Nursing Program Staff


Melissa Offenhartz, RN, MA,
Director, ADN-RN Program
Cell: 575-776-4185
Office: 575-737-3744

Melissa has over 20 years of experience in nursing, as a direct care provider in medical-surgical, HIV/AIDS, and critical care nursing; as a nurse-educator in critical care and academia; and in nursing management and administration.  She received her BSN from Indiana University and her MA in Nursing Education from New York University.  She also received a BS in Biology from the State University of New York.  Melissa feels privileged to live and work in beautiful Northern New Mexico. 


Dawn Knitter
Clinical Coordinator

Dawn has 14 years of nursing experience 5 years in adult medical surgical and 9 years in intensive care/critical care nursing areas. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Rhode Island College and a Masters of Science from the University of Rochester with the specialty focus of Adult Nurse Practitioner. She enjoys living in Taos with her family, hiking and skiing/snowshoeing in the beautiful mountains and working around her home.

Lisa Bushnell CFNP, RN

Lisa Bushnell
CFNP, RN, Adjunct Faculty

Lisa has 7 years of advanced nursing experience in Pediatrics and Immunology. She currently works at the Clinic for Children and Youth as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Taos. She received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Northwestern University and Masters in Nursing from Vanderbilt University with a specialty focus of Family Nurse Practitioner. She enjoys living in Taos with her family and hiking and skiing at Taos Ski Valley as often as possible.


Linda Nowalk
Administrative Assistant

Throughout her career, Linda has worked in educational settings, including a college access initiative and a state historical society. She has also done group travel planning and provided staff support for both university and corporate boards. Her undergraduate degree in psychology was granted by Ohio University in Athens. The diversity of its people and the abundant natural beauty surrounding Taos make northern New Mexico a truly special place to explore, learn about, and live.


Susan McQuade, APRN, BC
Clinical Instructor

Susan Mcquade is a graduate of the University of Tulsa with a Bachelor's degree in Nursing and of Texas Women's University with a Masters degree in Nursing. She also has a post graduate certification from the University of South Carolina as a Family Nurse Practitioner.  Susan has a varied amount of experience as an educator in an ADN program, as an FNP in infectious disease management, in pediatric HIV care at St Jude's Children's Research Center,in primary care in an NP managed clinic , and in chronic pain management . She and her husband Kline Boyd share time between Taos and Austin, Texas. Susan and Kline have five "grown up " children and three critters (two dogs and a cat named Frog).