SJC Receives Prestigious Award
San Juan College (SJC) was recognized for its long-time nursing program partnership with San Juan Regional Medical Center (SJRMC), empowering healthcare excellence in the community. The recognition comes from the New Mexico Hospital Association, which selected SJC as the 2023 recipient of its Commitment to Community Healthcare award. The award recognizes community organizations that collaborate with New Mexico hospitals to enhance the health and well-being of their communities. San Juan Regional Medical Center nominated the college in appreciation of their enduring partnership dedicated to developing nurses for years to come.
Jason Rounds, president and CEO of San Juan Regional Medical Center, explained, “San Juan Regional Medical Center has a rich history of collaboration with San Juan College’s nursing program, fostering invaluable opportunities for students to gain real-world experience in diverse clinical settings.”
The San Juan College Nursing Program started as a nursing assistant training program in the late 1960s through a partnership with SJRMC. By the late 1970s, the program evolved into a two-year degree nursing program. In the spring of 2015, San Juan College, San Juan Regional Medical Center and the University of New Mexico joined forces with the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium to launch a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN). This collaboration made it possible for Four Corners students to complete their nursing program while remaining in their communities.
Funding and consulting are two crucial components SJRMC contributes to the partnership. The financial support provides ongoing education for full-time faculty and offers tuition assistance to those pursuing graduate degrees. It also aids in acquiring equipment for the nursing program’s laboratories. To further enhance collaboration, SJRMC employs a clinical scholar who actively engages in all aspects of the SJC nursing program. In addition, the Department of Nursing faculty and the nurse managers from the hospital hold annual meetings to collectively assess clinical and employment opportunities, strategize ways to enrich learning experiences and review program outcomes.
San Juan College president Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass said, “I am extremely grateful for our partnership with San Juan Regional Medical Center. This partnership has enriched the lives of our students as well as worked to address the healthcare needs of our community more effectively.”