July 17, 2006

Contacts: Lauren Cruse, UNM HSC (505) 272-3690 or cell 220-1093

Susan Wilson, Lovelace Health System (505) 727-4440 or cell 980-4589

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Albuquerque, N.M. - Lovelace Health System (LHS) and the University of New Mexico College of Nursing (UNM CON) are teaming up to increase the number of nurses educated and working in hospitals around the state. Lovelace will fund three nurse instructors for the next two years to provide clinical instruction for UNM nursing students in LHS hospitals and medical group sites in fulfillment of their clinical rotation training. Lovelace is also donating $20,000 to the UNM CON for faculty education.

The master clinicians who are chosen to instruct nursing students will have a Master of Science degree in nursing and will be eligible to become Adjunct Faculty at the CON. Up to 24 students a semester will be provided clinical instruction by these nurses.

"This partnership between Lovelace and the University is a win-win situation for all of us," said Ron Stern, CEO of Lovelace Health System. "This allows UNM College of Nursing to increase its student capacity, providing a new generation of much needed RNs for our state's hospitals as well as providing our system the opportunity to show nurses what Lovelace has to offer."

"UNM, like many other Nursing Schools across the country, faces faculty shortfalls which limit student capacity at a time when the need for highly trained nurses is at an all time high," said College of Nursing Dean Sandra Ferketich. "This collaboration between Lovelace and UNM is really an enterprising solution to this critical problem and will allow us to accept more qualified applicants and put educated nurses in the field. Lovelace's generous donation will also provide additional funds for faculty education in critically needed areas such as gerontology. We need more nurses to make sure our patients receive the care they deserve and expect."

Lovelace will hire and donate the time of three master clinicians to partner in baccalaureate nursing education through the use of the Master Teacher/Master Clinician (MT/MC) model. The MT/MC model incorporates a CON faculty member (Master Teacher), who is the teaching and curriculum liaison for the master's prepared hospital clinician (Master Clinician), who has the primary responsibility for teaching a group of clinical nursing students.

This model was first developed as a creative pilot to initiate a collaborative partnership for the education of nursing students between the UNM CON and the University of New Mexico Hospitals (UNMH). The model serves many purposes. First, when agencies collaborate, the student has the advantage of a seasoned outstanding faculty/clinician team as their educators. The benefits to students are the most current clinical learning in the "real world" and the assurance that clinical learning is an extension of the College's theoretical learning in the classroom, the accreditation standards and the learning and practice outcomes of its nationally ranked nursing program.

In addition, it brings faculty members' and clinicians' best thinking to bear on the current needs for nursing education. The program strengthens the college's interaction with the health care community and allows the college to place students in a variety of health related environments. The College of Nursing is working to enhance partnerships with clinical agencies which assist in preparing new BSN graduates.