While many parts of the economy are moving at a sluggish pace, healthcare is experiencing continued growth. With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, there is an ever-growing need for nurses. This is particularly true in New Mexico, where there are many remote and rural areas. Many previous graduates are returning to school to start a nursing career, taking advantage of the credits already earned pursuing a non nursing degree.
Students who have already earned a Bachelor's degree are often excited to learn that they can earn their Bachelor's degree in nursing in as little as 12 to 18 months. By taking classes year-round and focusing solely on nursing, students can start a brand new career that can bring a renewed sense of self fulfillment and purpose.
To learn more about how you can work toward a Bachelor's of Science degree while still taking advantage of the credits you've already earned, check our list of programs below. We have featured those programs that offer distance and online options for a Fast Track BSN, as many student enjoy the flexibility of these programs.
Accelerated BSN Curriculum in New Mexico
There are several different types of accelerated nursing programs in New Mexico. Students can choose to go to an online university, where they can do most of their schoolwork online. Other students prefer a traditional classroom setting, where they learn alongside other nursing students. Regardless of which school in New Mexico you choose, the basic layout of the program is the same. First, you take nursing courses that provide you with all the knowledge you need. Second, you get clinical practice that prepares you to enter the workforce.
As a non-nurse, you have to learn quickly in a BSN program. Beyond mastering the basics of nursing with classes like pharmacology and medication administration, you also have to be proficient in nursing specialty fields. These classes make you a valuable asset to employers, as you can provide thoughtful, educated care in many different areas. Most accelerated BSN programs in New Mexico include courses in surgical care, palliative/hospice care, care of children and adolescents, neonatal care, and maternity care.
Your clinical rotations will test how well you studied and learned during your nursing courses. Clinical rotations involve going to a local clinical site and using all of your nursing techniques. You will have to refine your skills while learning how to communicate with patients, how to work with nurses, and how to concentrate in an intense environment. Your clinical supervisor will assess your skills and help you perfect them.
Career Outlook issues in New Mexico
With the growing population in New Mexico, there is a rapidly growing need for skilled nurses. The Indian Health Service has funded programs in New Mexico and other states to prepare nurses and other health care workers to work with members of the Navajo nation. The need for nurses is expected to grow 26% between 2010 and 2020, according to O*Net. This is about 670 new jobs per year in New Mexico.
The median salary for nurses in New Mexico is $66,000 (O*Net, 2012). Much of what determines your salary is where you work. Some of the largest nursing employers in New Mexico include Core Medical Group, Allied Medical, Gentiva Health Services, Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, and Adecco Medical & Science.
Licensing Considerations in New Mexico
Prior to working as a nurse in New Mexico, you must have a New Mexico nursing license. You can earn this either by presenting proof of licensure in another state or examination. Most new graduates must receive their license via examination. You can take the NCLEX-RN after completing your approved BSN program. Upon passing the exam, you may apply for a license from the New Mexico Board of Nursing. After you receive your license, you have to obtain a license renewal every two years. Prior to receiving a renewed license, you have to complete 30 hours of approved continuing education.
Many registered nurses in New Mexico join the New Mexico Nurses Association. The association helps nurses get involved with legislature, such as a recent sonography bill that was passed in New Mexico. Members can also be part of fundraising efforts, continuing education hours, and Board of Nursing Activities.