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UNM expands nurse practitioner programs

With the help of new state funding, the University of New Mexico College of Nursing is working to boost the ranks of primary care providers in New Mexico, according to an article on the university’s website.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and the 2014 New Mexico legislature included a nearly $1.7 million recurring appropriation to grow the total number enrolling in UNM’s pediatric nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife programs from 24 to 40.

While the enrollment deadline for the certified nurse midwife program has passed, prospective students have until Nov. 1 to apply for the pediatric and family nurse practitioner tracks. The first expanded classes will start in the summer 2015 semester and graduate in 2017.

“We’re trying really hard to get the word out,” Carolyn Montoya, PhD, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, associate professor and interim director of the College of Nursing practice team, said in the online story. “The legislature is making a commitment. I am trying to be sure that we spend this money appropriately and we have sufficient students.”

The three APRN programs each begin with online courses in pathophysiology, research, nursing theory and health policy, Montoya said. Then the training shifts to clinical courses on block schedules in which students alternate between the classroom and hands-on training in clinics.

“We send students all over the state,” Montoya said in the website article. “We can’t have you in a class on Monday and expect you to do a three-hour drive to Las Cruces to do your clinical. If you are from a rural community, we will try as much as possible to place you for your clinical experience in
your hometown.”

The trio of programs are a good fit for RNs looking to expand their skillset and greater autonomy in their practice, Montoya said, pointing out that New Mexico is one of 16 states in which NPs and certified midwives practice independently and with their own prescriptive authority.

“One of our selling points is that we’re not a massive program,” Montoya said. “There are some that take a hundred or more students. We don’t do that. Our students receive individualized
faculty instruction.”

The fact that all students who have graduated from the program in the past five years have passed their certification exams is another plus, she said in the article.

For more information

For the full story, visit

By | 2014-10-22T00:00:00-04:00 October 22nd, 2014|Categories: Regional, West|0 Comments

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