Online Nurse Practitioner Programs and Requirements in New Mexico icon

Online Nurse Practitioner Programs and Requirements in New Mexico

| Janice Monti

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For aspiring nurse practitioners (NPs) looking for online nursing programs, New Mexico schools offer training at the master's and doctoral levels. New Mexico also provides career opportunities for NPs. Boasting the tenth-fastest projected employment rate in the state, NPs can expect to see a 27.6% job increase that adds 290 new opportunities from 2018-28. This growth will be crucial as New Mexico faces a continuing shortage of registered nurses (RNs) -- a situation further exacerbated by the relentless spread of COVID-19.

New Mexico ranks 15th in the U.S. for cost of living, with an average annual salary of $47,040 across all occupations. This is great news for nursing students and practitioners, as NPs typically earn more than double the amount of the state average.

This guide provides more detailed salary and job growth information, along with recommended online NP programs, requirements for licensure, and a nursing resources list.

Featured Online Programs

Top NP Programs in New Mexico 2020

Rank School Location
1 New Mexico State University Las Cruces, NM
2 University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM

Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in New Mexico

New Mexico State University View School Profile Las Cruces, NM

New Mexico State University has stopped offering master's degree programs for nurse practitioners due to an increasingly strong drive for all NPs in the country to have a doctorate degree. As such, they offer a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) instead. This shows just how forward thinking the university is, since the new regulations in terms of education for a NP came into place in 2015. Students have the choice of taking part in a BSN-to-DNP program or in an MSN-to-DNP program. They also offer different specializations: public/community health, psych/mental health, and adult health programs. The school has also started the family nurse practitioner track. However, some of these specializations only start every other year due to the nursing shortage in New Mexico, felt most acutely in the availability of nurse educators. The programs are available online, which means you can study and work at the same time. However, the program requires significant work and dedication to complete it.

  • Campus: Las Cruces, NM
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: Varies
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Online availability: Yes – one week of on-campus attendance required per year
  • Degree requirements: Prerequisite courses, transcripts, clinical clearances, BSN or MSN
  • Programs: Online DNP – Adult Health, Psych/Mental Health and Public/Community Health, Family Nurse Practitioner; BSN-to-DNP or MSN-to-DNP
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid
University of New Mexico View School Profile Albuquerque, NM

At the University of New Mexico, students can take part in a master's-level FNP (family nurse practitioner) degree pathway. The emphasis of this program is on underserved and rural areas in the state. As such, nurses who are originally from or are current residents of these areas are encouraged to take part in the program. The university offers online classes for convenience, but other courses do require on-site attendance. This means that it may be quite difficult to complete the program and work at the same time. The school also offers a variety of other programs and a DNP program for those who already hold an MSN degree.

  • Campus: Albuquerque, NM
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: Varies, please inquire
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies
  • Online availability: Some elements
  • Degree requirements: BSN and MSN for DNP program, BSN degree, work experience, RN license valid in New Mexico
  • Programs: FNP, Adult-Gerontology NP, Pediatric NP, DNP
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner in New Mexico

To receive licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), individuals need a master's or doctorate from an accredited postsecondary institution. They must also take an examination from an approved third-party certification body. The exam depends on the nurse's specialty area.

Because the state's nursing board can take several weeks to issue a license, nurses may secure a temporary permit to practice. An individual's employer receives this permit on the nurse's behalf as long as the employer intends to hire the nurse.

To gain authorization to prescribe medications, NPs must complete 400 hours of preceptorship training along with demonstrated coursework in assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology.

Applying for APRN licensure comes with a $100 fee. Professionals must renew their license every two years while also engaging in at least 50 CE hours during each license period.

New Mexico Licensure Requirements

  • Education: MSN or DNP
  • Additional Clinical Hours: At least 400 hours for prescriptive authority
  • Exams: FNP Exam, A-GNP Exam, Emergency NP Exam
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continuing Education: 50 hours every two years

New Mexico Nurse Practitioner Salary and Career Information

New Mexico's projected 27.6% job growth rate sits just below the 28.2% national projected increase for NPs, but the state's $11,930 annual mean wage outpaces the national median annual wage of $109,820. Las Cruces tops the list for mean annual wages in the state's metropolitan areas, with NPs making $118,160. However, only 1.3 of every 1,000 NP jobs in Las Cruces had been filled as of May 2019.

A recent WalletHub study ranked New Mexico third among the best U.S. states in which to work as a nurse. The study considered factors including average starting and annual salaries, number of healthcare facilities per capita, quality of nursing schools and public healthcare systems, and support during coronavirus.

The employment data indicates that NP students and professionals should consider New Mexico. In addition, New Mexico NPs join their colleagues in 27 other states with full practice and prescriptive authority.

Nursing Resources for New Mexico

  • NMNA helps nurses advance in their careers through professional development, career services, and legislative advocacy, pushing for the integrity of the New Mexico Nursing Practice Act. The organization also offers resources to student nurses.

  • Founded in 1977, NMNPC serves the interests of the state's NPs through advocacy, CE, and legislative activities. The group offers scholarships for RNs enrolled in accredited NP programs.

  • A state agency, the board issues nursing licenses, provides license renewals, and upholds standards for nursing programs throughout the state. The board also maintains CE standards for nurses.

  • NMNAINA helps Native American nurses enter the field and advance in their careers through advocacy, scholarships, and collaboration with healthcare agencies. The organization spreads awareness of the field's career opportunities to Native peoples.

  • NMCNE fosters continual improvement in nursing practice, education, and work environments. The organization offers scholarships, professional development opportunities, an annual conference, and advocacy at the state level.

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