna.edu