By Hilary Mayall Jetty

Guiding the Future of Nursing

NLN Taps Dr. Carolyn Montoya for Input on National Policies

 montoya_carolyn-6269-2461-x-3446-3.jpgCarolyn Montoya, PhD, CPNP, associate dean for clinical affairs in The University of New Mexico College of Nursing, has been asked to join the Public Policy Committee of the National League for Nursing.

The organization is a pre-eminent accrediting body for academic nursing, dedicated to excellence in nursing and nursing education. Its membership includes 37,000 individuals and 1,200 institutions.

“I really like being involved in policy changes,” Montoya said, “but it’s not for people who want things done quickly. You move the needle by educating and knowing your facts, as well as telling the stories of the people – and nurses really know the stories of the people they work with.”

Stories about nursing were what first propelled Montoya toward her career in nursing. As soon as she discovered the public library in her native Belen, N.M., the “Cherry Ames” series of books captivated her.

“The first of these books were written around World War II to inspire young women to go into nursing,” Montoya recalled. “I read all of them by the time I was in junior high.” Cherry Ames’ adventures serving as a nurse in dozens of different roles provided Montoya’s first glimpse into a wealth of career possibilities.

In 1976 she completed her bachelor of science in nursing at UNM. Montoya received her PhD in health policy as a Robert Wood Johnson Nursing and Health Policy Fellow from the College of Nursing in 2013.  A pediatric nurse practitioner and respected nursing educator, she has lent her voice and expertise to the development and support of a wide range of policy issues.

Montoya is a tireless advocate for nursing education, children’s health and access to health care in rural and underserved communities whose influence has been recognized in New Mexico and nationally. One of her favorite experiences was serving on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Rural Health Advisory Committee.

Expanding and strengthening the scope of practice for advanced practice nurses has always been Montoya’s passion. She has served as president of three organizations: the New Mexico Nurse Practitioner Council, the American College of Nurse Practitioners and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and was selected as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Nurses.

“Dr. Montoya’s background and education make her a perfect fit for the NLN Public Policy Committee,” said Christine E. Kasper, PhD, RN, dean of the College of Nursing. “As a trailblazer for nurses, I know she will continue to shape policy issues that are facing the nursing profession today.”

New policy priorities are being set at the NLN, but Montoya has a sense of what may emerge.

“There is the safety of the nurse in hospital settings, given COVID and the lack of appropriate PPE,” she said. “The NLN will also weigh in whenever there are health bills going forward with anything that impacts nursing education funding or access.”

Categories: College of Nursing, Education