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Navigating the Nursing Profession in New Mexico

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

Let us help you land on your dream job here in New Mexico! Read on this article to know more about the licensing process in New Mexico, and more!


Through this article, you will be able to know the following:

  • Fees for the licensing

  • Licensing renewal process (step-by-step)

  • Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

  • Licensing and certification

  • Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in New Mexico

  • Popular hospitals in New Mexico

  • Nursing associations in New Mexico

  • Contact details


Fees for the Licensing

The table below shows the required payments for the licensing, whether you are a first-time nurse, applying by endorsement, or renewing your license. For more information, visit the New Mexico licensing page.

As a nursing compact state, New Mexico lets nurses hold multi state licenses.

*Fees may change without any notice.

**A background check is required in most states, but prices are not usually indicated.


Licensing Renewal Process

  1. Check when your license expires by visiting the New Mexico Board of Nursing website. New Mexico has a Verification page for you to verify your license.

  2. Complete all your continuing education requirements BEFORE your license expires.

  3. Apply for your renewal process by going to the New Mexico Board of Nursing. You may check on the Renewal Information page for more specific information. Click on this Help Booklet link for you to find out the proper process. Be reminded that if your Primary State of Residency is not New Mexico, you can not apply for a licensure in New Mexico because it is a compact state. You must declare that New Mexico is your Primary State of Residency to be able to do so.


Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

The following are the Continuing Education Requirements for nurses in New Mexico.

  • For RN/LPN, you are required to obtain 30 hours every 2 years.

  • For APRN, you must have 30 hours every 2 years, plus the following:

  • You should acquire 20 hours in addition to your specialty, with additional requirements depending on your DEA registration:

    • For those who have DEA registration: 5 hours in CNP’s practice, 10 hours in Pharmacology, 5 hours in management of non-cancer pain

    • For those without DEA registration: 10 hours in CNP’s practice, 10 hours in Pharmacology

The New Mexico Board of Nursing accepts courses that are ANCC accredited. ____________________________________________________________

Licensing and Certification

Step 1: Education

To earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you must attend an accredited institution that offers ADN for 18-24 months. You can also take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree in an accredited institution. These programs typically take 4 to 5 years to complete. If you have an ADN but you wanna pursue your bachelor’s, there are certain programs that let you earn your BSN in 12 to 18 months. There is also an RN to BSN program that will take one year for you to earn the degree. Said programs let you save on time and money as you work towards advancing your career.

Step 2: Licensing

Six weeks before your graduation, you can start the process of your application for the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is composed of 75-265 items and you will be given a limit of 5 hours to finish all of it. Failing the exam does not necessarily mean that you do not have the chance anymore. After your first try, you just have to wait for 45 days and you can apply again.

The scope of NCLEX includes questions about: (1) health promotion and maintenance; (2) safe and effective care environment; (3) physiology and integrity; and (4) psychology and integrity.

Step 3: Experience

This time, you must learn how to take the opportunities in gaining first-hand experiences in dealing with patients, with colleagues and superiors, and with the different situations that you might face. These invaluable experiences will make you more attractive to bigger employers in the future.

Step 4: Certification

Your last step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. There are different requirements for earning a certification, depending on your preferences so it is important to check with the governing provider for information. You can attend several trainings, seminars or workshops in varied institutions for this purpose.


Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in New Mexico

Shortage of healthcare professionals, specifically nurses, has been a perennial issue in the country. This makes nurses highly in demand during this period of time. This profession will increase by about 9% from 2020 to 2030. The average annual salary is currently $77,590.

Let us help you check out average wages of nurses to help determine if New Mexico is the right place for you.


Popular Hospitals in New Mexico

Still not decided on whether to work as a nurse in New Mexico or not? This list of the best hospitals in the state will surely help you make that decision to go in the right direction. U.S. News and World Report made a list of the best and popular hospitals in New Mexico. Here are some of them:

  • Presbyterian Hospital – (Albuquerque, NM):

    • Regionally ranked #1 in Mexico and in Albuquerque

    • Rated high performing in 8 adult procedures and conditions

    • General medical and surgical facility

    • Specialties include Colon Cancer Surgery Heart Attack & Heart Failure, and Geriatrics

  • Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico – (Las Cruces, NM):

    • An acute long-term care hospital facility

    • Specialties of the hospital include Conditions that affect the nerves and muscles that control breathing such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, and muscular dystrophy, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and Pneumonia

  • Alta Vista Regional Hospital – (Las Vegas, NM):

    • General medical and surgical facility

    • Specialties of the hospital include Heart Failure, Diabetes, and Pneumonia

  • Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center – (Santa Fe, NM):

    • Rated high performing in 3 adult procedures and conditions

    • General medical and surgical facility

    • Specialties include Heart Attack, Hip Replacement, and Pneumonia.

  • Lovelace Medical Center – (Albuquerque, NM):

    • Rated high performing in 2 adult procedures and conditions

    • General medical and surgical facility

    • Specialties of the hospital include Heart Attack & Heart Failure.


Nursing Associations in New Mexico

Becoming a member of a nursing association opens a lot of opportunities to your career growth. It gives you the advantages of varied job offers and networking, and a bunch of information and experiences shared between you and your fellow nurses. Through these organizations, learning and professional growth never stop. Listed below are just a few of the nursing organizations that you can find and join once you are in New Mexico.

Peri-Anesthesia Nurses Association of New Mexico “The main goal of this organization of nurses is to improve the practice of nursing by education, research and standards.”

New Mexico Nurses Association “This association aims to advocate for all licensed nurses, to develop healthcare, and to emphasize learning for a life-time.”

New Mexico Organization of Nurse Leaders “Advocacy, professional growth and networking are the things that this group uses in order to mold healthcare mandates, promote excellence in nursing, and stimulate cooperation.”

For more information about the nursing associations, you may visit the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.


Contact Details

New Mexico Board of Nursing

Phone: (505) 841-8340

Fax: (505) 841-8347

6301 Indian School Road

Suite 710

Albuquerque, NM 87110

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