APIN Grant Project: New Mexico

The New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC) is a collaborative of every state-funded nursing program across the state. The consortium has created a statewide curriculum in nursing that provides a direct path for students to receive a baccalaureate degree through their hometown community college or their local university expanding this opportunity throughout the state.

The New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC) Model is implementing and evaluating a statewide nursing education plan in New Mexico with an overarching goal to increase the educational preparation and diversity of the nursing workforce. The three goals of this project are to increase 1) the number of BSN and graduate educated nurses in New Mexico, 2) the number of under-represented minority nurses in New Mexico with BSN or graduate degrees, and 3) employer demand for BSN-prepared nurses. Extensive data collection is underway to provide baseline data as well as measurements to meet these three goals.

In a November 2013 press conference, Governor Susana Martinez announced the readiness of the statewide common nursing curriculum paving the way for seamless transfer throughout the state saving precious time and resources for students. The implementation of this concept and competency based common curriculum will be delivered through university and community college partnerships and will roll out throughout the state over the next few years. The first partnership between a community college and a university began classes in January 2014. The NMNEC student is dual-enrolled in an ADN and BSN program and upon graduation receives both degrees. This statewide program increases the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses and increases the educational level of the nursing workforce, which is currently made up of 46 percent ADN-prepared*† RNs.

The NMNEC partnerships create opportunities for underrepresented minority students from rural areas to achieve a BSN degree within their home communities. NMNEC is committed to educating a diverse nursing workforce that reflects the population demographics of the state. New Mexico’s focus on diversity is twofold: a short-term approach is recruitment and retaining underrepresented minority students. A long-term focus is to increase the number of underrepresented minority nurses earning BSN degrees and graduate degrees in nursing.

The state’s first meeting of employer-partners was called by the New Mexico Action Coalition in October, 2013. Employers gained an understanding of the NMNEC-prepared nurse with conceptually-based training. They discussed the differences they will observe during preceptorships and the consistency of training the students will experience. This was the nurse-employers’ first opportunity to gain an understanding of the effectiveness of this statewide program as well as understand the timeline for rollout throughout the entire state.

Nursing Education has changed in New Mexico! Eighteen state-funded nursing programs are working together to:

  1. Implement a common nursing curriculum (pre-licensure)
  2. Place the pre-licensure BSN degree option in community colleges in partnership with a university
  3. Build a diverse nursing workforce that reflects New Mexico’s majority-minority population