New Building Allows Cohort Nursing Program in Albuquerque to Expand

October 19, 2012 / by / 2 Comments

By Bob Romantic
GCU News Bureau

With a new program, a small initial student base and a humble campus building, the College of Nursing cohort program in Albuquerque has been one of the best-kept secrets in New Mexico during its infancy.

Not anymore.

A new home for the Albuquerque nursing cohort program includes simulation and skills labs, a mock home health care setting, a student lounge and an Antelope Reception Center similar to the one on the main campus.

Renovation of a 16,249-square-foot building in a prominent Albuquerque location has begun, giving the cohort program a larger campus space that will allow it to expand enrollment when the building opens in January.

“We can educate more bachelor’s-prepared nurses and address some of that need,” Gary Gum, program director for GCU’s College of Nursing in New Mexico, said of the new building. “It also gives students who are looking into nursing as a career another option.

“There is such a need for quality education at a Christian university in New Mexico.”

Gary Gum

The cohort program was conditionally approved by the New Mexico Board of Nursing (NMBN) in 2011 to admit 24 one-time students per year to start. In August, GCU received full approval from NMBN, which allows the Albuquerque cohort to expand to two admissions per year.

The cohort program already has accepted 24 nursing students for the January admissions period and plans to admit another 24 in August with the addition of a fall semester start-up period.

“We will have plenty of qualified applicants,” Gum said.

The building, located on the corner of Jefferson Street and Osuna Road in the Conejos Office Park near Interstate 25, will include prominent signage and an Antelope Reception Center similar to the one on GCU’s main campus in Phoenix.

The new campus space also includes:

    • Two classrooms that can seat 32 students and two others that hold 24.
    • A skills lab that holds five beds.
    • A simulation lab that holds three beds.
    • A mock apartment setting to simulate a home health care environment.
    • Two conference rooms.
    • A student lounge.
    • Seven offices for faculty and staff.
The new Albuquerque campus features 16,249 feet of office space.

The mock apartment is especially invaluable in New Mexico, which is more rural and has a need for nurses who specialize in home health care.

“The mock apartment is very unique,” Gum said. “We can do mock home health simulations that will allow us to prepare our students for home health/community nursing practice above and beyond what is currently taught. Health care is moving more and more in that direction. … Nurses that do home health care have to be very strong and very autonomous because they’re out there by themselves.”

The Albuquerque cohort program began in May 2011 at a time when Gum said the University of New Mexico was the only school that offered a pre-licensure bachelor of science nursing (BSN) program in Albuquerque.

“There is a need for more BSN nurses in New Mexico,” Gum said. “The Institute of Medicine report sets a standard that 80 percent of all nurses will be BSN-prepared by 2020.  The big challenge is to increase the number of BSN-prepared nurses in both the rural and metropolitan settings and assist health care systems and providers to meet the IOM standard.”

Contact Bob Romantic at 639.7611 or

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2 Responses
  1. John Villamor

    Congrats to Director Gum! Hopes and Prayers for your the campus’ continued success. Ironic that GCU started off from the ashes of a small Baptist college, Montezuma College, in New Mexico. Moved to Arizona, Prescott. Then moved to Phoenix and now GCU is back in force in New Mexico our first extended campus!

    I look forward to your continued success and creating the template for such success in other areas we continue to expand, Las Vegas, California and maybe even the Massachusetts Campus expansion into Boston! I sense a lot of BKPs and BKMs coming out of New Mexico. God Bless to you and your staff there in Albuquerque.


    Oct.22.2012 at 7:51 am
  2. Ameila

    Sounds like the Mock apartment is a really good thing for the school and training of it’s students. Having lots of good space available makes for some great training. Is there room to expand?

    May.06.2013 at 1:15 pm
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