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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 20 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

Theresa A. López

Theresa A. López, MSN, RNC, CNE, CHW
Interim Program Director,
(505) 747-2282

Ms. López is the Interim Director of Nursing with 38 years of combined bedside and teaching experience. Her nursing career has been dedicated to the care of women and children along with a focus on rural nursing practice and rural nursing education. She strives to possess a deep understanding of the social environment of the rural community where she lives and practices. Through the years she has developed a good understanding of the challenges for rural nurses where maintaining an adequate nursing workforce is a long-standing challenge. She is dedicated to improving the health of rural New Mexicans and strengthening the rural nursing workforce through education and a commitment to ensure that the rewarding aspects of rural practice outweigh the stressors.

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)

Role Transition RN

Ken Armstong

Dr. Ken Armstrong 160x160Dr. Ken Armstong, DNP, MS, RN, CNE, CNOR
Associate Professor
(505) 747-2202

Dr. Armstrong is an Associate Professor of Nursing 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 12 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 and Capital Pride in Washington, DC.

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

Rebecca Hancock

Rebecca Hancock, MSN, RN
Nursing Instructor

Mrs. Hancock is a Nursing Instructor in the ADN program at Northern New Mexico College. Her areas of clinical expertise include pediatrics and rural health care.

Mrs. Hancock received her ADN from San Joaquin Delta College, continuing on to receive her BSN and MSN. She has worked in the Medical-Surgical/telemetry and ICU/step-down departments of a rural critical access hospital before transitioning into school nursing within the public school system. Her clinical interests include health promotion, holistic care, and emergency response with special emphasis on rural and underserved populations.

Mrs. Hancock relocated from the Central Sierra Nevada Mountains of California to Northern New Mexico in 2021. She is the mother of 4 children who inspire her every day to make a difference in the world.

Associate Degree in Allied Health - Columbia College
Associate Degree in Nursing - San Joaquin Delta College
Bachelor of Nursing - Grand Canyon University
Master of Nursing - California State University Sacramento

Pediatric Nursing
Fundamentals of Nursing Clinical Lab
Medical-Surgical Level 1

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

Tammy Uzzetta

Tammy Uzzetta, MSN, RN
Department of Nursing and Health Sciences
Simulation Lab Coordinator
tammy uzzetta@nnmc.edu
(505) 747-2220

Tammy Uzzetta has been a nurse since 1983. Prior to beginning her career in nursing, she served in the Air Force as a computer operator and was the Data Processing Manager for a telecommunications company. As a nurse she has worked in critical care, long-term care, administration, quality improvement, case management, and both pre-licensure and professional development nursing education. She was a founding member of a new cardiac-surgical unit and, while her critical care experience is diverse, her heart is for hearts.

She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in English (Auburn University) and Nursing (Jacksonville State University and Aspen University), and an MFA from IAIA.

Her teaching interests include critical care nursing, nursing simulation, literature, informatics, and creative writing. Her research interests include healthcare dialogues as intertextual communication, the use of poetry as a cultural lens, and the intersectionality of musicality and lexicon limitation in the translated poetic voice.

PN, Ayers State Technical School
AASN, Gadsden State Community College
BA, Auburn University
MA, Auburn University
BSN, Jacksonville State University
MFA, Institute of American Indian Arts
MSN, Aspen University
Legal Nurse Consultant
Case Management

Areas of Clinical Expertise
Critical Care
Quality Improvement

Critical Care

Quaye Oblie

Quaye Oblie
Department of Nursing and Health Sciences
Lab Assistance
(505) 747-5408

Quaye Oblie is


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