Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice: New Mexico

I have never been to New Mexico but it’s on my vacation short list.  Complete with snow skiing, hiking, kayaking and mountain biking, New Mexico calls to my love of the outdoors and adventure.  Not to mention, I am a huge Breaking Bad fan at the moment.  New Mexico’s nurse practitioner scope of practice laws have recently made national headlines.  Do laws regulating the NP scope of practice in New Mexico mirror the sate’s sense of freedom and adventure?

New Mexico’s Nurse Practitioner Supervision Laws

True to the spirit of the state, New Mexico boasts some of the most favorable laws in the nation when it comes to nurse practitioner scope of practice.  New Mexico does not require nurse practitioners to practice under physician supervision allowing them freedom in their practice.  According to state law, nurse practitioners may “practice independently and make decisions regarding health care needs of the individual, family or community and carry out health regimens” independently.  New Mexico state law also allows nurse practitioners to “serve as primary acute, chronic long-term and end of life healthcare providers”.

Recently, New Mexico made national news headlines.  Governor Susana Martinez plans to push an advertising campaign encouraging nurse practitioners to leave neighboring Texas where scope of practice laws are less favorable, to work in New Mexico.  Largely rural, New Mexico needs more medical providers to increase access to healthcare for its residents.

New Mexico’s Nurse Practitioner Prescribing Laws

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Similar to supervision laws, prescribing laws for nurse practitioners practicing in New Mexico are quite favorable.  Nurse practitioners in New Mexico are permitted to prescribe Schedule II through V medications without physician oversight.

Other Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice Laws

Working as a nurse practitioner in New Mexico has a few perks when compared to other states.  NPs in New Mexico may be eligible for a special $3,000 rural tax credit coming directly off their income.  Nurse practitioners in New Mexico also enjoy the freedom to declare and sign death certificates as well as sign handicap parking permits.

New Mexico is a leader when it comes to allowing nurse practitioners to practice to the full scope of their abilities.  Not only is New Mexico’s influence helping to provide affordable, accessible healthcare to it’s residents, New Mexico is putting pressure on other states to do the same.


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