By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico had a nursing shortage even before the pandemic and advocates are now trying to convince lawmakers to boost funding to increase capacity at the state’s nursing schools. Legislative analysts have estimated that New Mexico needs more than 6,200 nurses. Supporters say $15 million in state funding to support nursing schools and students could boost the number of students by about 1,500. Linda Siegle of the New Mexico Nurses Association told lawmakers Thursday that the state will have to dedicate the money annually if it’s serious about addressing what many called a crisis. Panelists say the pandemic made the state’s nursing shortage worse.