New Mexico is facing a shortage of advanced practice nurses (APNs), with 85% of its counties having an inadequate number of these professionals according to the 2013 annual report of the New Mexico Health Workforce Committee.
Slightly more than 80% of the advanced practice nurses in New Mexico have an MSN and receive high salaries for their advanced knowledge. In fact, their salaries were 1.47 to 1.84 times higher than those of staff nurses in 2013 according to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
The New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium advocates increasing the number of APN graduates in the state to ensure that the citizens of the state have adequate access to primary care providers.
Ninety-six students were studying to become APNs in New Mexico in 2013 according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Most of them were training to become nurse practitioners with the remaining 27.1% obtaining an education to become nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists.
Additional professional opportunities for MSN-educated nurses include helping to fill nursing faculty positions in the state’s nursing schools, or becoming administrators, informaticists or researchers.
A Comparison of APN and Staff Nurse Salaries in New Mexico
The financial advantage of getting an MSN is apparent in an analysis of the salaries of APN specialists educated at the master’s level compared to those of RNs who typically have ADN or BSN degrees. The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions provides this information for 2013:
The Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses provides further evidence for the increased earning power of nurses with MSNs in its salary analysis of nurses in the Western part of the US in 2012. APNs in this region earned 23.1% more than staff nurses according to this analysis:
- APN – $90,975
- Staff nurse – $70,467
The findings of this survey also revealed that advanced practice nurses in New Mexico earned more on average than those located in the rest of the Western states.
Nurse Practitioner Salaries in Key Regions of New Mexico
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed analysis of the salaries of nurse practitioners in the major cities and non-metropolitan areas of New Mexico for 2013. The average annual salaries of these professionals were substantially higher when they were located in the eastern nonmetropolitan part of the state:
*These figures represent hourly wages that are at least $90.00 per hour or annual salaries that are at least $187,199. These are the maximum salaries reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for New Mexico.