Category Archives: New Mexico (NM) M

Nov 8 2013
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New Mexico Governor Martinez Announces New Common Nursing Curriculum

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. [Photo by permission of the state of New Mexico via Wikimedia Commons.]

At a news conference yesterday in Albuquerque, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez announced the establishment of a statewide common nursing curriculum, designed to increase the number of nurses with Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees in the state. She was joined at the event by leaders from the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC), which led the effort to develop the curriculum and build partnerships between community colleges and universities.

NMNEC’s work is supported by the New Mexico Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative, a grantee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Implementation of this curriculum in New Mexico will allow nursing students to more easily transfer credits from community colleges within the state, so they can pursue BSNs without having to physically attend large universities like the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque or New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. For the first time, state community colleges will be able to partner with one of these universities to offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing.

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May 31 2013
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Health Inequities Harm Everyone

LisaMarie Turk, RN, MSN, is a fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico, working toward a PhD in nursing with a health policy concentration. She was awarded a Hearst Foundation Scholarship in 2010. This is part of a series of posts looking at diversity in the health care workforce.

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Ample scientific and empirical evidence supports increasing diversity in the health care workforce in order to decrease health disparities and advance health equity.

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I am a registered nurse and PhD student in Nursing and Health Policy at the University of New Mexico. New Mexico is known for its depth of cultural diversity; however, this state joins the nation in experiencing negligible diversity in its health care workforce. 

I was honored with the opportunity to complete a policy internship focusing on nursing workforce diversity at the Division of Nursing of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Health Professions. From this experience, I gained increased awareness and resources to affect change in nursing and health care workforce diversity in New Mexico.

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May 21 2013
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Progress in New Mexico: A New Kind of Education System for a New Generation of Nurses

Janice “Nisa” Bruce is the director of San Juan College Department of Nursing in Farmington, NM.  She has a BA from San Francisco State University, a BSN from East Central University Oklahoma, and an MS from the University of Oklahoma, College of Nursing.  She has been in nursing higher education since 1988, and is completing her 20th year at San Juan College.

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We began our New Mexico community college-university collaboration in late 2009 with the publication of a university-generated white paper articulating the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations citing the need for more baccalaureate nurses to meet the health care needs of the 21st century. Of course to community college associate degree educators, that proposal smacked of the old entry level into practice argument that has divided nursing educators for decades. We gnashed our teeth, we complained to each other, we argued that the literature was flawed. Then we got busy. And the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC) was born.

Little by little, over time, the pieces have fallen into place. 

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Nov 27 2012
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What the Election Means for Health and Health Care… The Country Needs More Providers, Better Mental Health and Elder Care, and an End to Poverty

Carolyn Montoya, RN, MSN, CPNP, is a fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico. A PhD Candidate, Montoya serves on the New Mexico Medicaid Advisory Committee, an advisory body to the Secretary of the state’s Human Services Department and the Director of the Medical Assistance Division Director. The RWJF Human Capital Blog asked scholars and fellows from a few of its programs to consider what the election results will mean for health and health care in the United States.

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Human Capital Blog: Do you think there will be fewer challenges to the Affordable Care Act and more attention to how to implement it?

Montoya:  Now that the election is over, the reality is that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will not be repealed. As we go forward with the ACA in place, a strong emphasis should be placed on evaluation. Outcome measures, such low rates of diabetes complications or increased immunization rates, will be essential in terms of being able to establish what aspects of the ACA are working and which ones need to be revised.

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Nov 19 2012
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Meet the RWJF Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico

This is part of a series introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio.

New Mexico is widely known for its scenic vistas and its rich cultural heritage. Thanks to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), it may soon add its health policy experts to the list of notables. The RWJF Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico is preparing a new generation of diverse, PhD-prepared nurses to meet the nation’s health policy challenges.

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Fellows are exploring a vast array of health care challenges with a specific focus on public policy solutions. Their research ranges from childhood obesity prevention policies, to cost analyses of obstetrical care, to enhanced access to mental and behavioral health, and more.

Through the program, fellows develop a unique understanding of the factors influencing public policy, and learn how they can become a powerful voice in that process.

Earlier this year, two of the program’s fellows, Laura Brennaman, MSN, RN,CEN, and Lauri Lineweaver, MSN, RN, CCRN-CSC, attended the historic Supreme Court oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act. Brennaman was also present in the chamber when the final decision was announced on June 28. The program strives to bring its fellows into events like these, which impart a profound lesson about the interconnectedness of the health care and policy worlds.

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Oct 9 2012
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Meet the RWJF Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico

This is part of a series introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio. The RWJF Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico is working to increase the diversity of those with formal training in the fields of economics, political science and sociology who engage in health services and health policy research, and to become a nationally recognized locus for health policy research that will support work to inform health policy debates at multiple levels.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico is poised to have a far-reaching impact on the nation. The Center is the only institution dedicated to increasing the number of leaders from Latino and American Indian communities who will help shape the future of our nation’s health and health care.

At the heart of this work is the academic and professional development of its doctoral and post-doctoral fellows, a diverse group who are on their way to careers in health policy, academia, philanthropy, and health care financing and delivery systems. 

The Center is dedicated to preparing these future leaders through on-the-job research, policy analysis training, leadership development, and community capacity building. Through interdisciplinary research with health care professionals, and by partnering with other researchers and professional organizations, fellows pursue resolutions for complex policy issues affecting our nation’s health, especially in Latino and American Indian communities.

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Aug 23 2012
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Nine States Receive RWJF Grants to Build More Highly Educated Nursing Workforce

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) program this week announced that California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Washington state have been chosen to receive grants to advance state and regional strategies aimed at creating a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce. Each state will receive a two-year, $300,000 grant. 

The states will now work with academic institutions and employers on implementing sophisticated strategies to help nurses get higher degrees in order to improve patient care and help fill faculty and advanced practice nursing roles.  In particular, the states will encourage strong partnerships between community colleges and universities to make it easier for nurses to transition to higher degrees.

In its groundbreaking report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that 80 percent of the nursing workforce be prepared at the baccalaureate level or higher by the year 2020.  At present, about half of nurses in the United States have baccalaureate or higher degrees.

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Jul 20 2012
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How the Supreme Court's Health Reform Ruling May Affect the Latino Population

This is part of a series in which Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, grantees and alumni offer perspectives on the U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the Affordable Care Act. Gabriel R. Sanchez, PhD, is an associate professor of political science at the University of New Mexico, assistant director of the RWJF Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico, and director of Research for Latino Decisions.

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The Supreme Court decision regarding the constitutionally of the signature policy victory of the Obama administration has been the most anticipated and hotly debated decision of the Court in recent memory. In the spirit of a prior Human Capital blog post I wrote back in November, I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in this series by providing a perspective on how this decision will likely impact the Latino population.  I have been analyzing public opinion toward health care reform for some time now, and draw on some of this data to provide a few examples. I focus my attention here on some of the more intriguing relationships to emphasize the complexity of Latino’s views of this historic policy.

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Latinos had a lot at stake in this decision, as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is projected to expand insurance to 9 million Latinos. It is therefore not surprising that support for health care reform, and the ACA in particular, has been higher among Latinos when compared to non-Latinos. In fact, since Latino Decisions started collecting data in October 2011, on average 51 percent of Latinos have supported the ACA. Conversely, as reflected in the figure below, the percentage of Latino voters who want to repeal the law has been lower than what other polls have shown for the non-Latino population over this time period.

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May 15 2012
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A Nurse-Midwife and a PhD Candidate

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health has designated May 13 to May 19 as National Women’s Health Week. It is designed to bring together communities, businesses, government, health organizations and others to promote women’s health. The goal in 2012 is to empower women to make their health a top priority. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Blog is launching an occasional series on women’s health in conjunction with the week. This post is by Elisa L. Patterson, MS, CNM, a fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico.

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I have been a certified nurse-midwife for almost 19 years. It is an ingrained part of who I am. I have served women of many different ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds. Being a nurse-midwife embraces my duality of being a nurse and a midwife. I am very proud of these credentials.

As I add to my education in a PhD program – through the RWJF Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico College of Nursing – I have found it a challenge to express in my “elevator speech” how these two credentials enhance my abilities to do policy work. I tried starting with what I am doing as a PhD student at the University of New Mexico. But when I say, “I’m also a nurse–midwife,” listeners seem to tag onto that singular piece of information and forget the rest of the conversation. Then, they might share their personal birth story or one that is a fond memory from a close friend. Or, they might ask me if I deliver babies at home.

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I have not been able to figure out how to combine the important and, to me, impressive fact that while, yes, I am a nurse-midwife, I am also very capable of conversing about, researching and representing many other issues.

The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) has a way to help me and other nurse-midwives who face this dilemma. Next month at their annual gathering, a public relations campaign will be presented to the membership. It will include a vision, mission statement, and core values. The ultimate goal is to describe the value of nurse-midwives and, in general, support the provision of high-quality maternity care and women’s health services by Certified Nurse-Midwives.

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Apr 4 2012
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Mentoring the Next Generation

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Robert Otto Valdez, PhD, is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) professor of family & community medicine and economics at the University of New Mexico. He serves as executive director of the RWJF Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico, a national program office for increasing diversity in health and health care leadership.

I have come to learn that mentoring is tricky business. Luckily, my own mentors often played the traditional role that Homer described of Telemachus’ mentor, a fellow named (logically enough) Mentor. They nurtured, protected, and educated me on the ways of the academy and have guided me in my professional career decisions. For some reason unbeknownst to me, they assumed I should take my “rightful” place in the academy and as a leader.

Through their wise example, I learned that mentors help their protégés set goals and develop standards and skills. They protect their protégés from others, so that they can take risks and potentially fail in a safe environment. They facilitate their protégés’ entrance into professional circles. But, so much of my mentoring depended on luck, on developing relationships that had the “right chemistry,” or on already being in the “right circles.”

What about young scholars who were not alumni of particular institutions that facilitate entry into powerful social networks, or who are without family connections that facilitate entry into academic or professional circles? How are they to be mentored? If Lady Luck fails them and they find no mentor, unfortunately they remain abandoned outside our professional circles. I find this to be the case for many young scholars from under-represented minority communities. Role models and faculty from their communities remain rare in our nation’s institutions of higher education. Thus, in many institutions the need persists for a more systematic approach to preparing young scholars.

At the RWJF Center for Health Policy, we’re trying to do just that, providing seminars and workshops that transmit to all our affiliated young scholars the formal and informal knowledge and skills they need to become successful scholars and policy analysts. But, we also focus on leadership development, so that our graduates are ready to take on their rightful leadership roles in our society. Our first cohort—doctoral graduates and post-doctoral scholars—have successfully started tenure track positions for which they are well prepared to succeed.

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