Search Programs
Start Your Online College Search

2023 Best Online Nursing Programs in New Mexico

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 7/13/2023

Delve into our 2023 selection of top-tier online nursing degrees in New Mexico. These institutions offer comprehensive nursing curricula at every degree level, from online associate nursing degrees to master's in nursing degrees. The increasing demand for online nursing programs stems from their inherent flexibility, empowering future nurses to balance their academics with other life commitments. Leveraging the ease of online education, you can embark on your journey to becoming an accomplished and empathetic nurse in New Mexico.

Our 2023 list includes colleges in New Mexico that offer online nursing programs and have available NCLEX data, so you can easily determine which online nursing program results in graduates with the best pass rate.

Find an Online Degree:

2023 Best Online Nursing Programs in New Mexico

School NCLEX Pass Rate Online Enrollment
Western New Mexico University 87.5% 1,516
University of New Mexico 78.48% 3,561
Find an Online Degree:

Becoming a Nurse in New Mexico

Pursuing a nursing career in New Mexico is a rewarding path for those interested in this 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 a recent graduate can obtain a short-term permit to practice under the supervision of a licensed nurse or nurse practitioner (NP).

Below is a breakdown of job growth for various nursing occupations throughout New Mexico:

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:

Nursing Degrees by State

How To Get CNA Certification in New Mexico

The New Mexico Department of Health regulates the state's Certified Nurse Aide Registry. Prospective CNAs (sometimes called "certified nursing assistants" in other states) must pass the New Mexico Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP). 

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
  • Proof of completion of NATCEP
  • Completed 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. 

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 schools, 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. LPN applicants must also submit fingerprints for a 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
  • Registration to take the nursing licensure exam (NCLEX-RN), which costs $200.00

Applicants may take the NCLEX-RN once the application for examination is approved. 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 topics include the following:

Infection control


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 wants 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 seven schools hosting online nursing programs throughout New Mexico. Programs are available at all levels from certificate to doctorate.

Is New Mexico Good for Nurses?

Nurses are in demand in New Mexico, and nursing school can be affordable and completed online in the Land of Enchantment. 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

But New Mexico has too few nurses to cover its patient population, with more leaving the field and fewer than needed in the training pipeline. This means that working conditions can be very stressful for individual nurses in the state.

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 Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs for RNs 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 online program in New Mexico is at New Mexico Highlands University. It takes approximately 14 months to complete at a full-time pace.

Why Trust Us?

27 Data

60,000 Degrees Researched Annually

20,000 Hours Spent on Research Annually

Launching Rankings Since 2009

Meet our team


Start Your Online College Search:

Review schools that align with your career aspirations.