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By Marlena Bermel

UNM College of Nursing Awarded $1.6 Million in Scholarships

New Mexico's health care system is facing a critical shortage of health care professionals. In response, lawmakers, universities, and colleges throughout the state are collaborating to address this issue and produce more skilled nurses and nurse practitioners. Bolstering this effort is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM).

BCBSNM is awarding a $1.6 million gift to The University of New Mexico College of Nursing. This gift will be used to provide scholarships for Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science (ABSN) students and advanced practice Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students, in addition to establishing an endowed faculty professorship.

Nancy Smith-Leslie
It’s important to invest in our workforce of health care professionals, including nurses and nurse practitioners. A well-trained workforce is essential to expanding access to care and improving quality of care in our state.
Nancy Smith-Leslie, Vice President of Medicaid, BCBSNM

"These dedicated students are returning to school to pursue their degrees and contribute to their communities. They represent the future of our state. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico for their commitment to investing in our nurses and nurse practitioners. Undoubtedly, this support will greatly benefit the health of all New Mexicans," expressed Carolyn Montoya, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN, FAANP, interim dean and professor.

Both ABSN and DNP students have already earned their degrees and are returning to either embark on a second career in nursing or transition from registered nurses to nurse practitioners or nurse-midwives with independent full-scope practice, including full prescriptive authority in New Mexico. Therefore, they not only carry existing student debt but may also be ineligible for traditional grants and loans. The funding provided by BCBSNM will alleviate the financial burdens associated with returning to school and will open doors for students who may not have previously considered pursuing an additional degree to serve the people of New Mexico.

In addition to the shortage of health care workers, there is also a deficit of nursing faculty. The UNM College of Nursing seeks to employ experts in the field to educate the next generation of nurses effectively. BCBSNM's contribution to establish a faculty endowment will enhance efforts to recruit and retain faculty specializing in midwifery, perinatal health, maternal-child health, and women's health.

"It’s important to invest in our workforce of health care professionals, including nurses and nurse practitioners,” said Nancy Smith-Leslie, Vice President of Medicaid at BCBSNM. “A well-trained workforce is essential to expanding access to care and improving quality of care in our state.”

UNM College of Nursing

 

If you have a bachelor's degree and are interested in returning to school to become a nurse, apply to the UNM College of Nursing’s Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science program by March 15th.

Applications for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program close on January 15th and re-open on August 15th.

Apply Now!

Categories: College of Nursing, Top Stories