ADN Faculty & Staff

Ellen Trabka

Ellen pic[1]Ellen Trabka, MSN, RN
Chair, Nursing and Health Sciences
Associate Professor of Nursing
(505) 747-2209

Ms. Trabka is an Associate Professor of Nursing as well as Chair of the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences at Northern New Mexico College. Her area of nursing expertise is in community health, emergency nursing, and burn care nursing.

Ms. Trabka trained at the University of Michigan and University of Massachusetts, Lowell and has worked extensively in a variety of critical care settings, emergency departments, and community clinical settings both as a nurse practitioner and staff nurse. She maintains her clinical expertise through active involvement in professional conferences, committees, and workshops. Her clinical interests are holistic health and wellness, holistic nutrition, and integrative healthcare.

Ms. Trabka is the Chief Nursing Administrator for the RN to BSN Program. She has 18 years of experience in nursing education and administrative experience as a nursing department chair or dean. She currently teaches in the RN to BSN Program at NNMC.

BSN, University of Michigan
MSN, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Certificate Online Teaching and Learning, Central New Mexico Community College

Areas of Clinical Expertise
Community Health Nursing
Emergency Nursing
Burn Care

Mental Health Nursing
Nursing Fundamentals
Community and Global Health

Jessica Archuleta

Jessica Archuleta
Department of Nursing and Health Sciences
Administrative Assistant
(505) 747-2207

Jessica Archuleta is the Administrative Assistant for the Department of Nursing & Health Sciences. She offers day to day administrative support to the department faculty, & staff, and students.  Jessica is a full time student who recently received an Associate Degree in Business Administration. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Project Management.


Ken Armstong

Dr. Ken Armstrong 160x160Dr. Ken Armstong, DNP, MS, RN, CNE, CNOR
ADN Program Director
(505) 747-2202

Dr. Armstrong is an Associate Professor of Nursing and the Director for the Associate Degree in Nursing Program at Northern New Mexico College. Armstrong graduated with distinction from Capella University earning a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. He received his Master of Science Degree and Post Graduate Teaching Certificate from the University of Maryland Baltimore. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Villa Julie College in Stevenson, Maryland and graduated with an Associate of Applied Science from El Centro College in Dallas, Texas. Armstrong was Associate Professor of Nursing at Prince George’s Community College, taught in the BSN program for Howard University Nursing School, and served as the Practical Nurse Program Director at Anne Arundel Community College.

He is an experienced nurse educator with over 10 years of teaching both full-time and part-time at the LPN, ADN, and BSN levels. Dr. Armstrong has several years of administrative experience as well, having served as a charge nurse, operating room manager, and home health manager. He has experience with nursing program curriculum development, program evaluation, learning outcomes assessment, accreditation activities, and simulation. Armstrong is active in numerous state and national nursing organizations. He is involved with and attends local, state, and national conferences.

Armstrong was a presenter at the Second International Conference on Nursing Science and Practice in London, England. While serving as the Outreach Director for a non-profit dance organization in Dallas, Armstrong worked with the Dallas Independent School District. Dr. Armstrong has volunteered for Annapolis Pride in Maryland, Capital Pride in Washington, DC, and is a faculty sponsor for the Gay Straight Alliance at Northern New Mexico College.

Sarah Bogar

IMG_5052_Sara Bogar_v2Sarah Bogar, MSN, CNM, RN
Assistant Professor

Ms. Bogar is a certified nurse midwife (CNM) who is passionate about women's health. She loves working with women and their families.  Ms. Bogar has experience working in high risk antepartum, newborn nursery, labor and delivery, and mother/baby units. She worked at UNM hospital in Albuquerque for 4 1/2 years, and at Taos Holy Cross Hospital for 5 years. She maintains her clinical practice by working at Holy Cross Hospital in the Labor and Delivery unit.

Ms. Bogar worked as an adjunct professor at UNM Taos for the associate degree nursing program before joining Northern as a full-time nursing faculty member in 2016. She has lived in Northern New Mexico for 19 years, loves the outdoors, and enjoys biking, skiing, and rock climbing.

BSN, University of New Mexico
MSN, University of New Mexico

Areas of Clinical Expertise
Women’s Health
Labor and Delivery

Health Assessment
Fundamentals of Nursing
Medical Surgical Nursing

Melanie Colgan

Melanie Colgan, MSN, RN
Assistant Professor
(505) 747-2284

Mrs. Colgan is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Northern New Mexico College. Her areas of nursing expertise are in critical care and trauma.

Mrs. Colgan received her BSN from Auburn University and has worked extensively in a variety of critical care settings and hospitals as a staff nurse and a nurse supervisor. She maintains her clinical expertise by teaching and being actively involved in professional education, conferences, and workshops. Her clinical interests are critical care, trauma, and disease prevention.

Mrs. Colgan has 15 years of experience in nursing education. She currently teaches Fundamentals of Nursing, Medical / Surgical Nursing III, and clinicals for Medical / Surgical Nursing II and III. She is also a certified American Heart Association CPR instructor.

Mrs. Colgan has lived in Northern New Mexico for 17 years. She is currently serving as a board member on the Los Alamos Public School Board. She enjoys spending time with her family and just about any outdoor or sporting activity.

BSN, Auburn University
MSN, University of New Mexico
Basic Life Support Instructor, American Heart Association

Areas of Clinical Expertise
Critical Care

Fundamentals of Nursing
Medical / Surgical Nursing

Ana Malinalli x Gutiérrez Sisneros

Anna_webDr. Ana Malinalli x Gutiérrez Sisneros, PhD, MSN, MALAS, APRN, P/MHCNS-BC, CCM
Clinical Coordinator /Associate Professor
(505) 747-2296

Dr.. Gutiérrez Sisneros is an advanced practice adult psychiatric and mental health clinical nurse specialist as well as a mental health therapist and counselor. All 33 years of Ms. Gutiérrez Sisneros’ nursing experience have been in rural Rio Arriba County and she considers rural nursing practice to be her true nursing clinical specialty. She also holds a master’s degree in Latin American studies with a focus on improvement of Indo-Hispano health status through use of both western and traditional lifeways.

She joined the faculty and staff of the NNMC associate degree in nursing (ADN) program in 2009, and the RN to BSN program in 2010, as an adjunct faculty member. From 2009-2011, Ms. Gutiérrez Sisneros was the nursing retention specialist for the ADN Program. Her academic and experiential qualifications made her the ideal person to address the unique societal and economic issues that impact nursing student retention at NNMC. She was the ¡EXITO! Mental Health Counselor at Northern for five years (2011 - 2016) and also the NNMC Veterans Resource Center Mental Health Counselor from 2015 - 2016, where she continues as a part-time counselor.

Nurse Aide Certificate, TVI / Education Aide Certificate at University of Alburquerque (U of A), 1979 /1980
ADN, University of Albuquerque
BSN, University of New Mexico
MALAS (Master of Arts in Latin American Studies), University of New Mexico
MSN, University of New Mexico
PhD, New Mexico State University: Health Disparities at the Border Area

Areas of Clinical Expertise
Rural Nursing
Health Disparities
Post-Anesthesia Care
Substance Abuse
Case Management
Psychiatric/ Mental Health
Evidence-Based Practice
History of New Mexico and Sociology of the Southwest
Holistic Nursing
Qualitative Research Methods - Ethnography
Genizaro Nation (current dissertation research)

Health Assessment
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing
Community and Global Health I & I

Alfredo Lima

Alfredo Lima
Lab Assistant

Alfredo Lima graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Associate Degree Nursing Program. As a native Brazilian, he faced challenges adapting to a new culture and language while pursing a rigorous degree program in nursing. He described the role the entire Northern community played in helping him to reach graduation day,  “Never give up your dreams.”

Theresa A. López

 P1000944cropTheresa A. López, MSN, RNC
Associate Professor
Success Coach
(505) 747-2282

Ms. López brings more than 30 years of experience in nursing practice to the Associate Degree Nursing Program at Northern New Mexico College. She is also an associate professor of nursing with a concentration in women’s health, obstetrics, and care of the newborn.

Professor López was recognized at the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence annual awards for her nomination in the Nurse Executive Leadership category in 2009 and 2015.

She is certified as a maternal/newborn nurse and has an additional certification in fetal monitoring. She continued to maintain a hospital based clinical practice at a local hospital until her retirement in 2016. Professor López integrates Dr. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring to guide both her educational and bedside practice.

Associate Degree in Nursing, City College of San Francisco
BSN, University of New Mexico
MSN in Nursing Education, University of New Mexico

Areas of Clinical Expertise
High Risk Newborn
Women’s Health
Nursing Education
Nursing Leadership


Maternal/Newborn Nursing (Didactic and Clinical)
Pediatric Nursing (Didactic and Clinical)

Veronica O’Halloran

V'OHalloranVeronica O’Halloran MSN Ed., RNC, CNE
Assistant Professor
(505) 747 2283

Professor O’Halloran is a full-time assistant professor of nursing education at NORTHERN New Mexico College since 2014.  Her prior educational experience was being an adjunct clinical instructor in variety of settings, for two New Mexico colleges. Ms. O’Halloran has taught a variety of courses in the NNMC ADN program including Medical Surgical, LPN transition courses as well bringing her expertise in areas of maternal/ newborn nursing courses, in which she is an RNC in this field.   Professor O’Halloran has taught hybrid classes for NNMC in past years and she will be attending the CNM TLOL 1010 course for distant learning for enhancement of teaching in this pedagogy. Currently as with other nursing educators due to Covid-19, she has acquired a new skill set in teaching distant learning via ZOOM and VSIMS.

In 2019 Professor O’Halloran was awarded her Certified Nursing Educator certification (CNE). Ms. O’Halloran was a staff RN at CSTV Women’ Services in Santa Fe for over 25 years.  Ms. O’Halloran is active in her educational pursuits and professional lifelong learning by attending numerous workshops and conferences.  Ms O’Halloran is an active participant in several nursing department and college wide committees at NNMC and NM state wide nursing education committees. She is active member of NM ANA and AWHONN organizations as well is registered member of the New Mexico Medical Reserve Core (MRC) in which she assisted with the immigrant crisis on the New Mexico Border in the summer of 2019. Ms. O’Halloran is also a registered member of the International Medical Corp (IMC) in which she was deployed to Haiti in 2010.

ADN, Pace University
BSN, University of New Mexico
MSN Ed, University of New Mexico

Areas of Clinical Expertise
Nursing Education
Maternal/Newborn Inpatient Nursing

Medical-Surgical Nursing (clinical)
Maternal/Newborn Nursing (Didactic and clinical)
LPN transition course

Susan Wayne

SusanWayneSusan Wayne, MSN, CFNP, RN
Simulation Lab Coordinator
(505) 747-2220

Ms. Wayne has been a certified family nurse practitioner for 30 years, and a registered nurse for forty years. She has provided primary and integrative care to patients in Las Vegas and Santa Fe for the past 16 years. Her family practice philosophy blends Western medicine with nutritional, herbal and lifestyle approaches for health and wellness promotion.

Ms. Wayne has taught nursing as an adjunct faculty for over 20 years, serving as a clinical instructor for both ADN and BSN programs in New York City before teaching at Northern. In addition, Ms. Wayne taught herbal medicine, therapeutic touch, and clinical aromatherapy in the massage therapy program at NNMC. She is currently teaching in both the ADN and RN to BSN Program at Northern, and she serves as the Simulation Lab Coordinator for the ADN Program.

Susan lives in a straw-bale/adobe/solar home that she and her husband built in Ribera, NM. They enjoy hiking and wild-crafting in the Pecos wilderness.

MSN-FNP, SUNY Stonybrook
BSN, Regents Excelsior College
RN Diploma, Long Island College Hospital
Certificate, Online Teaching and Learning, Central New Mexico Community College

Area of clinical expertise
Family Practice
Integrative Medicine and Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy
High Risk Adolescents and HIV Care
Clinical Herbal Medicine
Therapeutic Touch
Colorpuncture Therapy

Health Assessment
Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Nursing
Policy and Politics
Nurse Aide

Margaret Zak

Margaret Zak, RN, MN, CNM, IBCLC

Full-time Faculty
Assistant Professor
(505) 747-5047

Ms. Zak has been teaching in the ADN Program at Northern New Mexico College since 2019.

She obtained Bachelor of Arts degrees in Latin American Studies and Development Studies at Brown University and worked in Immigrant Rights and Human Rights Advocacy at home and abroad prior to returning to school to become a nurse. She graduated in 2005 with a BSN from Salisbury University and in 2010 with an MN from Oregon Health & Science University, where she trained to be a Certified Nurse-Midwife. She later completed additional training to become an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Her career in healthcare has focused on clinical work with underserved populations, motivated by a foundational belief that access to health care is a basic human right.

She is the mom of an exuberant 12-year old superhero; the daughter of 2 wonderful parents, also professors; a sister; and an aunt. She loves the natural beauty and people of her adopted village in the mountains of Northern New Mexico and exploring with her son and dog.


AB Latin American Studies & AB Development Studies, Brown University
BSN Salisbury University
MN Oregon Health & Science University

Areas of Clinical Expertise
Women's Health Care
Immigrant Health Care
Prenatal and Postpartum Care
Breastfeeding and Lactation Support


Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing
Nursing Fundamentals Clinical
Health Assessment
Nurse Aide

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