Many areas in the United States are experiencing shortage in nurses, and one of those places that is not spared is New Mexico. There is nurse shortage in New Mexico because of many different reasons, and one of which is the latest Affordable Care Act and also Medicaid Expansion which makes health care more accessible to a lot of people. Another reason is that the current work force is made up of professionals who are already retiring or are close to their retirement which is why there is a need to find replacements for them.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 there were about 27,000 jobs that are available for the health care professionals, but this figure was reduced to only 17,000 job openings for the health care sector at the present time. Because of this concern, New Mexico is definitely doing some efforts to address the issue. In fact since 2011, both the policy makers as well as the educators have been creating a common curriculum that will enable the students to transfer between colleges within New Mexico without any hassle.
Also in the state of New Mexico, only 5 schools of nursing are approved and recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and because New Mexico is also in great need of nurse educators, around 209 students who are qualified to enter the nursing program were refused to join the nursing program. The new curriculum that has been developed by the educators and policy makers are already being implemented by some schools, and this curriculum enables the students to obtain their bachelor’s degree by attending a community college.
Students who pursue their nursing degree in a community college are wished to stay in the community as well so that somehow the nurse shortage will be reduced in some areas. If the new curriculum is proved to be effective, then its full implementation will take place on 2016. This way then, shortage of nurses will somehow be lessened.
As mentioned, it is not only nurses that are very much needed in New Mexico, but also nurse educators who will be providing the necessary training and education to the future nurses of the state. There is a high requirement for nurse educators. In New Mexico, teaching is only available to those with a master’s degree which is why the state is also offering financial assistance to those who are already taking up advanced education. Financial assistance is also extended to those who would like to become nurse educators.
Nurses get an average salary of $58,000 in New Mexico which falls below the national average, but compensation can become higher for the nurses who have high levels of education. In the total nurse population in New Mexico, only 8.6% are Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN).
Students who intend to pursue a degree in nursing can certainly avail of the best quality of education in New Mexico as it has some schools of nursing that are known to provide such. The top 5 schools of nursing are the following:
- University of New Mexico
New Mexico State University
School of Nursing
P. O. Box 30001, MSC 3185
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001
Telephone: (575) 646-3812
Fax: (575) 646-2167
One of the best schools in New Mexico that offers nursing programs is the University of New Mexico whose aim is to promote health and the same time enhance the quality of life among the residents of the state through nursing education, research, public service and practice. University of New Mexico has programs that are available to both the undergraduate as well as the graduate, and aside from this so many options are offered as well to those who are just starting with their nursing courses and also to those who are already in the advanced level.
Over the last 5 years, this university has offered more degrees and courses that will best suit the students’ academic needs. More than the programs offered in- campus, University of New Mexico also has a lot of programs that are offered online. This university also has a strategic location as it can be found along the United States Mexico border.
In this university, students of nursing are equipped with hands- on clinical experiences in acute care and also community based. University of New Mexico’s baccalaureate and master’s programs are all accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and its School of Nursing is a full member of the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium.
Its BSN programs can be achieved in 3 ways. First is through the traditional 4 year pre- licensure BSN. Second is through online RN to BSN and the third option is through 2nd degree Pathways options. Under its graduate programs on the other hand are: Master of Science in Nursing Administration and Doctor of Nursing Practice which is also offered online.
At the University of New Mexico, both the faculty and the students participate in community service within New Mexico.
- Eastern New Mexico University
Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell
PO BOX 6000
Roswell, NM 88202-6000
Another university where students of nursing can expect good quality of education is the Eastern New Mexico University which first began as Roswell Community College that was founded in 1958. Roswell Community College started with only 157 part time students who were attending Roswell High School. Then in 1963, the school transferred to the old federal building, and in 1967, the Eastern New Mexico University- Roswell campus was the former Walker Air Force Base which has 241 acres of land and 27 major brick buildings.
The Eastern New Mexico University- Roswell transferred to the new facilities coming from the old Air Force building in 1982. Then in 2009, the Phase II of Health Science Center was completed. This university has undergone so many developments both physically and academically over the years since its foundation.
The new Student Services Center began its construction in 2008 and was completed in 2012, and a budget of $12.8M was used to rehabilitate the 52,000 square foot campus property which was in the south of the current Health Science center. This latest construction houses the most modern facilities that provide resources to give training and at the same time, retain future health care workers.
Eastern New Mexico University also has online programs available, and currently has more than 1,500 students.
- Central New Mexico Community College
525 Buena Vista Dr. SE, Albuquerque, NM 8710
Central New Mexico Community College is also one of the good schools in New Mexico with excellent nursing programs. In this academic institution, students can expect to find Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing which is taught in a holistic way so that it can inspire the students to develop clear communication as well as critical thinking and also compassion for their patients.
At Central New Mexico Community College, courses come with classroom, laboratory as well as supervised clinical instructions so nursing students can have a well- rounded education. The certificate program at this college trains its students to care for their patients in different types of health care settings, and all of which are done under the guidance of a registered nurse or a physician or a dentist.
The nursing programs at Central New Mexico Community College on the other hand offers a faster route for those who are qualified licensed practical nurses to finish their nursing degree and eventually enter into their 3rd term of nursing. All programs at this academic institution are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Graduates of Central New Mexico Community College are prepared to take the NCLEX- RN or the NCLEX- PN. Students can have high quality of education at this community college without even spending much.
- ITT Technical Institute Albuquerque
5100 Masthead Street N.E.
Albuquerque, NM 87109
ITT Technical Institute Albuquerque guarantees to prepare its nursing graduates to become licensed registered nurses. The programs in this academic institution integrates theory with clinical elements that will focus on the concepts of certain professional nursing roles such as caregiver, advocate, educator, communicator and manager.
At ITT Technical Institute Albuquerque, students of nursing are allowed to use the nursing lab as well as other school equipment such as networked computer systems and other common computer peripherals to help them enhance their nursing care skills.
ITT Technical Institute Albuquerque also offers online programs to make learning more accessible and convenient to the students who are also working at the same time. It also has a class size of only about 15 to 30 students to maintain quality of education.
- Northern New Mexico College
Northern New Mexico College
921 N. Paseo de Oñate
Española, NM 87532
Students who would like to pursue a degree in nursing can also take a look at the Northern New Mexico College which has been educating and training future nurses and prepares their nursing graduates to meet the health care needs of the community since 1973. Northern New Mexico College has been known to provide superior education in nursing since its nursing program began.
Northern New Mexico College offers Certified Nurse Aide, Licensed Practice Nurse and Associate Degree Nurse. A holistic RN to BSN program is also available in this college. This academic institution has also had a long history of development even before its nursing programs began.
It was in 1953 when Northern New Mexico State School, which was its former name was obliged to offer trainings that are not offered in public schools, and it was also at this time when secondary school curriculum was implemented. When the name was changed to Northern New Mexico College six years after, the school still taught grades 7 to 12 along with some college courses.
It was in 1961 when the college began to offer programs in different fields of study such as business, education, general studies and other vocational programs.