There are many ways to take your nursing career to the next level, but one of the most versatile choices is becoming a family nurse practitioner. Because much of New Mexico's population is spread across the state, many people are too far from health care for it to be practical. Family nurse practitioners can treat people of all ages, and they can do so in an affordable, evidence-based manner.
When you work as a family nurse practitioner, you spend the majority of your time seeing patients. This may include performing annual health checks, prescribing medication, and treating acute or chronic conditions. In addition, nurse practitioners are expected to keep up on nursing research and act as a leader in their health care facility.
One of the benefits of working in New Mexico is the wide scope of practice offered to nurse practitioners. Family nurse practitioners in New Mexico have full practice rights, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners . Working in New Mexico means that you do not need to be overseen by a physician or have a collaborative agreement with a physician.
Another benefit of working as a nurse practitioner in New Mexico is the increased earning potential. According to O*Net the median salary for NPs in New Mexico is $87,100 per year.
To find a Family NP program, check out the schools on this page, and request information to learn more about the programs offered.
Family Nurse Practitioner Curriculum in New Mexico
In order to be accepted to a nurse practitioner program, you must have a Bachelor's degree in nursing. Many of the courses required for a nurse practitioner degree build upon the coursework completed at the undergraduate level, so you may find it helpful to review your old course materials. Many students also recommend studying NCLEX review materials.
You can earn your FNP degree in either a Master's or Doctorate level program. Some of the courses you can expect to take while studying to become a nurse practitioner include Pathophysiology for Advanced Nursing Practice, Women's Health, Advanced Pharmacology, Research in Nursing, and Health Care Policy. These courses cover the whole spectrum of a nurse practitioner's responsibilities: patient care, nursing leadership, and research into evidence-based care.
An equally important part of your nurse practitioner program is the clinical work. Most schools require you to complete your clinical work throughout the course of the program. The specific requirements vary between schools, but most schools require 600 to 900 clinical hours prior to graduation. You can expect to spend between two and four years completing your nurse practitioner degree.
Financing your Family Nurse Practitioner Program in New Mexico
Student loans are one way to pay for your education. Since New Mexico is experiencing a nurse practitioner shortage, you may be able to get a Nursing Student Loan-for Service which is a special education loan in exchange for working in an area with a documented medical care shortage. There are also several scholarships and grants that can help fund your education.
Family Nurse Practitioner Careers in New Mexico
To be able to work as a family nurse practitioner in New Mexico, you have to be licensed by the New Mexico Board of Nursing. The license you earn is the advanced practice nursing license, which must be renewed every two years. For your license to be eligible for renewal, you have to complete 50 hours of continuing education every two years. Because New Mexico NPs have prescriptive privileges, 15 of those hours have to be in pharmacology.
Since you do not need a collaborative agreement with a physician in order to work in New Mexico, you can work in most health care settings. However, the majority of jobs are in health clinics, hospitals, and urgent care centers. Some of the largest nurse practitioner employers in New Mexico are UnitedHealth Group, Spectrum Healthcare Resources, GLC Associates, Corizon, and Gila Regional Medical Center. You can join the New Mexico Nurse Practitioner Council, which keeps you updated on nurse legislation in addition to helping you connect with other nurse practitioners.