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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 April 2 & Online

The New Mexico Board of Nursing (NMBON) requires non-cancer pain management (NCPM) continuing education (CE) for license renewal. NMNPC offers and records NCPM presentations at our spring conference every two years to help NPs meet this requirement. If you can attend the 2019 Spring Conference, we're offering this content on April 2 (click here to register). NMNPC also offers the required content in recorded presentations 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 most recent online program, recorded during the 2017 conference.

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 contact@NMNPC.org. 

History of NCPM Requirement

In 2012, the New Mexico legislature amended the Pain Relief Act. This amendment affected all health care providers with a federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration and controlled substance license from the NM Board of Pharmacy. 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 (renamed Overdose Prevention and Pain Management Advisory Council in 2018) as well as registration and participation in the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).

Subsequent legislation in 2016 modified the requirements and other changes may occur in the future. It's important to follow the most recent NMBON regulations, available on their website (see the link on the right).

NMBON Requirements

  • The NMBON Rules Part 9: Management of Chronic Pain With Controlled Substances applies to all advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with prescriptive authority.

  • Rule 9 includes:
    • Criteria to determine whether  prescriptive practices are consistent with appropriate pain treatment.
    • Requirements that all APRNs with DEA registration and a NM controlled substance license register with the Board of Pharmacy PMP and become regular participants in PMP inquiry and reporting activities.
    • Requirement for 5 hours of non-cancer pain management CE every 2 years for all APRNs with DEA registration and a NM controlled substance license. 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 with DEA registration and a NM controlled substance license to comply with the CE requirement when renewing their license and to provide verification of that NCPM CE.

Getting CE to Meet Rule 9 Requirements

  • As noted above, NMNPC records the NCPM presentations offered at our spring conference every 2 years. These presentations include content on all the topic areas required in the NMBON CE rule. The most recent 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. Many courses will not include the required content on Rule 9 because it is specific to New Mexico regulations for APRNs.

PMP & NMBOP Rules

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

  • Instructions and a manual for the PMP are available to help APRNs understand how to meet the Rule 9 requirement to become a regular participant in PMP inquiry and reporting.

  • Practitioners registered with the PMP can renew their controlled substance license once the NMBOP verifies the practitioner's registration. Practitioners not registered with the PMP must register prior to applying for controlled substance renewal.

  • The NMBOP does not require practitioners who prescribe controlled substances 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.

Relevant Websites

Pain Management CE Course

  • NMNPC offers the required NCPM CE as an independent learning activity. Click here to purchase the CE from our online store.
  • This 5 hour independent learning activity includes all content required by Rule 9.

Other Information

  • Summary of Rule 9 Section 8 - Provides a useful summary of the rules used by the NMBON to determine whether an APRN’s prescriptive practices are consistent with the appropriate treatment of pain.
  • NMBON Rules & Regulations can & do change. Always download the most recent documents from the BON website when you have questions.

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Newsletter 2019 Q1

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