The health care industry of the United States has undergone an unprecedented amount of change in recent years, and it is expected to keep changing and adapting for many years to come. This has had a huge impact on the nursing industry of New Mexico, which serves patients from different language backgrounds, various income levels, and with differing levels of access to health care.
How, then, is the state of New Mexico going to make health care more accessible and more affordable for its residents? The key lies with clinical nurse researchers, who study every aspect of the health care industry to make it more efficient and more evidence-based. Many important advances in health care can be attributed to nurse researchers. In fact, New Mexico’s nurse hotline model, which was developed by experienced researchers, is being touted as a model of care in many other states.
If you have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing and an interest in the academic side of nursing, find out what research nursing graduate programs in New Mexico are looking for.
New Mexico is home to several programs that can help you become qualified as a research nurse. You must have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, as this degree builds on a strong understanding and grasp of basic and advanced nursing concepts. Clinical experience is also crucial, with most schools requiring at least one year of full-time experience. Some schools require as much as five years of experience. Depending on which degree program you choose, plan on spending between two and seven years in school.
Before you begin your education, you should spend some time getting familiar with the curriculum. The courses you take should fully educate you on designing research, carrying it out, analyzing it, and using it to make evidence-based care decisions.
To reach these lofty goals, you may take classes like Research and Evidence-Based Nursing, Systems and Populations in Health Care, Professional Dimensions of Nursing Practice, Health Promotion Theories, Research Ethics in Health Care, and Setting Goals for Health Care Research. There is a clinical aspect to this degree, but rather than getting experience in a hospital or clinic, you participate in research studies and gradually take on more responsibility in important studies.
After you have been accepted to a nurse research program, you can start looking into financial aid opportunities in New Mexico. Your employer may help you with education expenses, but be sure to look into state financial aid, government financial aid, and private organizations. One popular resource for New Mexico nurses is the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence.
One of the benefits of earning an advanced nursing degree is the fact that it opens you up to an entire new set of career paths. Once you start specializing in research, you may seek positions at schools, research institutions, hospital research wings, specialty clinics, and medical product developers. One of the largest facilities for nursing research in New Mexico is the UNM Health Sciences Center.
Overall, clinical research is a fairly stable field in New Mexico. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net predicts little to no change in the amount of job openings for clinical researchers. Taking on this type of career often comes with an increase in salary potential. The average salary for a New Mexico nurse researcher is $100,200 per year (O*Net, 2015).
Are you ready to explore your full potential as a nursing professional? Choosing the right program is the first step. Reach out to nurse research programs in New Mexico to get started.