Portales nurse receives recognition

New Mexico Department of Health registered nurse Carol Morgan of Portales recently received the Excellence in Public Health/Community/School Nursing award from the ITT Technical Institute.

Background: Morgan has been in nursing for 29 years. She said she moved to New Mexico from Michigan due to a nursing shortage here. In Michigan, nurses were being laid off, so she brought herself and her three boys to Fort Sumner.

What made you want to become a nurse? “It has been a lifelong dream since I was 12 years old, and it is definitely something that I love to do.”

Nomination: Morgan was nominated by JoAnn Fuller of the Women, Infants and Children Program in Portales. Fuller said Morgan is always on call for the community, according to a news release from Cooney, Watson & Associates Inc., the company handling publicity for the award. According to the release, she has served as a public health nurse for 14 years, and her two-person clinic usually sees about 1,000 patients a year.

The award: For the nursing awards, more than 184 people were nominated in 20 categories, according to the release.

“Mine was for health, community and public school education,” Morgan said. “I am the public health nurse for Roosevelt County, and this is the only public health office in the county. In the last 15 years, I have been the only nurse. I have had five nurses work for me, but public health doesn’t pay as well as hospitals, so they left to work at the hospital. One retired out of the five.”

Her work: Morgan is a member of the Roosevelt County Health Council, DWI task force and local emergency planning committee. She also provides diabetes teaching and screening at local health fairs, and is a presenter for the Consequences class for youth sentenced in Teen Court, according to the press release.

The Consequences class covers the cause and effects of drugs, alcohol, sex before marriage and sexually transmitted disease.

“A lot of people know me because I try to reach out to the children around here,” Morgan said.