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December Spotlight on Carol Lee Taylor
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Spotlight on Carol Lee Taylor

Carol Lee Taylor, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of South Florida in the 1980s. She practiced as a rural FNP in Missouri and Wyoming before coming to New Mexico in 1999 where she opened Rural Health Care, LLC, the first NP independent practice clinic in Lea County.

As a clinic owner, Carol was passionate about encouraging others to pursue the independent practice afforded by New Mexico’s favorable NP practice environment. Accordingly, she was instrumental in mentoring and supporting an additional NP independent practice site in Hobbs. With the recent push to raise the entry-level requirement for NPs to a doctorate, Carol completed a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program through Rocky Mountain University in Utah. In doing so, she was again a pioneer, becoming the first NP to pursue such a degree in Lea County and inspiring others to follow suit.

Carol always strived to be informed and effective in her efforts to protect and promote NP’s professional interests. In 2000, she joined the Lea County Nurse Practitioner Group and served throughout the years in various capacities, including President. She was also a member of NMNPC, serving as Region 4 Representative and Member at Large. She consistently encouraged others to join such professional organizations.

Carol marched to the beat of her own drum. She was eccentric and occasionally unconventional in her practice, known to barter for services and it wasn’t unreasonable for her to make house calls. She had a vast patient following, adored by her patients and respected by her colleagues. A pioneer in her own right, she paved the way for many NPs.

Carol died at her home on September 2, 2018 at age 61, surrounded by family and friends. She leaves a lasting legacy and will be sorely missed. This year, the Lea County Nurse Practitioner Group honored Carol during their celebration of National NP Week and included a memorial tribute in the NP Week Proclamation from the City of Hobbs. Carol was an outstanding FNP, a true NP proponent, and a voice for nurse practitioners throughout New Mexico.


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