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NMSU report outlines steps toward reaccreditation of DACC nursing program

A New Mexico State University commission's report summarizes steps to be taken to begin the process of regaining accreditation for the Dona Ana Community College nursing program.

The Commission on Nursing Accreditation Oversight, led by College of Education Dean Michael Morehead, provides a thorough summary of the situation last year that led to the loss of National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission accreditation for the DACC nursing program.

"The committee, which included both internal and external reviewers, developed strong recommendations concerning institutional accreditation processes," said NMSU Interim President Manuel T. Pacheco.

Actions based on the recommendations include:

Roberta Derlin, associate provost for accreditation, outcomes assessment and program review, will be responsible for developing a system-wide approach to monitor accreditation status and preparation.
Two full-time master of science in nursing credentialed faculty members have been hired for the DACC nursing program.
To help build faculty stability and retention in the nursing program, DACC has implemented a compensation plan for nursing faculty that includes sign on bonuses, retention bonuses and market competitive salaries.
Efforts to streamline all NMSU faculty hiring are also under way. NMSU's Human Resource Services is currently implementing a new recruitment and hiring system for faculty, which will simplify the process. Also, Interim Provost Jay Jordan and Senior Vice President Angela Throneberry have initiated steps to expedite the process and they have determined it is no longer necessary for faculty hires to be approved by the Provost's Office. This will help departments to proceed in a more timely manner.
The university will implement the recommendation to form a "system-wide" Nursing Council to provide oversight and coordination for the nursing programs.

Pacheco thanked the many people at NMSU who went above and beyond in helping address the situation.

"Dean Michael Morehead provided valuable leadership. Interim Provost Jay Jordan moved with dispatch to implement organizational changes at the Las Cruces campus that will address several of the issues raised," Pacheco said. "DACC President Margie Huerta, DACC Health and Public Services Dean Evelyn Hobbs and Nursing Program Director Tracy Lopez worked collaboratively with the committee."

DACC President Margie Huerta praised the work of the commission members.

"The commission's report offered a very thorough review, and we recognize all the effort put forth through their recommendations," Huerta said. "Many items in the report were also recommendations by the NLNAC, and these items have already been addressed or are in the process of being addressed. The commission's findings indicate DACC is on the right track with how we are best benefitting the students and the program. We appreciate all the hard work and time put forth by community members who served on the commission. This level of dedication demonstrates a strong commitment to our students, the program and our community partnerships."

The commission's report can now be viewed at www.nmsu.edu/president/ under Presidential Reports.