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By Chris Ramirez

UNM College of Nursing Dean Appointed

After the completion of a national search, Rosario Medina, PhD, FNP-BC, ACNP, CNS, FAANP, FAAN has accepted the opportunity to serve as the next dean of The University of New Mexico College of Nursing, beginning in her role on June 3, 2024. 

Medina brings to UNM more than 43 years of active nursing experience and decades of academic leadership. Her leadership history has been focused on building practice capacity that increases access to underserved populations, building academic programs to prepare a highly diverse workforce, and providing evidence-based clinical environments for student experience and research.

She is currently the Associate Dean of Clinical and Community Affairs at the University of Colorado- Anschutz College of Nursing in Aurora, Colorado, where she has the executive oversight of more than 140 faculty and staff in multiple faculty-managed clinical enterprises serving the Denver metro and rural Colorado.  They include five midwifery practices, a campus community primary clinic, three integrative Federally Funded Health Centers, and two pediatric primary care clinics all focused on caring for underserved populations.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Medina is joining the UNM team.  Her vast clinical executive leadership experience and dedication to serving diverse rural and underserved populations will help all of New Mexico. She has also strengthened pathway programs in the community to build diverse nursing workforces. She is a wonderful fit for New Mexico,” said Doug Ziedonis, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President of UNM Health Sciences & CEO of the UNM Health System.  “As a nursing leader in our state, we will rely on Dr. Medina to help grow our state’s nursing workforce, expand nursing led clinical programs, and assure the highest quality and most innovative training programs for our nursing students as well as offering continuing learning experiences for all nurses in New Mexico.”

Medina has served as an educational leader in a variety of roles at the University of Colorado.  They include Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the Graduate Programs, Assistant Dean for Graduate Nursing where she was responsible for 15 master’s programs, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Affairs, and as the Director of the Doctor of Nursing Program.  Medina also promoted pathway programs into nursing and served as a mentor to aspiring nurses.

Medina’s 25 years as a Family Nurse Practitioner and researcher has helped her become an expert in understanding underserved populations and knowledgeable in community-based research aimed at changing practice to positively influence health care outcomes in underrepresented populations.  Her research focuses on the health beliefs, values and needs of the underserved Hispanic population, specifically in screening and prevention of chronic diseases, medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorders in Colorado’s underserved frontier and rural counties, and the impact of shifting to tele-health during COVID.    

Much of Medina’s clinical, research, teaching, and publication activities have focused on improving health and health equity outcomes and addressing social determinants of health for Hispanic women and other underserved populations, including rural communities.  She was recently honored as a leader for her efforts to diversify the nursing workforce by developing curriculum aimed at caring for underrepresented populations and developing policies that diversify the academic and practice nursing workforce.
Rosario Medina
It’s important I immerse myself in all that New Mexico offers. To truly be effective in this role, I must have the humility to accept that there is so much for me to learn.  Ultimately, in addition to graduating well prepared nurses, I want to be sure our nurses are empathic, compassionate, and reflective of New Mexico’s diverse communities.
Rosario Medina, PhD, FNP-BC, ACNP, CNS, FAANP, FAAN, UNM College of Nursing Dean

Medina grew up in the Bronx in a Puerto Rican household where Medina said her parents instilled the value of education.  Medina said she anchors herself in family, which includes her two adult children. 

“I would also like to take this time to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Carolyn Montoya, who has been serving as interim dean,” Ziedonis said.  “Under Dr. Montoya’s leadership, the College of Nursing has recruited excellent faculty and staff, graduated a record number of nurses, sustained financial stability, and has helped shape New Mexico’s health care workforce in a positive trajectory.”

The UNM College of Nursing Dean Search Committee was led by Patricia Finn, MD, UNM School of Medicine Dean and assisted by Korn Ferry, a national firm specializing in talent acquisition and executive searches.
Categories: College of Nursing, Top Stories