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Las Cruces Bulletin
“We’re back in business,” New Mexico State University President Garrey Carruthers said Wednesday Aug. 5. Carruthers joined Doña Ana Community College President Renay Scott at a news conference to announce DACC’s associate nursing program has received initial national accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
DACC’s program lost accreditation in 2012.
“This is a banner day for New Mexico State University-Doña Ana,” Carruthers said. Getting the program re-accredited was one of the major challenges for Scott when she became DACC president in June 2014.
Scott said the accreditation means the 11 students who graduated from the program in May have graduated from a nationally accredited program. She said there are currently 42 students in the program.
“This accreditation will increase the number of nurses we have in classes and will help to alleviate the critical shortage of nurses in Doña Ana County,” Scott said in a DACC news release.
Scott received a letter from ACEN July 29 announcing the initial accreditation. The next evaluation visit will be in the spring of 2020, said ACEN Chief Executive Officer Marsal P. Stoll.
“Dr. Scott has done a wonderful job,” Carruthers said. He said business owners are “very excited about having an ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) program in our community,” he said.
Scott said the accreditation will help NMSU and DACC with “rounding out the team” as the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine completes construction on the NMSU campus and opens in August 2016. It will help “bring each of the parts together,” she said, and will allow nurses to become doctors.
Scott said DACC has a monitoring program in place for all its accredited programs to ensure accreditation is maintained. The monitoring, she said, will “alert us to struggles they are having” so we can “deal with them right away.”
“All the nursing programs in the system meet on a regular basis. We share resources and we share best practices,” Scott said.
With support from the New Mexico Legislature, Scott said DACC is able to pay its nurse educators and administrators competitive salaries to keep them in the teaching field. “We also think we are a really good place to work,” she said.
DACC Nursing Program Director Tracy Lopez expressed her thanks to the faculty, staff and students at DACC and in the nursing program specifically for their hard work and “phenomenal support.”
Also attending the news conference were NMSU Provost Dan Howard; NMSU Board of Regents members Jerean Hutchison and Amanda Lopez Askin (student regent); Janet Green, who is special advisor to the board of regents president; and DACC Advisory Council member Paul Dulin.