Otero Junior College will award 22 students with Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (ADN) degrees in ceremonies on Friday, August 29 at the Ed Stafford Theatre in the OJC Humanities Center. Pinning ceremonies will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception immediately following. Guest speaker will be OJC Nursing Faculty member, Betty Salas, RN BSN.


Students completing the program are the third group of students to complete the part-time, evening and weekend RN Nursing program. The program was started three years ago, funded in partnership with the Colorado Trust Foundation and Otero Junior College. The students attended class every Tuesday and Thursday evening and had their clinical experience on the weekends.


Successful completion of the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (ADN) degree program will allow the graduate to submit an application to the State Board of Nursing for the Registered Nurse State Licensure Examination. Upon passing the state exam, graduates will receive the distinction of being a Registered Nurse (RN).


Otero Junior College developed this innovative part-time nursing program in 2004 to help with the nursing shortage by offering classes outside of a traditional daytime schedule. The first program offered part-time, night, and weekend courses for practical nursing, the first level of nursing. The college added the second level program (RN) the next year. Touted as one of the most innovative programs in the state of Colorado, the program provides an educational opportunity to students who can not attend college full-time. Many of the students completing the part-time RN program on August 29 also completed the part-time practical nursing program a year ago.


Both programs have proved to be a great success and OJC will continue to offer the programs to practical nursing students (LPN) and Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (RN) students. According to Denise Root, director of the OJC Nursing Program, the part-time program follows the same format and curriculum as the full-time program. “The two programs are identical, except for the time frame that classes are offered. Part-time students take only one class at a time. They attend lecture on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and participate in labs and have their clinical experience on weekends,” explained Root.