Otero Junior College will award 22 students with Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (ADN) degrees in ceremonies on Saturday, June 23, at the Ed Stafford Theatre in the OJC Humanities Center. Pinning ceremonies will begin at 2 p.m. with a reception immediately following. Guest speaker will be Betty Salas, RN BSN, OJC nursing faculty member.


Otero Junior College will award 22 students with Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (ADN) degrees in ceremonies on Saturday, June 23, at the Ed Stafford Theatre in the OJC Humanities Center. Pinning ceremonies will begin at 2 p.m. with a reception immediately following. Guest speaker will be Betty Salas, RN BSN, OJC nursing faculty member.

Students completing the program are the seventh group of students to complete the Non-Traditional Evening Weekend (NEW) RN Nursing program. The program was started seven years ago, funded in partnership with the Colorado Trust Foundation and Otero Junior College. The students attend class every Tuesday and Thursday evening and have 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 Licensed Registered Nurse (RN).

Otero Junior College developed this innovative night and weekend nursing program in 2004 to help with the nursing shortage by offering classes outside of a traditional daytime schedule. The first program offered 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 cannot attend college full-time. Many of the students completing the NEW RN program on June 23 also completed the NEW 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 (PN) and Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (RN) students. According to Denise Root, director of the OJC Nursing Program, NEW 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. NEW 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.
Student completing the Non-traditional Evening and Weekend (NEW) RN Nursing program include: Destiny M. Bauer, Rocky Ford; Michele Lee Black, Colorado Springs; Kim Marie Yocam-Clements, Colorado Springs; Jennifer L. Cody, Pueblo; Sina Damawand, La Junta; Rachael M. Dodge, Colorado Springs; Ronette Lee Encinias, Rocky Ford; Charlotte Alysha Rene’ Gage, San Francisco, Calif.; Jereme Guerrero, La Junta; Crystelle C. Justesen, Pueblo West; JoMarie Kimball, Pueblo; Robert J. Kurash Jr., Pueblo West; Jennifer E. Lee, Las Animas; Terri Lepthien, Pueblo; Brittney Ann Martinez, Pueblo; Rebecca A. Matthiesen, Colorado Springs; Christian Sterling McDowell, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Tina Marie Steckler Rosler, Limon; Luanna L. Tapia, Pueblo; Cheryl Louise Walker, Limon; Brian White, Pueblo West and Faye Zerrudo, Pueblo.