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Central New Mexico Community College is changing how it selects students for coveted spots in their popular nursing program.

Until August of last year, students trying to get into the program at CNM were put on a two year waiting list. Now they will have to apply every semester until they are accepted into the program, and beginning next year it will take more than a strong GPA to earn a spot in the program.

Monicque Gonzalez is done with her pre-nursing classes, but she doesn’t know if she will get a spot in the nursing program this year. “You want to know where you stand, not guessing each couple months. Am I going to get in? Am I going to get in? What am I going to do? Should I work , should I look for another career option?” asked Gonzalez.

KOB asked CNM Dean of Health, Wellness, and Public Safety Nicholas Spezza how long someone like Gonzalez would have to wait to get in. “I can’t answer that, that really will depend on that student’s preparation and how many students we have,” said Spezza.

Spezza added that up to 3000 people show interest in the program at any given time but there are only 120 slots per semester available. Next year, students applying for the nursing program will be subjected to a new point system.

The points will help admissions determine “whether someone has experience demonstrating leadership in their life, and whether they really understand what the industry is, and what the requirements of the industry are,” said Spezza of the new requirements.

He explained that they want to measure the likelihood of a student’s success in the program and as professionals.

As for Gonzalez, she is just worried about getting into the program sometime this year. “It makes everything more frustrating and just waiting it out and not knowing,” said Gonzalez.

For now there are no plans to expand the number of slots available in the program.