High-Need Skills for RNs in New Mexico

When it comes to in-demand careers, registered nurses (RNs) come out way ahead. Job growth for RNs is more than double the average rate for all occupations. Along with this high demand is a growing preference for RNs with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

The University of New Mexico (UNM) offers an affordable and convenient RN to BSN program that prepares nurses to meet employer expectations. An online format makes it possible for RNs to earn this valuable degree while they continue to gain professional experience.

Students graduate prepared for a wider range of jobs that may offer higher pay. RNs who choose to work in underserved areas of New Mexico may also be eligible for New Mexico's Loan-for-Service Program.

What Are Employers Looking for in RN Hires?

A recent article in the Santa Fe New Mexican, "Santa Fe Needs Nurses, Stat," discusses the demand for qualified RNs, including the importance of education and experience. As the human resources director of one Santa Fe healthcare organization pointed out, the more experience and education RNs have, the higher the salaries.

Like many states, New Mexico is facing healthcare challenges. For example, estimates show that more than 40 percent of the state's population lives in a Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Area. According to NursingLicensure.org, rural areas in New Mexico have a serious shortage of RNs. 

Job postings offer insight on hiring trends. An analysis from Burning Glass Technologies shares the following insights for RNs in New Mexico:

  • In 2018, there were 12,127 job postings for RNs in New Mexico.
  • 40 percent of employers hiring RNs requested applicants with BSN degrees.
  • 2 percent of those employers wanted to see least three to five years' experience.
  • 3 percent of employers were looking for BSN-prepared RNs with six to eight years' experience.

As the Burning Glass report shows, RNs with a BSN have a competitive edge in the job market. In fact, a BSN is now often seen as the entry level degree to practice. While many RNs got their start with an associate degree, the BSN is noted as the minimum requirement for professional nursing by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

How Does a BSN Help RNs Develop Sought-After Skills?

Nurses with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) and those with a BSN take the same licensing exam, the NCLEX-RN. But the roles of a BSN-prepared RN may be different. One reason is that a BSN prepares RNs with advanced clinical and leadership skills, along with skill sets linked to better patient outcomes.

A Burning Glass analysis shows the following most-requested skills for RNs in New Mexico:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Planning
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • People Management
  • Computer Literacy

UNM's RN to BSN program prepares RNs to meet employer needs by including coursework that emphasizes professional communication, evidence-based practice, and leadership and management.

The RN to BSN degree program from UNM equips RNs with the education, skills and competencies New Mexico's employers want to see. And with UNM's convenient online format, RNs can continue to build valuable clinical experience at the same time. Together, a BSN and experience can put RNs on a path to better job opportunities and higher salaries.

Learn more about the UNM online RN to BSN program.


The Santa Fe New Mexican: Santa Fe Needs Nurses, Stat

UNM Health Sciences Center: 2017 NM Health Data Summary

NursingLicensure.org: More Autonomy Needed in Rural and Diverse Landscapes: RN to BSN Programs in New Mexico

American Association of Colleges of Nursing: The Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing as Minimal Preparation for Professional Practice

NursingLicensure.org: ADN and BSN Nursing Pathways: What Are the Differences?

Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight 2019

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