New NTU Nursing Director Aims at Stabilizing RN Program 

Michelle Kellywood, RN

Michelle Kellywood, RN

Published September 25, 2015

CROWNPOINT, NEW MEXICO – Navajo Technical University has hired Michelle Kellywood, MSN, RN, as its new nursing director to redesign the University’s Registered Nursing program and to update curriculum. NTU did not accept any students for the 2015-2016 academic year but its Registered Nursing program is projected to reopen in Fall 2016, pending approval of its revamped strategic plan by the New Mexico Board of Nursing.

Since she was hired in August Kellywood has been working diligently in updating the RN program’s strategic plan so that every facet and consideration adheres to the New Mexico Nursing Board licensures standards. Part of this process requires strengthening the program’s admissions process and engaging a broader network of registered nurses with advanced degrees to enhance the program.

“With a strong faculty, I believe NTU’s program is going to take off and will be one of the best colleges,” stated Kellywood, who explained how she’s been appealing to regional institutions for help such as Rehoboth Mckinley Christian Hospital and Tséhootsooí Medical Center, in addition to exploring new trends in education like online coursework. “It’s very important that NTU’s program is set up for success.”

Kellywood comes to NTU after working the past four years as an assistant professor at UNM – Gallup. Prior to that, Kellywood worked at Cibola General Hospital in Grants, NM as an emergency room registered nurse and at the women’s correctional facility as a pharmacy nurse. Kellywood received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of New Mexico’s College of Nursing in Albuquerque, where she is currently one year away from earning a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree with a focus in Research and Policy.

“One of the biggest things for me is that I always wanted to bring my education back home,” explained Kellywood, who lives in Gallup but is originally from Thoreau, NM. “It’s important to be working with and among other Natives to help the community.”

Kellywood continued, “We’re hoping to build our own group of nurses. Students here have family in the area and are more likely to stay once they graduate.”

As nursing director, Kellywood will be tasked with overseeing not only the updating of NTU’s RN program, but strengthening NTU’s Pre Nursing certificate as well. NTU offers a Pre-Nursing certificate program both in Crownpoint, NM, and in Chinle, AZ. For more information about NTU’s nursing programs, contact Michelle Kellywood at


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