Steps to Becoming an APN in New Mexico

new mexico nursing

Get your Graduate Degree in New Mexico
Earn your National Certification in New Mexico
Apply for your License in New Mexico
Renewing your License in New Mexico

 

The New Mexico Board of Nursing (phone: 505-841-8340) grants approval for qualified registered nurses to work as advanced practice nurses (APN) in three categories:


  • Certified Nurse Practitioners (CNP)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

To be approved to work as an APN in New Mexico, you must hold a valid, unencumbered New Mexico RN license.

New Mexico Job Statistics

  • 2011 base salary for NPs in NM: $94,868
  • 2011 NCLEX-RN pass rate in NM: 82%
  • February 2006, New Mexico Board of Nursing requires APRNs taking opiates to obtain physician clearance before returning to practice
  • If you are a new graduate of a Board-approved course of study for registered nurses or you are a graduate from a program that is equivalent to an approved program of nursing in the United States, you must complete the RN Examination Application.
  • If you are licensed under the laws of another territory or foreign country, and if you meet the qualifications required by RNs in New Mexico, you may apply using the RN Examination Application.
  • If you are currently licensed in another state or territory in the United States or if you are a Canadian applicant endorsed by another state, you must complete the RN Endorsement Application. *
  • If you once held an RN license in New Mexico, you must complete the RN Renewal/Re-Activation Application.

*Nurse Licensure Compact

New Mexico is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact. The Compact offers practice privileges for registered nurses in all compact states (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin) . If you hold a license in a Compact state, including New Mexico, and you reside in that Compact state, your license is a multi-state license and you are authorized to practice in any other Compact state.


 

Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

To work toward APN licensure in New Mexico, you must meet one of the following requirements:

Certified Nurse Practitioner

To work toward a CNP license in New Mexico, you must successfully complete a master’s program designed for nurse practitioners as providers of primary and/or acute, and/or chronic, and/or long-term, and/or end of life healthcare. The program must be offered through an accredited institution of higher education or through the armed services. The program must be at least one academic year in length for full-time study and about one-third of the program must be didactic and two-thirds of the program must be preceptorship. Didactic hours must include at least 24 hours of pharmacology. Applicants who were licensed by the Board before January 2, 2001 are exempt from the master’s degree requirement.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

To work toward a CRNA license in New Mexico, you must successfully complete a master’s level education program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs (through the AANA). Applicants who were licensed by the Board (or by another board in another jurisdiction) before January 2, 2001 are exempt from the master’s degree requirement.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

To work toward a CNS license in New Mexico, you must successfully complete a master’s degree or doctoral degree in a defined clinical nursing specialty.


 

Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

To obtain an APN license, you must pass a national certification examination that is consistent with your area of specialty in one of the three general APN categories recognized by the New Mexico Board of Nursing:


  • Certified Nurse Practitioners (CNP)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

The following list represents the national certification bodies recognized by the New Mexico Board of Nursing, along with the various population foci and subspecialties for which certification is offered within the three general APN categories:

  • National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists
    • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
    • Adult Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
    • Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
    • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Clinical Specialist in Medical-Surgical Nursing
    • Clinical Specialist in Gerontological Nursing
    • Clinical Specialist in Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
    • Clinical Specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
    • Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Adult and Family)


 

Step 3. Apply for your License

CNP Application

To apply for initial CNP licensure in New Mexico, you must complete the Initial Nurse Practitioner License application. In addition to the completed application, you must also submit the following:


  • An official transcript of your nurse practitioner program, sent directly from the Registrar’s office of the college or university to the Board. You must also send a Verification of Nurse Practitioner Education form (found in the application) to the Registrar’s Office to be completed and sent back to the Board.
  • Verification of initial certification sent directly from your national certification body to the Board
  • A completed Affidavit Validating Prescriptive Writing (found in the application)
  • If you are awaiting examination and/or results of your national certification and you want to apply for a temporary graduate permit, verification must be sent directly from your national certification organization to the Board
  • A copy of your RN license – If you hold an RN license from a Compact state, you must submit a copy of the Compact license; a New Mexico advanced practice license will be issued with the same date at the Compact license

The completed application, and all related documents along with a fee of $100 in a U.S. money order or cashier’s check drawn on a U.S. bank (no personal checks) and made payable to: the “New Mexico Board of Nursing” or with a credit card should be sent to the State of New Mexico Board of Nursing, 6301 Indian School NE, Suite 710, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87110.

To apply for CNP licensure by endorsement, you must complete the application for Nurse Practitioner Licensure by Endorsement. In addition to a completed application you must also submit the following:

  • Endorsement Request form (found in the application) sent to the state(s) where you are licensed as Nurse Practitioner, to be completed and sent back directly to the Board
  • For prescriptive authority, include the Affidavit Validating Prescriptive Authority (found in the application) and your current formulary
  • A copy of your national certification, sent directly from the National Certification Organization to the Board
  • A copy of your RN license – If you hold an RN license from a Compact state, you must submit a copy of the Compact license; a New Mexico advanced practice license will be issued with the same date at the Compact license

Mail the completed application, all related documents, and a fee of $100 (or $160 for both the permanent license and a temporary license) in a U.S. money order or cashier’s check drawn on a U.S. bank (no personal checks) and made payable to the “New Mexico Board of Nursing” or with a credit card to the State of New Mexico Board of Nursing, 6301 Indian School NE, Suite 710, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87110.

CNS Application

To apply for initial CNS licensure in New Mexico, you must complete the Clinical Nurse Specialist Licensure application. In addition to the completed application, you must also submit the following:

  • An official transcript of your educational program, sent directly from the Registrar’s office of the college or university to the Board
  • Verification of Clinical Nurse Specialist Education Form (found in the application) sent to the Clinical Nurse Specialist Program, to be completed and sent back directly to the Board
  • A copy of your current national certification, showing your clinical area of nursing, sent directly from the National Certification Organization to the Board
  • If you are awaiting examination and/or results of your national certification and you want to apply for a temporary graduate permit, verification must be sent directly from the National Certification Organization to the Board, as well as a letter of intent from a prospective employer and the name of the supervisor and direct prescription writing supervisor (CNS, CNP or physician)
  • A completed Affidavit Validating Prescriptive Writing (found in the application) from preceptorship on official letterhead and your current formulary
  • A copy of your RN license – If you hold an RN license from a Compact state, you must submit a copy of the Compact license; a New Mexico advanced practice license will be issued with the same date at the Compact license.

Mail the completed application, all related documents, and a fee of $100 in a U.S. money order or cashier’s check drawn on a U.S. bank (no personal checks) and made payable to the “New Mexico Board of Nursing” or with a credit card to the State of New Mexico Board of Nursing, 6301 Indian School NE, Suite 710, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87110.

To apply for CNS Licensure by Endorsement, you must complete the CNS Endorsement Application. In addition to a completed application, you must also submit the following:

  • Endorsement Request form (found in the application) sent to the state(s) where you are licensed as an advanced practice nurse, to be completed and sent back directly to the Board
  • For prescriptive authority, include the Affidavit Validating Prescriptive Authority (found in the application) and your current formulary
  • A copy of your national certification, sent directly from the National Certification Organization to the Board
  • A written request for a temporary license, if desired
  • A copy of your RN license – If you hold an RN license from a Compact state, you must submit a copy of the Compact license; a New Mexico advanced practice license will be issued with the same date at the Compact license

Mail the completed application, all related documents, and a fee of $100 (or $160 for both the permanent license and a temporary license) in a U.S. money order or cashier’s check drawn on a U.S. bank (no personal checks) and made payable to the “New Mexico Board of Nursing” or with a credit card to the State of New Mexico Board of Nursing, 6301 Indian School NE, Suite 710, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87110.

CRNA Application

To apply for initial CRNA licensure in New Mexico, you must complete the CRNA Licensure application. In addition to the completed application, you must also submit the following:

  • A certified copy of your national certification card from the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists sent directly from the organization to the Board
  • An official transcript of nurse anesthetist program, sent directly from the program to the Board
  • If you are awaiting examination and/or results of your national certification and you want to apply for a temporary graduate permit, verification must be sent directly from the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists to the Board stating that you will sit for your exam within 12 weeks of graduating from a nurse anesthetist program, as well as a letter of intent from a prospective employer and the name of the supervisor and direct prescription writing supervisor.

Mail the completed application, all related documents, and a fee of $100 in a U.S. money order, cashier’s check drawn on a U.S. bank (no personal checks) and made payable to the “New Mexico Board of Nursing” or with a credit card to the State of New Mexico Board of Nursing, 6301 Indian School NE, Suite 710, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87110.

To apply for CRNA Licensure by Endorsement, you must complete the CRNA Endorsement Application. In addition to a completed application, you must submit the following:

  • Verification of CRNA form (found in the application) sent to the state(s) where you are licensed as an advanced practice nurse, to be completed and sent back directly to the Board
  • For prescriptive authority, include the Affidavit Validating Prescriptive Authority (found in the application) and your current formulary.
  • A copy of your national certification, sent directly from the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists to the Board
  • A written request for a temporary license, if desired
  • A copy of your RN license – If you hold an RN license from a Compact state, you must submit a copy of the Compact license; a New Mexico advanced practice license will be issued with the same date at the Compact license.

Mail the completed application, all related documents, and a fee of $100 (or $160 for both the permanent license and a temporary license) in a U.S. money order, cashier’s check drawn on a U.S. bank (no personal checks) and made payable to the “New Mexico Board of Nursing” or with a credit card to the State of New Mexico Board of Nursing, 6301 Indian School NE, Suite 710, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87110.

Prescriptive Writing Privileges

You may apply for prescriptive writing privileges as an APN in New Mexico, provided you have met all other requirements for advanced practice licensure in New Mexico and you have completed the Affidavit Validating Prescriptive Writing found in the application for advanced practice.

If you are unable to validate prescriptive writing, you must provide documentation of the completion of at least 400 hours of prescribing dangerous drugs in a preceptorship with a licensed CNP, CNS, or physician. If you lack the preceptorship requirements, you may still be considered for licensure if you can provide evidence of at least two years nurse practitioner experience in another jurisdiction.

Controlled Substances Authority

If you wish to prescribe or distribute controlled substances as an APN, you must first apply for prescriptive authority using the Affidavit for Prescriptive Authority form enclosed in the application and indicate your desire to prescribe or distribute controlled substances.

Once the Board receives your prescriptive authority form, they will send a letter to the Board of Pharmacy authorizing you to apply for a state controlled substance license and a DEA registration. You can contact the Board of Pharmacy (phone: 800-565-9102) to request a state controlled substance application and a DEA application. Note: you may not prescribe or distribute controlled substances in New Mexico as an APN until you have both a current state controlled substances registration and a current DEA registration.

Temporary Permit

A one-time, renewable permit may be issued if you are a degree-holding nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist waiting to take your scheduled national certification examination or awaiting the results of the examination. Proof of awaiting certification must be sent directly from the certifying organization to the Board when applying for initial licensure for advanced practice.

Temporary License

A temporary license may be issued if you are an applicant for licensure by endorsement. Temporary licenses are valid for up to six months from the date of the application or when the current advanced practice license is issued or rejected, whichever comes first. You must show proof that you have met all other requirements for advanced practice except for national certification.


 

Step 4. Renewing Your License

Your nursing licenses must be renewed every two years by the end of your birth month. You must renew your advanced practice license in New Mexico at the same time you complete your RN license renewal. Both renewal forms can be completed online through the MyLicense e-Government online system. The cost of renewal is $93 for your RN renewal and $100 for your advanced practice renewal. You may also apply for renewal using the RN/Advanced Practice Renewal/Re-Activation Application paper application.

The first time you use the online renewal system you will need to register here by creating a user ID and password. You may renew your license online using a Visa or a MasterCard.

You will receive a license renewal notice in the mail about one month before your license expires, which will have your online registration code (pin number). To renew you license, you will need to have your license number, registration code and credit card handy.

Continuing Education Requirements

As an RN, you are expected to complete 30 hours of approved continuing education in the 24 months preceding the expiration of your license. Continuing education done to maintain national certification may be used toward the Board’s required continuing education hours.

As a CNP or CNS, you must complete a total of 50 hours of approved continuing education during each renewal period (30 of which meet the RN requirements and 20 additional contact hours, 15 of which must be in pharmacology and 5 of which must be in your area of practice).

As a CRNA, you must submit to the Board a copy of you recertification card issued by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists.

The New Mexico Board of Nursing accepts continuing education that has been approved by:

  • A recognized approval agency, such as a national or state nursing organization
  • Another state board of nursing
  • A New Mexico-approved local monitoring system

Other sources of approved continuing education include:

  • Continuing education divisions within educational institutions of higher learning
  • Generally recognized healthcare or professional organizations, such as the UNM Division of Continuing Education
  • Academic credits from a university or college, such as New Mexico State University
  • Generally recognized healthcare or professional organizations, such as the American Psychology Association
  • Some business associations

The Board of Nursing does not approve continuing education and does not keep a list of acceptable continuing education. All continuing education, however, is subject to audit by the Board. The approval body for continuing education for RNs and APNs is the New Mexico Nurses Association (phone: 505-471-3324).

License Re-Activation

If you fail to renew your RN and APN license and more than 60 days have passed since the expiration date of your license, you may apply for reactivation using the RN/Advanced Practice Renewal/Re-Activation Application paper application and pay the reinstatement fee of $200 (for both RN and APN), provided all other requirements are met.

The fee must be paid in the form of a U.S. money order or cashier’s check drawn on a U.S. bank (no personal checks) and made payable to the “New Mexico Board of Nursing”; you may also pay with a credit card. Send the application and fee to the State of New Mexico Board of Nursing, 6301 Indian School NE, Suite 710, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87110.

License Reinstatement

If you are applying for reinstatement to practice nursing in New Mexico, you may apply using the RN/Advanced Practice Renewal/Re-Activation Application paper application and pay the reinstatement fee of $110 (for both RN and APN), provided it has been less than two years since your licenses expired.

The fee must be paid in the form of a U.S. money order or cashier’s check drawn on a U.S. bank (no personal checks) and made payable to the “New Mexico Board of Nursing”; you may also pay with a credit card. Send the application and fee to the State of New Mexico Board of Nursing, 6301 Indian School NE, Suite 710, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87110.

Advanced Practice Nurse Associations in New Mexico

There are a number of professional organizations that support APNs in New Mexico with continuing education and advocacy services:

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