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Practice Regulations
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Regulations Governing APRN Practice

General Information

The Nursing Practice Act (NPA) and the accompanying New Mexico Board of Nursing (NMBON) Rules and Regulations govern nursing practice in New Mexico. The purpose of the NPA “is to promote, preserve and protect the public health, safety and welfare by regulating the practice of nursing . . . .” Every nurse, whether an RN or APRN, must practice within the parameters of these regulations. An important goal for NMNPC is to monitor regulations as they’re changed and alert our members when those changes occur. However, it’s ultimately each APRN’s responsibility to know and follow current practice regulations.

Although NMNPC is diligent in our efforts to maintain the most important and current information on this page, it is each NP's responsibility to know and follow all current practice regulations. As a professional organization with no regulatory authority, NMNPC has no responsibility for practice regulations. For definitive answers to your practice and regulatory questions, always contact the New Mexico Board of Nursing (NMBON).

The Nursing Practice Act

Chapter 61, Article 3 NMSA (New Mexico Statute Annotated) is the state statute governing professional nursing licensure in New Mexico.

Rules and Regulations

16.12 NMAC (New Mexico Administrative Code) clarifies and interprets the Nursing Practice Act. It includes nine parts (click here for a list of those nine sections and their associated objectives). Additional information about the requirements of Part 9 (Management of Chronic Pain With Controlled Substances) and how to meet those requirements follows.

Rule 9 – Chronic Pain Management

Rule 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 (NCPM) continuing education (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:
  1. Review of the rule (16.12.9 NMAC - Rule 9) for management of non-cancer pain.
  2. Understanding of the pharmacology and risks of controlled substances.
  3. Basic awareness of the problems of abuse, addiction and diversion.
  4. Awareness of state and federal regulations for the prescription of controlled substances.
A Summary of Rule 9 Section 8 provides a useful overview of the rules used by the NMBON to determine whether an APRN’s prescriptive practices are consistent with the appropriate treatment of pain. Please note that the NMBON Rules & Regulations can and do change. Always download the most recent documents from the NMBON website when you have questions.
Continuing Education Requirements

The NMBON requires a total of 50 hours of CE every two years for APRN re-licensure. The specific requirements vary depending on whether the APRN has a DEA registration and a controlled substance license with the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy.

CE requirements for APRNs with DEA registration and controlled substance license:

30 hours for RN re-licensure

20 additional hours for APRN re-licensure:

  • 5 hours related to the APRN’s practice
  • 10 hours of pharmacology related to the APRN’s practice
  • 5 hours related to non-cancer pain management*

CE requirements for APRNs without DEA registration and controlled substance license:

30 hours for RN re-licensure

20 additional hours for APRN re-licensure

  • 10 hours related to APRN’s practice
  • 10 hours of pharmacology related to the APRN’s practice

*See below for information about the NCPM CE available from NMNPC.

Required 5 Hours of NCPM CE Available Online from NMNPC.

The NMBON requires all APRNs with DEA registration and a NM controlled substance license to comply with the NCPM CE requirement when renewing their license and to provide verification of that NCPM CE. NMNPC records the NCPM presentations at our spring conference every two years to help NPs meet this requirement. Those recorded presentations are available as an online independent learning CE program. 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 2019 conference.

This activity is approved for 5.0 contact hour(s) of continuing education (which includes 4.0 hours of pharmacology) by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Activity ID 19043683. This activity was planned in accordance with AANP CE Standards and Policies.

If you have any questions, please email us at 

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 the rules and regulations (including Rule 9) rests with that Board and we urge APRNs with questions or concerns to contact the Board directly.

New Regulations & Guidelines

More Requirements for Opioid Prescriptions

The NM Board of Pharmacy PMP recently sent information to health care providers on new opioid prescribing requirements effective June 14, 2019.
  • SB221 with new requirements for prescribers passed in 2019.
  • Prescribers must now warn patients of the risk of overdose & co-prescribe an opioid antagonist if the prescription for the opioid is at least a five-day supply. Prescribers must also provide written information regarding the temporary effects of the opioid antagonist & techniques for administering the opioid antagonist opioid antagonist when prescribing the opioid antagonist.
  • Members: click here to download a summary of the requirements, patient handouts & other resources.
  • Click here for more information from PMP.
  • Click here for a copy of SB221.

Benzodiazepine Guidelines

The New Mexico Overdose Prevention and Pain Management Advisory Council recently released final benzodiazepine (BZD) use recommendations. Guidelines for the Use of Benzodiazepines in the State of New Mexico outlines BZD pharmacology, prescribing guidelines, tapering and discontinuation.

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.

Advisory Council Reports

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