ENMU receives nursing grant

PNT Staff Report

The New Mexico Higher Education Department has awarded Eastern New Mexico University in Portales $239,000 for the 2007-08 fiscal year for expansion of its nursing program.

Leslie Paternoster, new director of ENMU’s nursing program, says the grant will help Eastern address a critical nursing shortage.

“We are preparing associate degree nurses for the baccalaureate degree which the American Nurses Association has been trying to push for years,” said Paternoster. “We are going to be aggressively recruiting nurses from the eastern side of the state, which is an underserved population.

“We are going to develop and advance collaborative partnerships among two- and four-year institutions, hospitals and other private and public sectors to enhance health care delivery throughout New Mexico.”

Paternoster added that some of the grant money will go toward continuing professional development for faculty.

The Legislature provided additional funds this year to institutions with existing nursing programs to supplement faculty and staff salaries. The funds were awarded primarily to focus on supporting faculty recruitment and retention and student success.