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June Spotlight on Candace Morales
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Spotlight on Candace Morales

The Region 3 NMNPC member highlight for this month is Candace Morales. Candace is a New Mexico native, born and raised in Alamogordo. She currently lives and practices as a family nurse practitioner in Las Cruces. She received her ADN from NMSU in 2003, her BSN from UNM in 2008 and her MSN from UC in 2016. She worked as a RN in a clinic environment in an anticoagulation clinic for 4 years and during this time she was able to nurse with more autonomy than she had experienced as a floor nurse. She was also able to develop long-term relationships with the patients she saw and this in turn fueled a desire to further her nursing knowledge, career and autonomy. Candace felt that by becoming a family nurse practitioner, she would be able to do achieve those goals.
What she loves most about being a nurse practitioner are the relationships she has developed with the healthcare team and being able to help her patients feel better and become healthier. She volunteers for the Sexual Assault Youth Support Network (SAYSN) which is an organization dedicated to supporting, empowering and connecting youth sexual assault survivors with those who support them. She has also been involved with the Miss America Organization. The hobbies she enjoys include puzzles, watching movies, reading, traveling, camping, listening to music and spending time with friends and family.
Her career goals include furthering her education by obtaining her PMHNP certificate which would allow her to volunteer and provide mental health services to sexual assault survivors and their families. When asked what she would say to her younger self or a new nurse practitioner, she replied, " You might not know it all, but what is most important is knowing how to best seek out the information you need. Continue to learn and you will continue to grow as a provider and as an individual." Her best moments as an NP are the thanks she receives from her patients. Candace says, "There is no greater feeling than that of knowing I've helped someone feel better." When asked what she would like to see in the future for NPs she responded, " I would love to see full practice authority in all states and elimination of any rules, policies or laws that seek to inhibit an NP's ability to provide care within their full scope of practice."

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