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Pain Relief Act & Non-Cancer Pain Management
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Non-Cancer Pain Management

Required 5 Hours of CE Available Online

The New Mexico Board of Nursing (NMBON) requires non-cancer pain management (NCPM) continuing education (CE) for license renewal. NMNPC recorded the five presentations on NCPM offered at our 2017 spring conference and offer those recordings as an online independent learning CE program for those unable to attend the conference. The NMBON recognizes this as meeting the NCPM CE requirement for NPs. Click here to purchase access to the online program.

This program is approved for 5.0 contact hours of continuing education (which includes 5.0 hours of pharmacology) by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Program ID 17052602. This program was planned in accordance with AANP CE Standards and Policies.

If you have any questions, please email us at 

History of NCPM Requirement

In 2012, the New Mexico legislature amended the Pain Relief Act. This amendment affects all health care providers who hold a federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration and licensure to prescribe opioids (Controlled Substance License). The amended Act required all boards that regulate health care providers to create continuing education (CE) requirements for non-cancer pain management (NCPM).

Other requirements of the amendment included creation of the Prescription Drug Misuse and Overdose Prevention and Pain Management Advisory Council (simply called the Advisory Council) as well as registration and participation in the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).

What Are the NMBON Requirements?

  • The NMBON Rules Part 9: Management of Chronic Pain With Controlled Substances applies to all advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) licensed by the NMBON who hold DEA registration and are licensed to prescribe opioids (Controlled Substance License).

  • Rule 9 includes:
    • Rules for how the NMBON determines whether a health care practitioner’s prescriptive practices are consistent with the appropriate treatment of pain.
    • Requirements that all APRNs must register with the Board of Pharmacy PMP and become regular participants in PMP inquiry and reporting activities.
    • A requirement for 5 hours of non-cancer pain management CE every 2 years. Specific topic areas required for the 5 hours of NCPM CE include:

      • Review of the rule (16.12.9 NMAC - Rule 9) for management of non-cancer pain.
      • Understanding of the pharmacology and risks of controlled substances.
      • Basic awareness of the problems of abuse, addiction and diversion.
      • Awareness of state and federal regulations for the prescription of controlled substances.

  • The NMBON requires all APRNs to comply with the CE requirement on re-licensure, and is now requiring APRNs who are renewing their licenses to provide verification of their NCPM CE.

What CE Courses Comply With Rule 9?

  • As noted above, NMNPC recorded a 5 hour track on NCPM at our 2017 annual conference that included content on all the topic areas required in the NMBON CE rule. Those recordings are available for purchase as an online independent learning CE program in our Online Store. Click here to purchase.

  • Other CE courses are available online through various organizations; many would require combining two or more courses to meet all the requirements of Rule 9. We encourage anyone making a decision about a NCPM CE program to compare the content to the list of CE topics listed in Rule 9 to verify that the course includes all the required content. Also keep in mind that many courses will not include the required content on Rule 9 because it is specific to New Mexico regulations for APRNs.

What About the PMP & NMBOP Rules?

  • All APRNs with DEA and controlled substance licensure must register with the PMP. There is a link on the right of this page to the PMP registration site.

  • There are instructions and a manual for the PMP available that can help APRNs understand how to meet the Rule 9 requirement to become a regular participant in PMP inquiry and reporting. For example, once registered with the PMP, APRNs will have the ability to obtain and review a prescription monitoring report from the PMP prior to prescribing a controlled substance to an individual (one of the requirements included in Rule 9). These reports can provide information on whether the individual is receiving opiates from multiple prescribers, has been getting opiates for more than 12 consecutive weeks, is on more than one controlled substance, or has evidence of early refills, for example.

  • APRNs already registered with the PMP can renew their controlled substance registrations but the NMBOP will not issue renewals until they verify practitioners' PMP registration. APRNs not yet registered with the PMP should register now to meet the requirement of Rule 9 and to be able to apply for controlled substance renewal.

  • The NMBOP does not require practitioners who issue controlled substance prescriptions to patients or administer controlled substances in the practice setting to report these activities to the PMP.

  • The NMBOP does require reporting to the PMP under certain circumstances for practitioners who dispense controlled substances directly to their patients.

For further details and information, use the links on the right of this page to access relevant documents, websites, and courses.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, please note that all authority for determining how the New Mexico Board of Nursing interprets and implements Rule 9 rests with that Board and we urge APRNs with further questions or concerns to contact the Board directly.


Pain Management CE Course

  • 2017 all-new NCPM independent learning activity from NMNPC  is now available for purchase. Click here to purchase this CE from our Online Store.
  • This CE program includes all required content for 5 hours of NCPM CE.

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