Faces of CNM: Amanda Quintana-Flores

Amanda credits CNM with helping her find a new path forward as a nurse. Now she’s excited to give back
November 08, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning to unfold when Amanda Quintana-Flores decided to take a leap of faith and enroll at CNM as a nursing student. It had been 14 years since she graduated from Sandia High School, but after more than a decade of living paycheck to paycheck, Amanda knew it was time for a change. 

“I wanted to serve my community. I already have so many blessings and I felt like I needed to give back,” she says. “My family has always told me I’m really good with kids and taking care of people, so I figured why not try nursing?”

The thought of becoming a nurse made her nervous at first, especially because she had never worked in the healthcare industry before.

“But I just told myself, ‘You know what? They’re going to teach you,’” Amanda says.

Not knowing what to expect, Amanda applied to CNM and began taking prerequisite courses for an associate degree in nursing. It didn’t take long before she found herself being inspired by faculty members like Corrie Andries and Jim Niforatos.

“It’s been almost therapeutic to be around such wise, amazing, skilled people,” she says. 

Since returning to school, Amanda says the amount of guidance and support she has received has been more than she ever could have hoped for.

“I was scared when I started. I didn’t know what I was doing, and people from CNM would reach out to me and ask how I was doing,” she says. 

One of those people was Alba Martinez, an advisor with CNM Connect Services, who encouraged Amanda to apply for the CNM-UNM Dual Degree Program. Amanda was accepted, and now takes classes at both CNM and UNM.

Amanda, who works hard to maintain her high GPA, is also a recipient of the CNM Foundation’s Alfred A. Abbot Scholarship. The scholarship allows her to focus on school without having to worry about how she is going to pay her bills.

“Before I started school I just felt like a lost soul, but now I have a sense of purpose. I have direction in my life,” she says. “I have all these people supporting me and I can’t let them down. It’s not just for me.”

Amanda expects to graduate after the 2023 Spring term with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. From there, she plans to go wherever she is needed the most.

“There are those who are still going out there and helping others,” she says. “I just feel like that’s part of my calling.”

Students can learn more about CNM’s scholarships and find out which ones they qualify for with this simple form.