Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Nurses provide valuable service

About two weeks ago, I attended the nurses’ pinning at Eastern New Mexico University. I had the honor of witnessing a ceremony rewarding hard work, sacrifice, and dedication.

A few weeks before the event, Ellen Bral invited me to attend. I have great respect for Bral and her dedication to the health-care professions, the university, and the community. As the nursing program’s director, she works as both administrator and teacher. Even more importantly, her commitment to her students would impress anyone.

I don’t know how she does all that work, or how she remains so happy to accommodate all those demands made on her.

Bral explained to me that all the students in this program are already registered nurses. At ENMU they earn their BSN degrees to advance in their field. While working in a demanding profession like nursing, they simultaneously pursue their degrees on their own time — this on top of handling family responsibilities.

Ellen E. Bral, Ph.D., RN, and Lorraine Goodrich, MSN, RN, teach the students in the program. I have known Goodrich a number of years and know the students are fortunate to have her. The faculty also includes Cristy Barkebill, CNM, CFNP, MSN, RN; Vivian Coates, MSN, RN; and Cristi Lubera, CNM, MSN, RN.

In addition to the fine faculty, the BSN Completion Program has something I never knew about until the pinning ceremony: preceptors.

Preceptors are highly experienced, working, and degreed nurses who mentor the students during the program. These dedicated volunteers give their time and their care to the students and greatly contribute to all of us in these times of shortage of health-care professionals.

This community of volunteer mentors is made up of Constance C. Belcher, RN, MSN, CFNP; Vivian L. Coates, MSN, RN; Claudia H. Moon, BSN, RN; Janice K. Jordan, RN, MSN; and Mary Russell, RN, BSN, CEN.

The next time we run into one of these folks, maybe we should say, "Thank you."

The May 14 graduates of the BSN Completion Program deserve recognition for their accomplishment and all the lives they will continue to save or improve.

They are Marrisa Dean, BSN, RN, of Hobbs; Toni Denise Gates, BSN, RN, of Clovis; Christina Gonzalez, BSN, RN, of Hobbs; Linda Jones, BSN, RN, of Roswell; Lisa Leos, BSN, RN, of Clovis; Deborah McAlister, BSN, RN, of Melrose; Johana Pace, BSN, RN, of Hobbs; Tisha Thompson, BSN, RN, of Hobbs; and Lora A. Wood, BSN, RN, of Portales.

Some will continue making all our lives better in their present positions, and some are going on to even more advanced degrees. All are contributing to the well being of everyone.


The pinning ceremony was not an elaborate affair, and was all the more impressive for it. It was elegantly simple and uplifting.

Rosemary Barr, Ph.D., provided music. Thurman Elder, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, provided congratulatory remarks. Among the dignitaries in attendance were K. Paul Jones, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, and members of the Board of Regents.

Hey, who says nothing happens in Portales, huh?

Jim Lee is news director for KENW-FM radio. He also is an English instructor. He can be contacted at 359-2204. His e-mail:

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