Contact: Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253
PORTALES – Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) in Portales has been approved by the State of New Mexico to begin a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with an emphasis in Nursing Education. The 36-credit-hour online program will begin in the spring of 2013.
ENMU began working on the new degree after a two-year involvement in the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC). NMNEC is implementing a statewide concept-based curriculum to increase the number of New Mexico nurses at the BSN level. Another intended result is to increase the number of qualified nursing instructors in New Mexico to provide for the future educational needs of New Mexico's nursing workforce.
"This will be accomplished by establishing partnerships between local community colleges and their universities that will result in the availability of a baccalaureate-level curriculum in these communities," said Leslie Paternoster, director of ENMU's nursing program. "Having a master's degree in nursing education will allow nurses to work in the education field of nursing. Nurses who have a MSN can teach in both associate and baccalaureate degree programs. MSN-prepared nurses can also move up into management position in care facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes and clinics."
ENMU faculty began work on the proposal for the MSN program in November 2011. The program proposal received letters of support from all New Mexico universities and a large percentage of the state community colleges.
"There is an expected shortage of nursing instructors at institutions of higher education in New Mexico by 2020, and we are already seeing this shortage. In order for more nurses to be produced to help with the projected nursing shortage, more faculty need to be developed to educate them," said Paternoster.
The University of New Mexico is the only other school in New Mexico that offers a master's in nursing education.
"With the expected shortage of nurses, we felt that ENMU could offer this degree to help staff the nursing programs in the state," said Paternoster. "The nursing faculty at ENMU value the MSN in nursing education as we are part of the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium and feel it is our role to help the other nursing programs in the state to fill their faculty needs. Offering this degree will allow New Mexico nurses an education setting that is in New Mexico. A lot of nurses on the east side of the state go to Texas institutions to obtain their MSN degree."
According to Paternoster, ENMU will accept 15 students in the spring of 2013, and will offer two classes a semester in the spring, summer and fall.
For more information, call 575.562.2403.