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Online Nursing Programs in New Mexico

By Liz Heintz | Updated 10/6/2022

There are 7 schools with campuses in New Mexico that offer online nursing degrees. Eastern New Mexico University provides students with one of the most affordable options, and includes online nursing degree programs at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Eastern New Mexico University also has the highest NCLEX pass rate of the listed schools at 94.74%. The state of New Mexico requires nurses to complete 30 hours of continuing education in order to renew their license every two years.

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Comprehensive List of Online Nursing Schools in New Mexico

School Annual Tuition NCLEX Pass Rate Locations
# Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus $8,448 94.74% Portales
# New Mexico Highlands University $10,590 Not Reported Las Vegas
# New Mexico State University $23,076 76.38% Las Cruces
# Pima Medical Institute $11,506 76.83% Multiple Locations
# University of New Mexico $23,292 100.0% Albuquerque
# University of Phoenix $9,552 90.0% Nationwide
# Western New Mexico University $13,539 100.0% Silver City

Becoming a Nurse in New Mexico

Pursuing a nursing career in New Mexico is a rewarding path for those interested in a healthcare profession. The state is experiencing a shortage of all types of nurses, particularly in rural areas. As such, the state of New Mexico has relaxed minimum requirements for nursing professionals so that recent graduates can obtain a short-term permit to practice under the supervision of a licensed nurse or nurse practitioner (NP).

Here's a breakdown of job growth for various nursing occupations throughout New Mexico:

Occupation Job Growth Through 2030 Job Openings Through 2030
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) 9% 5,560
Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) 10% 2,130
Registered Nurse (RN) 14% 21,350
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) 14% 250
Nurse Practitioner (NP) 56% 1,790

The New Mexico Board of Nursing (NMBON) is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing most types of nursing professionals, with the New Mexico Department of Health also having some responsibility. Read the sections below to learn how to become a CNA, LPN, RN, or APRN in New Mexico.

To learn about online nursing programs and requirements in other states, explore our list of accredited nursing degrees by state below.

List of Nursing Degrees by State

How To Get CNA Certification in New Mexico

The New Mexico Certified Nurse Aide Registry is handled by the New Mexico Department of Health. Prospective CNAs must pass the New Mexico Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP). The competency exam for the New Mexico CNA certificate is administered by Prometric. New Mexico CNA training must be at least 75 hours and cover the following subject areas:

  • Infection control
  • Communicating with patients
  • Taking vital signs
  • Basic nursing skills
  • Safety and emergency procedures
  • Activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, using the bathroom and eating

The following documents are required to apply for New Mexico CNA certification:

  • Social security card
  • Photo ID or driver's license
  • An official mailing address
  • Proof of completion of NATCEP
  • Criminal background check

CNAs must renew their certification every two years. Applicants must furnish proof of employment each time they renew, and they must also pay a $26.25 renewal fee. Only money orders made out to Prometric are accepted for the renewal fee.

How To Get an LPN License in New Mexico

To apply for a New Mexico LPN license, applicants must complete a practical nursing program. Practical nursing programs are often offered at high school, vocational schools, and community colleges. Coursework covers the basics of nursing, including helping with activities of daily living, communicating with patients, and learning how to take vital signs.

Upon completing the educational requirements, applicants must successfully pass the National Council Licensure Examination for LPNs (NCLEX-PN). Applicants must pay a $200 fee and register to take the exam through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and Pearson VUE. Applicants for a New Mexico nursing license must submit fingerprints for the criminal background check, which costs $44.00 to complete. Official transcripts from the accepted nursing education program must also be furnished by the applicant to the NMBON.

The renewal process for a New Mexico LPN license occurs every two years. If applicants allow their New Mexico LPN license to expire, they must fill out an Expired/Lapsed Attestation (ELA) form within five business days of submitting the renewal application.

How To Get an RN License in New Mexico

To get a New Mexico RN license, applicants must complete an educational program approved by the NMBON. Once completed, applicants must submit the following documents to complete their application:

  • Fingerprints and a criminal background check, which costs $44.00
  • An application fee of $110
  • Register to take the nursing licensure exam (NCLEX-RN). Applicants must register through the NCSBN and Pearson VUE, which costs $200.00.

Once the application for examination is approved, applicants may take the NCLEX-RN. After passing, they will receive their RN licenses.

Applicants who apply immediately after graduating from their nursing program may be eligible for a practicing permit. A current employer must submit proof of employment on the applicant's behalf. The application for the permit must arrive within 12 weeks of the graduation date. Upon passing the NCLEX-RN, applicants can receive a full New Mexico RN license.

New Mexico RN licenses are valid for two years before needing renewal. Per NMBON regulations, all New Mexico nursing license holders must complete continuing education competency in order to renew their credentials.

Examples of potential continuing education courses include:

  • Infection control
  • Pharmacology
  • Recognizing child abuse in practice
  • Caring for patients with HIV/AIDS

View our Guide to Nursing Certifications to learn more about certification options, requirements, and the benefits of earning nursing certification.

How To Get an APRN License in New Mexico

Advanced practice registered nurses in New Mexico must first have their New Mexico RN license. APRNs in New Mexico must earn a graduate degree (master's level or doctorate) with a specialty. Specialties can include any of the following areas of nursing:

  • Nurse practitioner (NP)
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)

Applicants for a New Mexico APRN license must submit the following to the NMBON:

  • Proof of New Mexico nursing license (RN)
  • An application fee of $100
  • Evidence of national certification
  • Extra documentation if the applicant wishes to have the authority to prescribe controlled substances

New Mexico APRN licenses last for two years, at which point they must be renewed. Renewal is granted if the applicant completes continuing education hours and maintains national certification. APRNs with the authority to prescribe controlled substances will need to complete extra continuing education in that subject area.

FAQs About Online Nursing Programs in New Mexico

Can I Become a Nurse With an Online Degree?

You can become a nurse with an online degree, though you may have to complete an on-site practicum at a local medical center. There are currently 7 schools hosting online nursing programs throughout New Mexico. Programs are available at the certificate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

Is New Mexico Good for Nurses?

New Mexico is good for nurses because they are currently in demand, and nursing school can be affordable and completed online. It's also an occupation that can pay well. For example, RNs in New Mexico earn an annual median salary of $78,340, and NPs earn $121,070.

How Long Does It Take To Be an RN in New Mexico?

It can take as little as 18 months to become an RN in New Mexico, especially if you complete an accelerated program. Traditional RN programs generally take two years for students to complete.

What Is the Fastest RN to BSN Online Program in New Mexico?

The fastest RN to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) online program in New Mexico is at New Mexico Highlands University taking approximately 14 months to complete.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.

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