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12 New Part-time Faculty Members Allow Nursing Program Enrollment to Leap 33.3 Percent

August 5, 2015 -- The hiring of 12 new part-time faculty in CNM’s Nursing Program is allowing the school to grow the number of students in the Nursing Program for the Fall Term from 216 to 288 – a 33.3 percent increase.

“This is huge,” said Diane Evans-Prior, Academic Affairs Director of Nursing in CNM’s School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety (HWPS). “The expansion allows us to admit all but 19 students who met the requirements and applied for entry into the program.”

“Enrollment in nursing programs is historically a challenging process,” she added. “It is never a matter of simply adding seats. Finding qualified faculty, especially ones with master’s degrees in nursing, is a national issue.”

Nursing programs in New Mexico are required by state law to have no less than one instructor per eight students in clinical settings.

Evans-Prior said that in the spring, CNM’s Human Resources department helped to fill the Nursing Program’s part-time faculty needs by holding a job fair and recruiting nurses from local patient care settings. The result was the hiring of the new part-time faculty members who made it possible to open additional slots for the nursing students. In the past, it was common that only one in five students applying for the nursing program would be accepted into the program. This fall, over four out of five students successfully registered. The Nursing Programs at both the CNM Main Campus and Rio Rancho Campus are expanding.

“The new instructors are a nice mix of staff nurses and nurse practitioners,” she said. “Some are coming with teaching experience, and all of them are bringing a passion for teaching.”

The enrollment expansion posed new challenges for the Coordinated Program Entry Office. HWPS contracted with a company not affiliated with CNM to run the prospective students through a random number generator.

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Diane Evans-Prior

“We used a lottery so that students would not have to drop classes for a chance at registering,” Evans-Prior said. “That way, these folks would not be adversely impacted by an unsuccessful registration attempt.”

Students were notified last week that they had been selected for the extra slots and the section to which they’ve been assigned.

Evans-Prior noted that CNM’s Nursing Program is recognized for offering competitive faculty salaries, full benefits for part-time faculty and a great work environment. Last year, the publication “Community College Week” ranked CNM’s program 20th among all two-year nursing programs in the country for program size.

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