Maley Event Captures Heart of Nursing Programs at Northern New Mexico College

On Thursday, April 28, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Northern New Mexico College officially dedicated the Ruby Palmlund and Leonard Maley Simulation Lab with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception. Through the generous support of the Ruby Palmlund and Leonard Maley Nursing Endowment Scholarship, the Northern Foundation has awarded over fifty scholarships since 2003 to Associate Degree Nursing Program students totaling more than $250,000.

Anyone who has lived in the Española valley a while, or even a short time, is likely to have a nurse who graduated from Northern New Mexico College’s Associate Degree Nursing Program care for them at some point. Since its beginning in 1986, the nursing program at Northern has graduated 562 nurses from its Associate Degree Nursing Program (RN).

“Our ADN program is an important source of high-quality nurses to the region,” said Theresa Lopez, Director of the ADN Program. Overcome with emotion while trying to describe the impact the Maley scholarships have had on the success of the ADN Program and its students, Lopez told attendees at the sim lab dedication event, “Because of the great care Leonard Maley received from Northern nurses, this fund exists. It is part of a legacy of care that reminds us of the very heart of our program and calling as nurses: to provide exceptional patient care.”

Dr. Kathleen Maley, daughter of the late Ruby Palmlund and Leonard Maley, was present at the dedication event and shared with the audience some excerpts from her mother’s nursing school scrapbook. Dr. Maley also cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the newly named Ruby Palmlund and Leonard Maley Simulation Laboratory.

Many past and present recipients of Maley Nursing Endowment Scholarships were also in attendance, and were given special ribbons to wear that identified them as Maley scholarship recipients. Current ADN students wearing their nursing scrubs formed the hospitality team for the event, greeting newly arrived guests and serving food at the reception following the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Other speakers at the event included Ellen Trabka, Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, master of ceremonies and Director of the Northern Foundation, Terry Mulert, Domingo Sánchez, III, Interim President of Northern New Mexico College, and current ADN student and Maley scholarship recipient Alfredo Lima. Appreciation of the Maleys and their legacy at Northern was clearly present throughout the event.

Reflecting afterwards, Dean Trabka said, “The nursing department was so honored and proud to host this special event. We were pleased that so many people from the college and broader community attended. There were many community members in attendance who have worked with Dr. Kathleen Maley in various capacities, and it was very nice to see that they came to honor the legacy of her parents. It was also nice to see some former Maley student scholarship recipients and to honor and recognize the unique contributions of the nursing profession.”