Mesalands Receives 2 Million Dollar Grant To Support Nursing Faculty

An example of a college’s simulation lab. Photo Courtesy of Shannon Fries RN.

The highly anticipated Nursing Program at Mesalands College has received a 2 million dollar grant towards nursing faculty salaries. At the start of the year, the New Mexico legislature approved 2 bills that would allocate funds for nursing education. One will be used to pay instructors for several years to come, and the other is for the expansion of our Nursing Program. This 700k grant is being used to build state of the art facilities with a skills and simulation lab, located in Building R.

Shannon Fries RN, Director of the Nursing Education Program, spoke about the challenges the state’s health care system faces. “The state of New Mexico has a nursing shortage of approximately 6200 nurses. Most hospitals are running on up to a 50% travel nurse workforce.” The funding of these bills is tied to federal dollars for COVID relief. The pandemic put added pressure on already strained system.

Mesalands College has been approved by The New Mexico Board of Nursing and New Mexico Higher Education Department to launch the program. With only final approvals from the High Learning Commission remaining, we are scheduled to start offering nursing degrees in the near future.

Special thank you to the Director of Nursing, Shannon Fries, and Chief Academic Officer, Joel Kaiser, who worked to secure the funding that will make the new Nursing Program a reality.