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AWC Celebrates National Nursing Week

May. 8th, 2013

Mary Rhona Francoeur Professor/Director of Nursing Arizona Western College
(928) 317-6049

Alison Howell
Communications Coordinator
Arizona Western College
(928) 314-9594

AWC Graduate/Associate Professor
Celebrates National Nurses Week
Nursing Program Needs More Adjunct Faculty

Yuma, Arizona (May 8, 2013) — “Since I was three, I wanted to be the one that told people, ‘PUSH! PUSH it out!” says Breon Henderson, former AWC student and current Associate Professor of Nursing. She views a nurse as a strong-willed caretaker, teacher, clown, a shoulder to cry on and an up lifter. With such a tall order, it’s no wonder National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6 through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

While attending Cibola High School, Henderson began her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. She shadowed a friend who was a labor and delivery nurse at Yuma Regional Medical Center. Then she dual enrolled in the Certified Nursing Assistant program at AWC and graduated in 2003. She worked as a resident assistant at Emerald Springs Assisted Living and Retirement Community, and then transferred to Labor and Delivery at YRMC. She earned her LPN Certificate in 2006, her RN/A.A.S. in 2007 and her BSN from the University of Phoenix in 2010. She continues to work in labor and delivery at YRMC. She aspires to be a nurse educator, family nurse practitioner and a breast feeding counselor. She became a clinical faculty for AWC in Fall 2012. “What I learn, I want to pass it on to the students,” she says.

There are many local opportunities for careers in nursing. AWC’s 2012 job placement is 77 percent, and the AWC Nursing Program needs more adjunct faculty to help meet the increasing demand, says Mary Rhona Francoeur, Professor/Director of Nursing at AWC. “We need clinical associates. Usually these are full-time nurses in the community who provide clinical teaching for our students at YRMC in most cases.” Clinical rotations are in nursing homes and a variety of community settings. There is a minimum requirement of an RN BSN, but an MSN is preferred because program accreditation requires a certain percentage of MSN faculty. “Our program is nationally accredited, which ensures a higher standard of quality in the program, and ensures transferability to higher levels of education, Francoeur says. “Also, there is a trend with certain employers who only hire nurses who have graduated from a nationally accredited program.”

For more information, please contact Francoeur, at, or (928) 317-6049.


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