September 11, 2006

Contact: Lauren Cruse (505) 272-3690

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Albuquerque, UNM - This fall semester, the University of New Mexico College of Nursing (CoN) started its first ever Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) concentration as part of the master's program. Eight registered nurses are currently enrolled and are expected to graduate in May 2008.

Primary coordinator for the PNP concentration, Carolyn Montoya, MSN, PNP, RN, is excited for the CoN to offer this focus in pediatrics. As the President-Elect of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), Montoya believes a PNP concentration at the CoN is necessary for childhood healthcare in New Mexico.

"The College recognizes the need to improve child healthcare in the state of New Mexico," said Montoya. "The purpose of the PNP concentration is to prepare nurses to take care of children in a primary healthcare setting. We hope that with this concentration, other systems in the state will take more notice of how important it is to have PNPs."

The CoN is the only institution in New Mexico to offer a PNP concentration. The two-year program consists of core courses that focus on nursing research and theory. Nurses also take clinical core courses to learn advanced health assessment of children with a particular focus on care of children with disabilities.

A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse who has completed advanced education, generally a minimum of a master's degree. NPs provide much of the same care provided by physicians and usually maintain close working relationships with physicians. Since NPs can provide a broad range of health care services, they often serve as a patient's regular health care provider.

The CoN plans to accept another class of PNP students for the Fall 2007 semester. Application deadline is February 1, 2007. For more information on this concentration, contact Montoya at (505) 272-8875 or email her atcjmontoya@salud.unm.edu