July 12, 2016
After reestablishing the Allied Health Program last year, Mesalands Community College is pleased to announce that multiple graduates have secured employment in the health industry and have successfully completed the National Licensing Examination.
In 2014, Mesalands received funding from the Trade Adjustment Assistant Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant as one of the New Mexico State consortium members hosted by Santa Fe Community College, to reestablish the Nursing Assistant Certificate and to expand their Allied Health course offerings, including a certificate in Phlebotomy. The purpose of this grant is to create pathways to train Americans for high-demand jobs in information technology, health care, and advanced manufacturing.
“I’m very excited that many of our graduates of the Allied Health Program have already obtained gainful employment in these high-demand health care fields,” said Natalie Gillard, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Mesalands. “The success of our Allied Health graduates, transitions to our local health care employers, which in turn, provides additional employment opportunities for our students.”
During the 2015-2016 academic year, Mesalands had a total of 40 graduates of the Allied Health Program, with a completion rate of 80 percent.
Jennie Hall, a recent Mesalands graduate, obtained her Nursing Assistant Certificate and Phlebotomy Certificate last year. Hall is the first student from Mesalands to successfully complete the National Licensing Examination through the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
“Health care is a very rewarding field to work in and I am so thankful I could take my Allied Health courses at Mesalands Community College,” Hall said. “The faculty and staff are amazing and everyone at the College has been very helpful and supportive. Last but not least, I have met some wonderful friends.”
Hall currently works at the Presbyterian Medical Services (PMS)-Quay County Family Health Center and at Mis Amigos Family Services, both in Tucumcari. Hall plans to take her New Mexico Nurse Aide Registry Exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant this summer. She also plans on going to nursing school in the fall.
Anastasia Schmitt, another recent graduate of Mesalands, received her Nursing Assistant and Phlebotomy Certificates from Mesalands last year. Prior to graduation, Schmitt worked at the Quail Ridge Assisted Living Center in Tucumcari. Schmitt stated that she had a good support system from the faculty and staff at Mesalands and from her classmates, who made her journey easier.
“My time at Mesalands helped me to fall in love with patient care,” Schmitt said. “This has led me to the decision, that I will become a nurse.”
Schmitt is now living in Michigan and recently accepted a full-time position as a phlebotomist at Mid-Michigan Health. Her starting salary is about $16 an hour.
According to the 2015 New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions Report, nursing assistants could expect an entry wage of $18,790 to an average salary of $22,630 in Eastern New Mexico. For the State of New Mexico, an entry wage of $20,980 to an average salary of $26,790. For phlebotomists, an entry wage of $21,050 to an average salary of $26,650 in Eastern New Mexico. An entry wage of $20,980 to an average salary of $26,790 for the State.
For more information about the Allied Health Program at Mesalands, visit www.mesalands.edu/alliedhealth or call (575) 461-4413, ext. 134.