How can a nurse be referred to the Diversion Program?
Nurses are admitted into the Diversion Program through one of three methods. Because the program is only for chemically dependent nurses and is voluntary, the nurse must specifically request admission in writing, and indicate that they are chemically dependent. This letter is sent to the Diversion Program staff or Director of Compliance.
- A nurse may request admission subsequent to the receipt of a complaint received in the Board of Nursing office.
- A nurse may report his/her own problem with drugs/alcohol and request admission in the program.
- A nurse may request admission into the program in lieu of formal Board action against their license or as a condition of reinstatement of their license following a suspension or revocation.
How long is a Temp License good for?
6 months from the date of application submitted.
How do I retire my nursing license?
Send a message via your nurse portal that you would like to retire your nursing license. These are typically processed within 5 business days.
How will disciplinary action in another jurisdiction or a felony conviction effect licensure in New Mexico?
The applicant with discipline in NM or another state is not eligible for a temporary license or permit to practice. The applicant is responsible for submitting legal documents to the Board of Nursing for review. The Board meets every other month. When the applicants file is complete, it will be taken to the next regularly scheduled meeting. The Board may decide to issue the license or to issue an NCA (Notice of Contemplated Action) and have a hearing to determine if a license will be issued or denied.
How do investigations start?
With the exception of complaints alleging chemical dependency in which the licensee requests admission into the Diversion Program, all complaints alleging a violation of the Nursing Practice Act are investigated. An investigation is initiated when the board receives a complaint through the nurse portal or website.
Are licensed nurses required to report other nurses who violate the Nursing Practice Act?
Yes, unless the nurse is a patient and patient confidentially is involved.
Who can file a complaint?
Complaints may be filed by anyone with knowledge of the alleged violation. Any person filing a complaint is immune from liability arising out of civil action if the complaint is filed in good faith and without actual malice.
What are the statutory grounds for filing a complaint?
Some situations may include (not a complete list) nurse that is guilty of fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license or certificate of registration; Is convicted of a felony; Is unfit or incompetent; Is intemperate or is addicted to the use of habit-forming drugs; Is mentally incompetent.
What information should be provided in the complaint?
The complaint must include the name, address and telephone number of the complainant and the name, address, telephone number and license number of the nurse. A detailed description of the alleged behavior which violates the Nursing Practice Act.
What happens during an investigation?
The investigator interviews both the complainant and the licensee. Information is gathered from relevant sources, such as patient records and personnel records etc. After all available information, both positive and negative, is collected the investigator will prepare and present a report for determination by the board.
Who conducts the investigation?
The Board has an internal investigator on staff. If you wish to verify the name of an investigator, contact the Board office.
How can I obtain a complaint form?
Call or write the Board of Nursing and request one, or download from our website – www.bon.nm.gov
How long will the investigation take?
On average an investigation takes three to six months to complete and be presented to the board.
What action may be taken?
Disciplinary action may include many actions such as but not limited to : denial of a license, reprimand, probation, suspension, summary suspension, or revocation of the license. Conditions may also be imposed including a fine, administrative costs, supervision, continuing education.
What happens after the investigation?
The Board of Nursing reviews the investigative report and decides how to proceed. The Board considers alleged violations based on the merits of each case and potential danger to the public. The threshold for imposing discipline is a violation of the Nurse Practice Act.
The Board is a public agency, and as such, subject to the Public Records Act. Disciplinary action, whether past or present, is available to the public. Questions should be directed to the Executive Director at the Board of Nursing, 6301 Indian School Rd NE, Suite 710, Albuquerque NM.87110
What is a formal hearing?
A formal disciplinary hearing held before the Board of Nursing is an administrative hearing. The State of New Mexico through a prosecuting attorney from the Attorney General’s office presents State’s case. The licensee is given the opportunity to present his/her case. Licensees may choose to be represented by an attorney, a member of the profession or may represent themselves. The formal hearing allows the licensee a full opportunity to respond directly to the stated allegations. After hearing all the evidence, the Board in an Executive Session, deliberates the matter before it. The Board’s decision is announced in a public session immediately following the Executive Session. A copy of the written decision is mailed via certified mail to the licensee in accordance with the ULA.
I submitted the incorrect application. Can I receive a refund?
No, the NMBON does not issue refunds.
I am a NM resident with a Single State license, and I wish to obtain a multi-state license. What is required?
Your Primary State of Residency (PSOR) must be in New Mexico in order to become eligible for multi-state privileges. You will need to log into your Nurse Portal account, submit a message through the message center requesting the multi-state status. You will need to upload your NM driver’s license and social security card as well as complete fingerprints for a background check.
What makes a US Educated graduate eligible for the NCLEX exam?
Graduated within the last four years from an approved nursing program in the US. Must provide transcripts and complete fingerprints for a background check. US educated graduates can test up to a maximum of 5 times in NM.
What makes an International graduate eligible for the NCLEX exam?
An evaluation completed by a credentialing agency of the foreign education that meets U.S. education standards, a background check, can test up to a maximum of 5 times in NM.
Is there a time limit on the NCLEX application process?
Board of Nursing applications for licensure are valid for 1 year from the time the application is submitted.
Pearson Vue, who oversees administration of the NCLEX exam, has a separate application that is good for one year. Once an ATT (authorization to test) is issued, it is good for 6 months.
I’m an RN, how much continuing education do I need to renew my RN license?
RN’s need 30 CEs to renew their license: 188.8.131.52.L. 2.(i) NMAC
When do I need to pay Pearson Vue for the test?
You need to register with Pearson Vue and pay for the test at the same time you apply for your initial examination application at the NM Board of Nursing.
Log in to your nurse portal, go to the demographic tab, left side, top box has a link to submit a profile change.
How do I renew Online for the first time?
Use Chrome or Internet Explorer on a PC (not mobile compatible), Go to your nurse portal through the NM Board of Nursing website at www.bon.nm.gov. Once logged in, a renewal link will be “active” next to your name and license number. Follow directions. Note: Have all CEU’s completed and uploaded in CE Broker prior to renewing application as applicant will attest to having completed all of them requirements.
Renewal reminders are autogenerated and sent to the email on file 60 days and 30 days prior to expiration.
Do I need my registration code to renew online again?
No, a registration code is no longer required but an account must be created in the Nurse Portal.
What is the Diversion Program?
The Diversion Program is a confidential, voluntary alternative to formal disciplinary action for nurses who may be chemically dependent because of habitual or regular use of drugs and/or alcohol.
What are the requirements for participation in the Diversion Program?
Nurses who request admission to the Diversion Program will be sent a new participant packet to review prior to their admission. This packet includes all the pertinent information about the requirements for participation, including a copy of the initial contract that will be signed by all participants. They will be scheduled to meet with the Diversion Program Case Manager for an admission interview.
The initial contract signed by all participants is a five-year contract, in which the nurse agrees to be monitored by the Diversion Program during that five-year time frame.
Why was the Diversion Program established?
It is estimated that 14% of all licensed nurses are dependent on alcohol and/or other mind-altering drugs. Historically, a disciplinary approach to problems with addiction was the normal course of action in the nursing profession, as well as in other health care professions. In the early 1980’s, the nursing profession began to proactively address the problem of addiction in its ranks. They began to examine the issues of chemical dependency and addiction in nurses from a rehabilitative, rather than a disciplinary, approach. The first two alternative diversion programs were established in California and Florida. New Mexico became the third in the country to establish a diversion program.
In 1987, the New Mexico state legislature enacted Section 61-3-29.1 of the Nursing Practice Act that authorized the Board of Nursing to establish a diversion program for chemically dependent nurses. A nurse who habitually or regularly uses alcohol and/or other mind-altering drugs presents a potential danger to her/her patients because the use of chemicals can impair the nurse’s ability to safely practice nursing. When identified, the nurse can be referred to the Diversion Program and begin a program of rehabilitation to address the chemical dependency problem.
The purpose of the Diversion Program is to monitor nurses in the first months and years of their recovery, and track compliance with their sobriety and recovery work. It is not the intent of the program to provide treatment or therapy to chemically dependent nurses. However, the initial contract signed by all nurses requires them to receive some form of treatment for chemical dependency. The program initially provides a strict external structure of recovery for nurses whose lives have become unmanageable due to their abuse or addiction. The goal of the Diversion Program is to enable these nurses to integrate this structure internally and be able to manage their lives effectively again. When this has been accomplished, the nurses are ready for discharge.
What disciplinary action may be taken?
Disciplinary action may include denial of a license, reprimand, probation, suspension, summary suspension, or revocation of the license. Conditions may also be imposed including a fine, administrative costs, supervision, continuing education, drug screening, counseling or other conditions that are appropriate.
If I have had an arrest that will appear on the background results, what should I do?
Any arrests or convictions should be disclosed on your application. Submit court documentation pertaining to the outcome of the arrest with your application. The Board of Nursing will review the submitted documentation while processing your application. If additional information is needed, a message will be sent via the message center.
What happens if a nurse or licensee requests a hearing?
Disciplinary proceedings are conducted in accordance with the Uniform Licensing Act (ULA) and Open Meetings Act. Upon receipt of a written request for a hearing, the Hearing Notice, designating the date, time and place of the hearing is mailed to the licensee via certified mail.
How do I as an employer know if a nurse applicant is in the Diversion Program?
Nurses in the Diversion Program are required to inform their employers and prospective employers that they are participants in the DP. Upon request from the employer, they should be able to provide a copy of their initial contract with the DP, as well as any subsequent contract amendments. These documents will provide information about current practice stipulations and contract requirements. Contract amendments are completed with each nurse in the DP at their mandatory face-to-face evaluations, which are conducted a minimum of every three months while the nurse is in the DP. These contract amendments provide a status report on the nurses’ participation and ongoing compliance with the DP.
What information should be provided in a complaint?
The complaint must include the name, address and telephone number of the complainant and the name, address, telephone number and license number of the nurse. A detailed description of the alleged behavior which violates the Nursing Practice Act must also be provided in the complaint. The complaint should also include any documentation which supports the allegations.
I am a NM resident with a Single State license, but I wish to obtain a multi-state license.
Your Primary State of Residency (PSOR) must be in New Mexico in order to become eligible for multi-state privileges. You will need to log into your Nurse Portal account, submit a message through the message center requesting the multi-state status. You will be required to upload a copy of a valid NM driver license (or NM identification card) and social security card. A Background Check is also required.
I have submitted my renewal application online, when will my license be renewed?
Your license will be renewed within 24-48 hours after submission if there are no complications or additional information needed to complete the renewal process. Please allow 72 hours for reactivation of a license.
Why is it my APRN only licensed for less than two years?
APRN licenses ae aligned to expire with your NM Multistate license or your multistate from another jurisdiction. Original time frame should be between 13-24 months to align the expiration of the last day of the applicant’s birth month.