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Former combat medic heads Western New Mexico University nursing simulation lab

Fall 2012 WNMU campus (Wnmunews/WikiCommons)
December 22, 2019

Nursing students at Western New Mexico University learn through scenarios former combat medic and military contractor Lorenzo Saenz creates using high fidelity manikins who he can program to breathe, bleed, wheeze and sweat.

The technology Saenz implements ensures WNMU is poised to integrate the big changes in nurse training methods that he believes are just around the corner. “It’s an exciting time to be in the field,” he said.

A native of southwest New Mexico, Lorenzo’s military career took him around the world – from as nearby as El Paso to as far as Afghanistan. The Army veteran was a contractor working for the Australian Defense Force in Dubai when he decided to move back to the Land of Enchantment. “I missed green chile and the open blue skies and juniper,” he said.

Saenz graduated from the WNMU nursing program in 2018 and worked in the Gila Regional Medical Center emergency room for a year before being recruited to work at his alma mater. “You always hope you get these full circle moments. Now I get to influence the training of these nurses who are treating people in my community,” he said.

Saenz is also working toward a bachelor’s of interdisciplinary studies focused on, yes, nursing but also music. “When I was here the first time around, I was a music major. I play guitar, saxophone, piano, and sing a little bit,” he says.

After Saenz graduates this spring, he’ll apply to the new Master of Science in Nursing program at WNMU. “I’ll be a three-time graduate from WNMU,” he said.

For 125 years, Western New Mexico University has served the people in its region as a comprehensive, rural, public body. As a Hispanic-Serving Institution and the state’s only public Applied Liberal Arts and Sciences university, WNMU is committed to developing cross-cultural opportunities that encourage people to explore new experiences. The WNMU student body represents every segment of southwest New Mexico’s diverse population.


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