An Important Message Regarding The Nursing Program
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
August 15, 2012
To our valued students and community members:
Recently, Doña Ana Community College received notification from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. (NLNAC) related to the final outcome of their April 2012 site visit to our nursing program. At this time, the NLNAC has withdrawn their accreditation from our program.
While we have made a regular effort over the past few months to keep our students informed about the conditional nature of our accreditation, we were hopeful that during the NLNAC’s site visit our program would receive approval for continued accreditation.
We are disappointed about this decision, and because of the confidence we have in our faculty, the program curriculum, resources and outcomes, we are taking steps toward accreditation. Our plan is to submit our candidacy information form immediately. It will then be reviewed to determine eligibility of the program. Students and the public will be informed as soon as we have confirmation of our candidacy status.
Let me personally reassure you that our nursing program has been accredited by the NLNAC from April 1997 through July 30, 2012, thus, any student attending our program or graduating from our program during this timeframe can confidently apply for employment opportunities or seek to further their nursing education because of their association from an accredited program.
We want you to know that the doors to DACC and our nursing program remain open for business. Currently, we have 109 students enrolled in our nursing program with six approved, full-time master’s level faculty positions plus one full-time program director. The New Mexico House Joint Memorial 40 white paper recommends a full-time faculty-to-student ratio of 1:9.7. Thus, we are actively recruiting master’s level nurses who wish to teach.
While program accreditation is optional, we seek accreditation for the benefit of our students and to demonstrate our program meets a nationally recognized standard versus a standard set solely by the state board. Of the 21 associate degree nursing programs approved by the New Mexico State Board of Nursing (NMBON), only 11 are accredited by the NLNAC, the only accrediting body available nationwide to community college programs.
Our nursing program is one of the most sought-after certification programs available at DACC. In fact, over the past three years, the pass rates of students within our program have met or exceeded the standards set forth by the NMBON and NLNAC. NMBON requires an 80 percent pass rate, while the NLNAC requires an 88 percent pass rate. The December 2011 graduating class had a pass rate of 100 percent. Data from our May 2012 graduates is not yet available, but historically our students have performed well on these exams and have continued their education by completing their education at a BSN program. Additionally, job placement of students in our program has been 100 percent for the past four years, exceeding the 70 percent placement rate for nursing graduates across the state.
Our administration remains firmly committed to our faculty leadership, our program, our students and our community.
We look forward to sharing with you the outcome of our candidacy as news becomes available. Should you have any questions, please call our nursing department at (575) 527-7735.
Dr. Margie Huerta