If you are a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, the top-notch Master’s in Nursing degree programs in New Mexico may be the perfect option for expanding career opportunities in advanced healthcare practice. Despite being the fifth largest and sixth least densely populated state of the United States with just 2.1 million residents, New Mexico is situated in the southwestern region with a dynamic border environment that promotes a vibrant mix of cultures. In fact, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics and second highest percentage of Native Americans in the entire nation.
Therefore, not only does the “Land of Enchantment” provide a gorgeous background landscape with plenty of outdoor recreational activities, but it also offers nurses the unique chance to gain experience working with multicultural populations in underserved regions. In order to order to take advantage of this opportunity and open more professional doors in nursing specialty areas, read on to learn about the various Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree tracks that are available within New Mexico.
New Mexico State University
School of Nursing
Based on a vast 3,5000-acre urban campus in the city of Las Cruces within just 50 miles north of the Mexican border with five satellite locations and 33 cooperative extension offices scattered across the entire state, New Mexico State University is a large comprehensive public land-grant research university that provides educational opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. With its federal designation as a Hispanic-serving institution and the very first Honors College in New Mexico, NMSU has a diverse community of over 28,200 students for a vibrant mix of all ethnic backgrounds. Consistently recognized as a top-tier school by Washington Monthly’s National University rankings, NMSU is currently ranked as the 190th best college and 108th top public school in the entire nation by the U.S. News and World Report.
Established within the College of Health and Social Services in membership with the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC), the School of Nursing is committed to improving the quality of life for citizens of New Mexico through offering dynamic undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide array of specialty areas for producing competent health professionals with an appreciation for the state’s multicultural heritage. In order to accommodate busy working nurses, the School utilizes educational technologies to deliver online programs with short on-campus orientations and local practicum sites statewide. Therefore, the U.S. World and News Report has also recognized NMSU for being the 193rd best graduate nursing school with the 94th best online graduate nursing programs in the country.
Master’s in Nursing Degree Programs
MSN Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) – Available only on even numbered years to registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing who are interested in preparing for the national certification examination for primary care practice, the MSN Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) program track is highly focused on advanced practice nursing for the quality care of adults and the elderly. With a distinctive emphasis on advanced health assessment, pharmacology, disease management, and pathophysiology, the program prepares advanced practitioners for treating acute and chronically ill adults across a variety of settings. In addition to specialty seminars completed mostly online with limited on-campus requirements, students will be required to actively engage in clinical field experiences that will focus on providing acute care to adults across the continuum.
MSN Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) – As the newest specialty track to be added into the diverse avenues of study available, the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program is designed to prepare registered nurses for advanced practice nursing through an in-depth study focused on the care of individuals and families across the age spectrum from infancy through late adulthood. With a seamless blend of classroom and hands-on clinical learning experiences, students focus their studies on managing both acute and chronic illnesses within family systems with expertise in advanced health assessment, diagnosis, and intervention. Although the cohort-based program is offered online, all students will be required to participate in a mandatory on-campus clinical residency each year for at least one full week. Graduates will possess the thorough knowledge base on the impacts of illness on families needed to take the Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner national certification examination from the ANCC.
MSN Nursing Administration – With the goal of providing students with the experiences needed to succeed in high-level management positions of various healthcare organizations and fulfill the academic requirements needed for obtaining the licensure required of top administrative roles, the MSN Nursing Administration track is offered online with a three or four-day on-campus orientation that is required for each student at least once yearly. Available for registered nurses who currently hold a valid RN licensure and have already achieved a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) from an accredited institution, the program typically takes five semesters full-time or seven semesters part-time with an innovative leadership practicum. Due to the nature of the coursework, it is recommended that all applicants to the program have the essential skills for utilizing the computer for the Internet, work processing, and online presentations.
MSN Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (FPMHNP) – Available on the odd numbered years only to registered nurses who can accommodate a full-time course load each semester, the MSN Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (FPMHNP) program track aims to prepare graduates with the knowledge, skills, practices, values, and abilities needed to fulfill this role across all practice settings. Within the program, students will gather essential skills in mental health management to become well-prepared for pioneering patient care quality improvement in all psychiatric systems. The mostly online program of study is structured to prepare graduate nurses to provide mental healthcare services in diverse community settings with an emphasis on individual, group, and family interventions.
MSN Public/Community Health – Ideal for registered nurses who are aiming to transition from the traditional patient-centered approach to begin helping whole communities, the MSN Public/Community Health program track is focused on delivering the most essential skills needed for serving the needs of underserved at-risk populations throughout New Mexico. Built with a strong emphasis on the prevention of diseases within particularly vulnerable citizens, the track is beneficial for graduates seeking to find success in leadership positions in schools, community-based clinics, advocacy agencies, regional health departments, and other public health bodies. While the majority of the advanced coursework can be completed online from anywhere in the nation with an Internet connection, all students must agree to attend a mandatory week-long seminar each year on-campus in Las Cruces for increased relationship building with peers and trained faculty members after orientation.
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)
1780 East University Avenue
P.O. Box 30001
Las Cruces, NM 88003
University of New Mexico
College of Nursing
First established in 1889 as the state’s flagship comprehensive four-year public research institution, the University of New Mexico is located on a pueblo-style 769-acre urban campus along old Route 66 in the heart of the Albuquerque metropolitan area overlooking the Sandia Mountains to the east. As a federally designated Hispanic-serving institution that representats a cross-section of all cultural backgrounds, UNM is home to a diverse community of over 27,270 students with another 7,900 students scattered across branch campuses. According to the U.S. News and World Report, UNM has an outstanding reputation for being the 181st best college and 101st top public school in the entire United States.
Granted full accreditation through the respected Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the College of Nursing is strongly devoted to developing innovative solutions for today’s most pressing nursing challenges pertaining to human health and equity throughout the rural underserved communities around Albuquerque. The College occupies three floors of the Health Sciences Center complex, which is also home to the nationally recognized Cancer Research and Treatment Center, University Children’s Hospital, Children’s Psychiatric Hospital, and Mental Health Center for ample hands-on clinical opportunities. As a result, UNM has been recognized for having the 79th best graduate nursing programs and the 5th top nursing-midwifery degree program in the whole nation.
Master’s in Nursing Degree Programs
MSN Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) – As an intensive program for registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing that spans the entirety of seven terms filled with valuable advanced coursework as well as hands-on supervised field experiences, the Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) track focuses on providing direct advanced practice services to adult and gerontological patients in need of acute care from a critical medical concern. With a focus on the key elements of diagnostic reasoning, advanced therapeutic intervention, consultation, systems management, and restorative care, the 56-credit track with 792 clinical hours is ideal for nurses who seek to stabilize episodes of acute illness as well as restore maximum health potential.
MSN Community Health – Immersed within the rich multicultural context of Albuquerque and the surrounding rural areas, the MSN Community Health program track is designed to prepare registered nurses for advanced specialty practice in the care of whole communities and vulnerable populations. With the goal of preparing clinical nurse specialists who will promote the improved well-being of the diverse populations of New Mexico, the 32-credit track includes coursework in nursing administration, applied epidemiology, health economics, evidence-based practice, nursing service management, clinical intervention, biostatistics, and pathophysiology as well as advanced nursing fieldwork and a comprehensive oral examination. Upon completion, graduates are qualified for applying for certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) if desired.
MSN Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) – Focused on preparing registered nurses to assume leadership roles in primary care for serving the diverse healthcare needs of underserved communities across rural New Mexico, the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track builds on the baccalaureate curriculum to provide the knowledge needed to gain eligibility for national certification. Within the 52-credit program, students will obtain expertise in human anatomy, physiology, statistics, therapeutic relationships, and community health promotion nursing. In addition, students will need to complete over 800 hours of clinical experience with two clinical rotations outside of the Albuquerque area in diverse rural communities.
MSN Nurse Administration – Available for registered nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of nursing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and valid RN licensure, the MSN Nurse Administration track aims to allow students to build the knowledge, skills, and values that are needed to assume high-level management positions in the delivery of healthcare services. As a 32-credit program that strongly focuses on communication, leadership, team-building, professionalism, quality management, and business skills, the curriculum can be completed fully online on a part-time basis with local fieldwork sites that accommodate all students’ working/living obligations.
MSN Nursing Education – Boasting the unique opportunity for students to work alongside an experienced faculty mentor one-on-one to create a student teaching focus that will meet their individual career goals, the MSN Nursing Education program track is ideal for registered nurses who wish to combine their clinical experience with a love of teaching to assume leadership in education for the nursing profession. After completing the 32-credit program, graduates will be highly qualified for effectively functioning as entry-level faculty members in nurse educator roles in associate and bachelor’s degree programs at all levels of college. However, many previous graduates have eventually assumed positions in the management of clinical training programs as well as research at government/private firms.
MSN Nurse-Midwifery (NM) – With the mission of educating registered nurses to serve the needs of rural and underserved populations outside of the Albuquerque metropolitan area with extensive clinical rotations, the MSN Nurse-Midwifery (NM) program track builds on the baccalaureate curriculum to prepare advanced practice nurses who specialize in providing care during pre-conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and the post-partum period. As a sequential six-term full-time program that consists of 55 credit hours and 1,000 hours of clinical opportunities, this Master of Science in Nursing program fulfills the requirements needed for national nurse midwifery certification/licensure in New Mexico and beyond.
MSN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) – Designed to prepare compassionate individuals for partaking in advanced leadership positions in providing primary care for infants, children, and adolescents under the age of 21, the MSN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) program track is ideal for individuals who are interested in becoming a primary care provider for underserved and vulnerable children across rural New Mexico. With full-time coursework over the course of six consecutive semesters year-round, the program requires the completion of at least 47 credit hours with clinical experiences added up to 720 clock hours.
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)
Nursing Building Room 228
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131
As today’s healthcare delivery systems continue to evolve and become more complex with changing medical laws, it is becoming even more important than ever before for registered nurses to receive advanced education in the field. While there are ample job opportunities available for nurses with a bachelor’s degree, earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is often the best way towards achieving leadership positions along with a higher salary potential and better job satisfaction. Whether you are a native New Mexican or are considering moving to the dynamic border state, be sure to check out these accredited Master’s in Nursing degree programs in New Mexico to pave the way towards a brighter future in nursing.
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