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OJC Press Release ID: 2995

Friday, February 7, 2020

New Nursing Faculty and Staff at Otero Junior College


Morgan Jones, BSN, RN recently joined OJC’s nursing faculty. Jones, a Wiley, Colo. native, will be teaching Medical Surgical Nursing Concepts and Pharmacology for both LPN and RN students. In addition to these responsibilities, she will oversee the Nursing Lab Simulations and has been named coordinator of the Nurse Aide program.

Jones has 12 years of experience in the healthcare field starting out as a hospital and home health CNA and college health aid. She received her RN certification in April 2012 and soon after completed her BSN in August of 2012 through the University of Colorado, Colorado Spring’s dual enrollment option. She then worked in various healthcare settings including: nurse-outpatient psych, med/surg, ICU stepdown, reproductive health, school nursing, long term care, and ER settings. In addition to her experience in the field, she also worked as a nurse aid educator at the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) for four years. Jones is on track to complete her Masters of Nursing degree (MSN) with an emphasis in education in April 2020 from Grand Canyon University.

With family roots going back five generations in southeastern Colorado, Jones is looking forward to working at OJC noting its welcoming and diverse campus, well recognized nursing program and small town atmosphere. As she establishes herself here, she says one of her main goals is to learn as she teaches from established educators to ensure she contribute to each student’s learning and the program as a whole. She said she is passionate about growing local talent in order to help our small rural communities thrive.

In her spare time, Jones enjoys spending time with her fiancé, and their German Shorthair Pointer. She is especially interested in reading WWII-era historical fiction as well as going camping, working on her photography skills and getting in a few rounds of golf when she can.

Melissa Root joined OJC as a member of the nursing faculty in the fall semester of 2019. In addition to teaching several courses, Root is also a member of the Grades and Attendance Committee, Social Committee, and helps with the Student Nurses Association. Root graduated from OJC with her Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing in 2015 and prior to starting at OJC was working at Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center on the OB/Gyn unit as a labor/delivery/recovery/post-partum and newborn nursery nurse. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at Grand Canyon University in 2017, and began her Masters of Science in Nursing Education (MSNED) in July of 2019 with hopes to complete her degree in March of 2021.

Root was born and raised in La Junta. Those familiar with the nursing program’s history will remember her mother, Denise Root, who was the Nursing Director until her retirement a few years ago. Although teaching full-time, working part-time, and going to school full-time doesn’t leave her much free time, she does enjoy reading, art, spending time with her animals, family, and friends, attending concerts, and collecting house plants.

Root said, “I enjoy that the faculty/staff community at OJC is such a tight-knit group of educators. I have met some amazing people since working here, and have had the pleasure of getting to work alongside some people who helped me achieve my degree, and taught me along the way. The campus is beautiful, and everyone seems well invested in helping to maintain to look and feel of a close community college campus.”

Rachelle Martin is a new addition to OJC’s Nursing Department. Some of Martin’s duties are to assist in the nursing and allied health offices, advise students and register them for courses.

Martin has 15 years of customer service experience and is a former work-study for the OJC Learning Commons. She will finish her Associate of Science degree in May and plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing.

“As a student and employee, my goal is to find balance between school, work, and family and to help others that may be in the same situation by finding that balance so that they can succeed,” said Martin, “I really like how anybody is willing to help regardless of the situation. Everyone on campus is very easy to talk to.” From Fowler, Martin has a fiancée and three sons aged 15, 17, and 19. In her free time, she enjoys reading, crocheting, and spending time outdoors.

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Morgan Jones, OJC nursing faculty

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Melissa Root, OJC nursing faculty

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Rachelle Martin, OJC nursing office assistant