Helping Nurses Help New Mexico

A diverse nurse workforce must be developed to support the diverse health care needs of New Mexicans.  Leadership development in this workforce will promote recruitment and retention of the nurses New Mexico needs to transform health outcomes in the state.

As the cornerstone of the health care workforce, registered nurses (RNs) comprise the largest health care group of providers numbering over 2.6 million.  Their vigilance is critical to keeping patients safe and healthy.  When people are most vulnerable – experiencing chest pains in a hospital emergency department, recuperating from stroke in a skilled nursing facility, learning to care for a newborn at the pediatrician’s office, or managing a chronic condition in their own home – they depend on nurses.

Being a nurse is more than a job, it is a lifelong profession.  We want to know and address the needs of nurses in New Mexico.  We are interested in connecting nurses with each other, in professional networks and mentoring relationships.  We want to gather, assess and distribute widely the results of our survey findings so that nurses are armed with the information they need to move data to action.

Culturally competent care and a more diverse nursing workforce improve health care in New Mexico.

NM is one of a handful of minority-majority states, with a population that is 46.3 percent Latino and 9.4 percent Native American (2010 Census).  To make sure all of the state’s residents receive quality health care, providers must be able to communicate with patients and understand their needs in a culturally competent manner.

Data shows that minorities make up 59% of the population, but only 11% of the nursing workforce.  This discrepancy has contributed to decreased patient satisfaction in these minority groups.  In addition, Hispanic and Native American populations have disproportionately increased rates of diabetes, obesity and teen pregnancy, thus creating a great need for more Hispanic and Native American nurses to provide culturally competent care.

The New Mexico Nursing Diversity Partnership Project (NMNDPP) is tackling these challenges by collecting and analyzing workforce data, working toward creating a plan to increase workforce diversity and developing leadership among ethnically diverse nurses and nursing students.  Analysis of available workforce data from individual nurses and their employers will form the basis for evidence-based workforce planning.

Nurses maximize the health delivery system in rural communities and can drive job growth and retentionNMNDPP encourages a “grow your own” system.  Investing in nursing can result in people pursuing the satisfying lifelong profession of nursing while staying in their communities.  

Nursing Diversity Partnership (NMNDP)


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