RxP FAQ: Road Map to Becoming a Conditionally Licensed Prescribing Psychologist in the state of New Mexico

Becoming a Conditionally Licensed Prescribing Psychologist in the state of New Mexico

This FAQ is intended to be an overview of the requirements for a psychologist, with an unrestricted license to practice psychology in New Mexico, to obtain the an additional  Conditional Prescribing Psychologist license in New Mexico. Sorting through the various requirements for applying for a conditional license to prescribe in New Mexico is a complicated matter. This FAQ provides a summary of those academic and administrative steps for APA Designated post-doctoral psychopharmacology students.  Also note that it is YOUR responsibility to work through the due process, paperwork, and stay in constant contact with the Training Director AND NM Board of Psychologist Examiners.
Audiences are also expected to familiarize themselves with the:    
AND specific regulations that outline:                                              

Classroom Training

The New Mexico Prescribing Psychologist Act requires an applicant for the conditional license to prescribe to have first completed a postdoctoral training program with no less than 450 course contact hours.  Graduates of the APA-Designated programs at Alliant International University, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Fairleigh Dickinson University and New Mexico State University (NMSU) meet this criterion.  Graduates of other post-graduate psychopharmacology programs for psychologists, not APA-designated, have been conditionally licensed to prescribe in New Mexico on a case-by-case basis.  However, please note, required practica shall be part of the psychopharmacology training program from which the applicant obtains the certification or degree.

Psychopharmacology Examination for Psychologists (PEP)

Applicants must, also, successfully pass the Psychopharmacology Exam for Psychologists (PEP).   NMSU RXPP students are authorized and encouraged to take the PEP after completion of didactic coursework in psychopharmacology.  The American Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (AASPPB) has assumed responsibility for developing a new version of the PEP and managing the administration of that new version.  Click here to learn more about REGISTRATION FOR THE PEP.

Required Practicums

Key takeaways: 
  • Applicants must be vigilant to assure that they have completed the two practicums as described in the New Mexico legislation
  • Applicants must be vigilant to assure they maintain all of the documentation required by the New Mexico Board of Psychology Examiners
Finally, applicants must have completed two practica:
1) An 80-hour physical assessment practicum with a physician, and;
2) A practicum evaluating and treating 100 patients for a minimum of 400 hours (from a range of backgrounds and over various stages of the therapeutic process) under the supervision of a co-located physician.   
Note:  The New Mexico Psychologist Act specifically requires that both the 80 hour practicum and the 100 patient/400 hour practicum be “part of the psychopharmacology training program from which the applicant obtains the certification or degree.”  NMSU students should work closely with the Program Training Director to understand the procedures and forms for setting up and documenting the practica which are required specifically by NMSU.
NMSU requires students to have completed the two practica prior to graduation.  NMSU students are permitted to begin their first supervised clinical experience (practicum) AFTER completing the Pathophysiology for Psychologists courses (I-III). This sequence includes substantial instruction in conducting a head-to-toe physical assessment, checking/monitoring vital signs, due diligence documentation, and an in-depth exposure to laboratory/radiology studies.  The other APA-Designated programs graduate their students when they have completed the 450 hours of classroom training.  Each of those programs have developed their own processes for supporting their graduates who elect to complete the practica required to be conditionally licensed as a prescriber in New Mexico.
Note to graduates from other programs:  the pathophysiology sequence, offered by the NMSU Post-doctoral Training Program for Prescribing Psychologists, which includes particularly in depth instruction in physical assessment is unique to NMSU.  Over the years, many graduates from the other APA-Designated programs have elected to enroll at NMSU in non-degree (pathophysiology sequence) course work to help them better prepare to practice in New Mexico.  However, please note, that the NMSU College of Education, Counseling & Educational Psychology Dept. recently released enrollment restrictions on graduate course work.  Students with MSCP degrees from outside programs will have to be vetted and adhere to a pre-screening process.

Applying for the Conditional Prescribing Psychologist License

Applicants who have completed the core educational requirements, passed the PEP, and worked with their program to complete the required practica should go to the website link provided below to find application forms and direction to apply for a conditional license to prescribe.
NM Board of Psychologist Examiners: Forms and Applications
Steps to Apply to for a Conditional Prescribing Psychologist License:
  1. Pages 1-5 are an application you will fill out when you are applying for a conditional license.
  2. The practitioner who will supervise the 80-hour practicum completes steps 6 and 7.
  3. The practitioners who will supervise you during your conditional prescribing period must complete and sign pages 8-11 of the application.
  4. On pages 12-16, you explain your plan of supervision for the conditional license.
  5. Pages 17-27 are a form to be given to the Training Director at to complete and send to the Board of Psychologist Examiners.
  6. In order for your Training Director to complete step 5 above, you must provide your Training Director with the following:
  • A plan for the 80-hour practicum in physical assessment signed by you, your supervising physician, and your Training Director (a plan developed with the Training Director of your program);
  • A plan for the 100-patient/400-hour practicum signed by you, your supervisor and your Training Director (a plan you should develop with your Training Director);
  • A copy of the consent letter you had each of the 100+ patients sign acknowledging they understood you were seeing them in the context of being a prescriber in training;
  • A copy of the log you kept by patient (name redacted, including: sex, age, diagnosis, dates and times of service provided;
  • A copy of the log you kept of the dates and times of supervision provided during your 100-patient/400-hour practicum;
  • A copy of an evaluation of your competence by the supervisor of the 80-hour practicum (this form should be provided by your program);
  • A copy of your supervisor’s evaluation of your competence after seeing: 1) 50 patients (midpoint), and 2) 100 patients for evaluation and treatment with psychotropic medication (this form should be provided by your program);
  • While these forms are housed by your training program, it is important that you understand that the Board of Psychologist Examiners can audit any of these records, and has done so in the past.