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Northern New Mexico College’s innovative RN to BSN Program is open to all

A fully online curriculum extends the reach of this distinctive holistic nursing program

“Studying to be a holistic nurse has been one of the most fulfilling choices I have made for myself. I have a deeper connection with my patients and their families. The Northern New Mexico College Holistic RN-BSN program is preparing me to be a caring, compassionate and giving nurse for those in my community.” — Nichole Armijo, RN

Northern New Mexico College’s (NNMC) location in Española, N.M., the “heart of Northern New Mexico,” helped to shape its distinctive holistic RN to BSN Program. NNMC is in a geographical and cultural center for natural healers and complementary and integrative practices where health care options abound. Community members continue to embrace ancient Hispanic and indigenous healing practices alongside conventional allopathic methods. This was the foundation for developing an integral holistic nursing program through NNMC’s Department of Nursing and Health Sciences in 2008.

NNMC’S RN to BSN Program is New Mexico’s only American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC) endorsed holistic nursing program. While honoring a traditional nursing education, this program provides a unique and innovative nursing curriculum based on Dr. Barbara Dossey’s Theory of Integral Nursing. The foundational philosophies and core values of holistic nursing are woven through each course. Students develop beginning skills for providing complementary and integrative modalities as they interact with practitioners in clinical settings.

“Through this curriculum, I have learned the essential elements of self-care, the dynamics necessary to create and project a healing environment, and the leadership and teamwork abilities required to build successful relationships with members of a multi-disciplinary team,” said Richenda Fox, RN.

“It is through this path of authenticity and integration that I can provide my clients with methods of healing that are consistent with their specific health care needs, presented in a way that both honors and nurtures their personal/cultural belief system. I am grateful to have found this unique educational program and have grown tremendously in all aspects of my personal and professional life.”

The goal is to prepare integral nurses who embrace and practice holistic, relationship-centered care that addresses individual and collective health with a focus on total patient care. The program emphasizes self-reflection, self-care and personal development for students and faculty.

“Since starting the program, through providing care for my patients I have discovered the importance of not only my patients’ holistic wellbeing but my own.” said Chicqueeta Whitaker, RN. “Through the education that I have received from Northern New Mexico College I have a better understanding of the importance of my own holistic wellbeing and self-care.”

NNMC's RN to BSN Program offers the most affordable tuition in the State of New Mexico. It is CCNE accredited and has received endorsement from AHNCC. AHNCC awarded the RN to BSN Program the 2015 Excellence in Holistic Nursing Education Award. One hundred percent of program graduates are satisfied with the overall quality of education they received.

“Being in a holistic nursing program has broadened my perspective on health, the human condition, and what it means to be a nurse.  There are many ways to care for someone, there are many interventions and alternatives that can be explored that will best suit a person’s needs…A person is not just what you see in the moment, but a combination of many, intertwined factors.  A holistic nurse serves as a facilitator in the journey of becoming whole,” said Meghan Schroeder, RN.

“I have taken what I have learned already and have applied it to my current practice, but I have also learned to be a better person.  I have learned to accept people where they are, to treat them with kindness and grace, and to view people in a new light.” 

A new fully online option provides greater flexibility for working nurses and extends the reach of the program beyond New Mexico.

Another innovative initiative supporting the program’s holistic philosophy has been introducing elective courses that are open to all students in all departments of the college. “Mindfulness and Breath” is an introduction to the experience of mindfulness and the awareness of breath and body and the physiological benefits of mindfulness practices and its implications for mind/body health and well-being. “The Art & Science of Self-Care” guides the student to a deeper understanding and value of the art and science of self-care as the key to living a balanced and healthy life. “Herbal Therapeutics” introduces students to bioregional herbal plants and the practical use of preparing and utilizing herbs.

One outstanding feature of this program is the small class size and degree of faculty engagement and individualized student attention. The highly qualified faculty bring decades of experience in holistic health and wellness, nursing education and incorporating integrative therapies into professional practice. Their specialties include community health, emergency nursing, mental health, substance abuse treatment, holistic nutrition, rural nursing, Curanderismo, herbal therapeutics, therapeutic touch and aromatherapy.

“The Holistic Nursing Program at NNMC has helped me grow stronger as a nurse physically, mentally and spiritually. It has helped me to open my eyes and encompass the whole world of nursing and how beautiful caring for patients truly is. It has helped me learn to assess what works best for patients and how I as a nurse can facilitate a plan of care to establish their goals,” said Destini Gomez, RN.

“This program has taught me how to use the full body, mind and soul and recognize alternative approaches that can be used in my everyday nursing career! I couldn’t be more grateful for all this program has taught me and how I am able to use what I have learned daily with my patients!”

To learn more about Northern New Mexico College’s RN to BSN Program, go to  https://nnmc.edu/home/academics/schools-and-departments/nursing-health/rn-to-bsn-program/. You can view our introductory video at https://youtu.be/T3w-p25SV3g.



Northern offers over 50 bachelor's, associate and certificate programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math); Nursing and Health Sciences; Liberal Arts and Humanities; Arts, Film & Media; Business Administration; Teacher Education and Technical Trades.
Northern New Mexico College is the most affordable 4-year college in the Southwestern US. Choose us for our value, our quality degree and continuing education programs in diverse areas of study, and our experienced faculty. We provide students with unique opportunities for academic, personal, and professional growth, small class sizes, personalized attention, and strong hands-on experiences from day one.
The Northern Foundation remains committed to stimulate leadership, promote equity, and grow resources and philanthropy in the Española Valley and surrounding rural areas. Over the past twenty years, we have granted $1.3 million to support over 1,250 NNMC students.