Scholarships from NMSU Could Help DACC Nursing Students
August 28th, 2012
By Jacqueline Foster, Editor
New Mexico State University has offered to extend scholarships to the many nursing students at Dona Ana Community College whose future nursing career is now uncertain due to the college’s nursing program recently being denied accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News. As the offer currently stands, students transferring into NMSU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program from DACC’s associate degree nursing program can have the cost of their tuition and fees continually covered, provided that the student continues to earn a 3.0 grade point average, the article explained.
The scholarship offer is one solution that has arisen to meet the needs of the approximately 100 nursing students who learned this summer that the nursing program they were enrolled in no longer held specialized accreditation by NLNAC. While the loss of the nursing program’s accreditation would not prohibit graduates of the program from taking exams for nursing licensure upon graduation, it could make it more difficult to obtain work, as some employers require or prefer to hire nurses who have graduated from accredited programs.
While NMSU’s scholarship offer is an excellent solution for many students who might otherwise be left in the lurch, others may not be able to benefit. For instance, DACC’s nursing program was apparently geared more toward the working adult, and offered more flexible scheduling. Some students have said they would find it difficult to attend a nursing program at a four-year college full-time while working and raising children, which is why they chose a community college in the first place, the article indicated. Others who were close to graduation at DACC would have to push back their graduation date if they transferred to NMSU since the bachelor’s program requires specific prerequisites. Even so, NMSU’s nursing department has been fielding questions from DACC nursing students left and right concerning transfers, the article noted, indicating many students have a strong interest in a potential transfer.
NMSU’s scholarship offer is the latest development in the story of DACC’s loss of nursing accreditation, which took place earlier this month. The reason given for the loss of accreditation was lack of adequate nursing faculty for the associate degree in nursing program. DACC has said that it would strive to regain nursing accreditation at the school, but it is uncertain how long that process will take or the impact on students who choose to graduate from the program in the interim.