Today Governor Susana Martinez announced a proposal to make New Mexico more competitive for nursing professionals by streamlining the requirements for nurses licensed in other states to become licensed in New Mexico. Governor Martinez's proposal includes nearly $220,000 in recurring marketing and advertising funds to recruit nurse practitioners to move to, and practice in, New Mexico. Unlike other states such as Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah, New Mexico offers full, independent practice and prescriptive authority for licensed nurse practitioners, and was the first state in the nation to establish family nurse practitioners. This model has become an example for other states across the country.
New Mexico is one of 24 states participating in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), a multi-state partnership that allows licensed nurses to cross state lines and practice without additional applications and fees in the member states. However, trained and licensed nurses coming to New Mexico from non-NLC states often find themselves bogged down in burdensome, time-consuming paperwork in regulations, hindering their ability to put their skills and experience to work providing health care to New Mexico's families and communities.
Governor Martinez's proposal will allow for licensed nurses relocating to New Mexico from non-NLC states to more easily provide the high quality of health care New Mexico families and communities deserve. This new proposal seeks to minimize the time it takes for nurses licensed to practice in non-NLC states to obtain the necessary licensure to practice in New Mexico. To be eligible, nurses must meet the same requirements set forth by the Board of Nursing as their counterparts already practicing in New Mexico.
"32 of New Mexico's 33 counties are already designated by the federal government as Health Profession Shortage Areas. The full implementation of Centennial Care, coupled with Medicaid expansion, will further increase the demand for highly trained and qualified health care professionals in New Mexico," said Governor Martinez. "By streamlining the requirements for nurses seeking to bring their talents and skills to New Mexico, we can further ensure that more New Mexicans, especially in rural and underserved areas, will have access to the high quality of health care our families and communities deserve."
Governor Martinez also recently announced a series of other initiatives designed to bolster New Mexico's health care workforce. Among these are: investing $1.5 million in expanding New Mexico's health care workforce; allowing practicing nurses who want to teach nursing at a New Mexico higher education institution to access a loan-for-service program; establishing a common nursing curriculum across the state and new partnerships between universities and local colleges to offer bachelor's degrees in nursing at more New Mexico schools; and implementing a statewide training and voluntary certification program for community health workers. Together, these initiatives will bolster the health care workforce in New Mexico and provide more qualified and trained health care professionals to serve our state's changing health care needs.