Las Vegas, N.M. – Jeanie Flood is the new nursing director at New Mexico Highlands University’s online RN-BSN Program.
Flood holds a doctorate in nursing and has more than 15 years of experience in nursing education. Since 2004, she taught on the nursing faculty at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, where she led the RN-BSN Program for eight years and it quadrupled in size. Flood also coordinated the BSN Program.
“The bachelor of science degree in nursing program at Highlands is a path to lifelong learning and opens up many employment opportunities in the nursing profession,” Flood said. “I’m interested in helping the program grow and feel fortunate that new faculty have been added to the team.”
Robert Chavez of the New Mexico State Board of Nursing said the demand for nurses with baccalaureate degrees is growing in New Mexico and nationwide.
“The job outlook is very strong for all nurses in the state,” Chavez said. “Having a BSN is a key factor in advancing a nurse’s career.”
Flood said the online nursing program at Highlands is designed to make it easier for working registered nurses to complete their bachelor’s degrees, giving them the flexibility they need.
“Highlands uses technology tools well – like Zoom, a live-streaming technology, and the Desire to Learn online platform – to help facilitate good communication and learning,” Flood said. “Another strength is an adviser who helps students meet their general education and nursing requirements to achieve graduation. The ease of transferring associate degree credits is another plus.”
She took the helm of the RN-BSN Program Jan. 3. In 2016, the federal National Center for Education Statistics ranked the program 15th in the nation for its combination of accreditation and affordable tuition.
Flood said diversity is one parallel between Highlands and the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
“Both universities have a very diverse student population, which I see as an important strength. These students bring different life and cultural experiences that enrich the learning environment,” Flood said.
Flood earned her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, her M.S. in nursing from the University of Phoenix, and her B.S. in nursing from California State University at Chico.
One of Flood’s primary research interests is breastfeeding support. Her research is widely published in scholarly journals such as Nursing Research and Practice, Nurse Education Today, and Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health.
Flood has extensive nursing experience in California, Oregon and Hawaii including perinatal staff nurse and childbirth educator, home health nurse, homecare services coordinator, medical-surgical nurse, and internationally accredited lactation consultant, among other positions.
She said nursing is a rewarding profession.
“Like many nurses, I was drawn to the profession by a desire to make a tangible difference in people’s lives. Nurses don’t just provide care. They are also advocates and teachers who help their clients reach optimal health,” Flood said.
The Highlands RN-BSN Program is designed for nurses who have earned their nursing associate degree and are registered nurses. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredited the program in 2009. It became fully online in 2012.
The RN-BSN Program at Highlands has grown steadily since it started in 2008 with 16 students, reaching spring semester 2017 enrollment of 119. Fall semester 2015, 57 students earned their BSN while 72 graduated fall semester 2016.
Susan Williams developed the RN-BSN Program at Highlands and directed it until her retirement in December 2016. She will continue to teach as adjunct faculty.
“I was very impressed with how welcoming, friendly and open Susan Williams and the Highlands administration are. It made me excited to work at the university,” Flood said.