Johnathan Lumibao Navajo Technical University
Navajo Technical University
NTU nursing instructor Jonathan Lumibao assists a student while practicing classroom techniques on a dummy. “Simulations are getting popular in the nursing field these days,” explained Lumibao. “It gives students scenarios and lets them practice in a controlled environment.” Lumibao received a Master’s of Science degree in Nursing Education from the University of New Mexico on December 11, 2014.

Navajo Technical University Instructors Balance Work and Education

Navajo Technical University

On December 11, 2014, Navajo Technical University nursing instructors Shawnadine Becenti and Jonathan Lumibao graduated with Master’s of Nursing degrees from the University of New Mexico’s Nursing Education program.

The 39-credit hour degree program was offered with the option of a part-time curriculum totaling six semesters, which allowed for both Becenti and Lumibao to earn their degrees while simultaneously working full-time teaching in NTU’s pre-nursing and registered nursing programs.

“The load was considerable,” Lumibao said, who with Becenti, was admitted to the program in the spring semester of 2012. “It was a lot of sleepless nights trying to handle the work. I’m just glad it’s all done and we don’t have to divert our attention anymore. All our attention can go towards the nursing program here [in Crownpoint, New Mexico].”

According to UNM’s College of Nursing website, the Nursing Education program combines an individually developed focus in a specialty area of nursing practice with a leadership focus in education. While the majority of the classes in the Nursing Education program were offered online, four credit hours were required for students to teach in an academic setting under a nurse educator, which Becenti and Lumibao completed under a clinical nurse at UNM’s Gallup branch.

Although Lumibao said it was difficult to balance fieldwork and instruction with his duties as an instructor, he noted that it was worth it in the end. “Education is always important—especially in nursing. Not only for the nurses themselves but also their patients,” explained Lumibao. “If we can increase the number of nurses and nurse educators, we might be able to affect the health disparities we’re experiencing these days.”

Becenti agreed with Lumibao about the significance of the degree and explained how it would benefit classroom instruction at NTU. “I learned a lot in my program that will help with lecture delivery and teaching strategies as well as curriculum development and evaluation,” said Becenti, who was named NTU’s Instructor of the Year in 2012. “The students will benefit by the same token, getting quality education using a variety of teaching strategies.”

NTU nursing instructor Shawnadine Becenti (left) poses for a picture with former NTU Student Senate President Sharon Cooley after being named NTU’s Instructor of the Year in 2012. Becenti received a Master’s of Science degree in Nursing from the University of New Mexico on December 11, 2014.

“I would like to thank my family and the nursing students for the encouragement while teaching full-time and going to school,” continued Becenti. “I hope to utilize this degree to educate new nurses who will remain on the Navajo Nation.”

Navajo Technical University’s School of Nursing offers a pre-nursing certificate and an Associate of Science degree in registered nursing. The programs provide students with the basic nursing skills necessary for entry-level positions in the nursing field and assist in providing direct nursing care using principles from the biological, cultural, social, and physical sciences.

For more information about Navajo Technical University’s School of Nursing, contact 505-786-4100 or visit

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