How to Become a Registered Nurse in New Mexico
Nursing is a career choice that is challenging and rewarding. It can also be demanding and exhausting at times. For anyone who has the desire to care for patients will find nursing the ideal career fit. To become a registered nurse (RN) in New Mexico, candidates must meet certain educational requirements and pass the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
Nursing continues to be a strong employment option in the healthcare field and is projected to continue to grow by 18 to 20% through the year 2020. The demand for nurses and the increase in healthcare options continue to struggle to keep pace with each other. The increase in nursing employment options is due largely to an aging population and longevity. Advancements in medical technology have increased the number of healthcare options.
The average RN salary is $60,000 annually and the staring RN salary is $45,000. RNs in a supervisory or administrative position will earn an average salary of $98,000. Of course, the actual salary depends upon several variables that include type of facility where employed, the level of responsibility held, the level of education achieved and years of experience.
The educational requirement is the completion of a nursing program approved by the New Mexico Board of Nursing (NMBON) and earn a minimum of an Associate‘s degree. The program must include class work and clinical training under the supervision of a certified RN instructor. The nursing program is designed to prepare the nursing student for the NCLEX. Once the educational requirement has been met, the student submits an application to test to the NMBON. If the student submits an application to test before the educational requirement has been met, and “has been met” means graduation, the application will not be processed. The application includes a criminal background check and fingerprint card. The applicant must all request a declaration of completion be sent from the nursing school to the NMBON. Since New Mexico is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact, the applicant must designate New Mexico as their state of residence. The applications will be reviewed in the order in which they were received. In addition to applying to the NMBON to test, the applicant must also apply to Pearson VUE Testing Services, the exam administrator, to take the exam.
The NMBON will notify Pearson VUE when an application has been approved and Pearson VUE will issue the applicant an authorization to test (ATT). The applicant will contact Pearson VUE and schedule the exam. It is recommended to register with Pearson VUE with an email address rather than a postal address, as the applicant will be notified quicker by email.
The NCLEX-RN results are reported as pass or fail. If an applicant passes the test, they will be issued an RN LICENSE. If the applicant does not pass the test, the applicant will receive an application to take the exam again, after a 45 day waiting period. To retake the exam, the applicant will be required to submit a new application with the appropriate fees. As of 2009, the state of New Mexico does not issue hard copy RN licenses. When the RN first passes the NCLEX, they will receive notification of their passing the exam long with their license number. RN licenses can be verified online through the NMBON website.
RNs are required to renew their license every two years and each RN is assigned an expiration date of 30 April or 31 May. RNs are required to complete 30 hours of approved continuing education hours every renewal period. Hours in excess of 30 hours each renewal period cannot be carried over to the next renewal period.
RNs find employment in facilities such as rehabilitative care facilities, occupational healthcare centers, nursing homes, assisted care facilities, hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices and visiting nurse and hospice organizations. RNs also undertake a variety of duties and take on a variety of tasks. The tasks depend greatly on the facility where employed, but typical RN tasks include dispensing medication, performing diagnostic testing, rendering emergency services, monitoring patient progress and response to medication, dressing wounds and changing dressings and preparing patient care plans.
RN Training Programs in New Mexico
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