The New Mexico Board of Nursing has announced its intention to create a larger community of BSN-educated nurses, and is already investing financial resources to realize this goal. Strengthening the educational background of the state’s nursing workforce will not only help provide better quality care to healthcare patients but also enable nurses to receive higher salaries.
According to the New Mexico Board of Nursing’s 2014 Annual Report, the board recently allocated $20,500 of its Nurse Excellence Fund to financially support the state’s Student Scholarship RN to BSN Program. The program’s objective is to increase student enrollment in Northern New Mexico College’s RN to BSN program by 20% through scholarship offers to new nursing students.
This type of government incentive initiate is helping to establish the BSN degree as the new educational standard among nurses in New Mexico. In 2013, the American Association of Colleges of Nurses reported there were 776 students enrolled in bachelor-level nursing programs. In that same year, 359 New Mexico nursing students completed either a bachelor or graduate-level nursing program.
New Mexico BSN Workforce and Income Analysis
Most job-seeking nurses in New Mexico currently hold ADNs. However, most potential employers prefer nurses that hold a bachelor’s degree. As a result, BSN-educated nurse are more likely to qualify for better jobs that yield higher salaries.
State government wage report show that BSN-educated nurses receive significantly higher salaries than ADN-educated nurses in New Mexico. In 2013, ADN nurses earned an average annual salary of $51,400 and an average hourly wage of $24.71. However, BSN-educated nurses were more generously compensated with an average annual salary of $71,650 and an average hourly wage of $34.45.
Perhaps a more accurate depiction of the wage disparity between RNs with BSNs versus those with ADNs can be found in recent job postings. In February 2015, online job advertisements for registered nurses in New Mexico offered ADN-educated nurses an average annual salary of $56,297 and an average hourly wage of $27.07. However, BSN-educated nurses were offered a far higher average annual salary of $75,726 and an average hourly wage of $36.41.
According to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, the education level among job candidates searching for registered nurse positions statewide in February 2015 were as follows:
- Associate’s Degree: 99%
- Bachelor’s Degree: 87%
- 1-3 Years of College/Tech/Vocational 74%
- High School Diploma: 01%
- Master’s Degree: 01%
Comparatively, here is the minimum level of education requirements associated with advertised RN jobs across New Mexico in February 2015:
- Bachelor’s Degree: 75%
- Associate’s Degree: 31%
- Master’s Degree: 66%
- High School Diploma: 85%
- Vocational School Certificate: 44%
BSN Salaries in New Mexico by Geographic Location
Most BSN-educated nurses earn within the 75% and 90% percentiles among all non-advanced practice RNs. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has provided the following data table to show how geographic location of employment can help determine salary and wage expectations for BSN-educated RNs in New Mexico: