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South Mountain Community College recognized by White House as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics has recognized South Mountain Community College for the Bilingual Nursing Fellows Program (BNFP) as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education.

This Initiative seeks to leverage Bright Spots to encourage collaboration between stakeholders focused on similar issues in sharing data-driven approaches, promising practices, peer advice, and effective partnerships, ultimately resulting in increased support for the educational attainment of the Hispanic community, from cradle-to-career.

The BNFP program at South Mountain was created to meet the critical shortfall of Spanish speaking nurses in Arizona and to prepare students for employment as registered nurses. Through partnerships with Phoenix College and Arizona State University, students are able to transfer directly into the BSN program at ASU for reduced tuition rates.

This fall, through collaboration with the Arizona Action Coalition Diversity Council, a mentoring program has been implemented. The program is designed to have 20 BNFP student mentees pair with mentors from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Black Nurses Association of Greater Phoenix, and Philippine Nurses Association of Arizona to engage with underserved populations in community health settings. This group will also be working with the South Mountain Storytelling Institute to learn how the art of storytelling can assist them in their nursing careers.

Since the program began more than 15 years ago, over 300 students have become a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or certified nurse assistant. The BNFP program also has a 100 percent LCN NCLEX pass rate and 95 percent RN NCLEX pass rate. To date, 226 students have received their Associates in Applied Sciences with 108 additional students in the program this fall.

As a Bright Spot, the South Mountain BNFP program will be part of a national online catalog that includes over 230 programs that invest in key education priorities for Hispanics.

“It is an honor to have the college recognized as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education,” said Dr. Shari Olson, South Mountain President. “Not only is the BNFP program instrumental in meeting current workforce needs, it is an example of the college’s leadership, dedication and steadfast commitment to the Hispanic community.”

For more information on the BNFP program, visit

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