Nurses make a positive impact on the residents in New Mexico every day. Nursing schools in New Mexico provide students with the education they need to be an even bigger impact. The New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium is aimed to increase the number of nurses with Bachelor’s degrees in order to improve efficiency, quality and health outcomes through higher education. Schools in New Mexico are designed to meet the needs of busy registered nurses by providing flexible class scheduling and providing advisers to discuss professional goals. There are also online options available to increase flexibility.

In our New Mexico RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key New Mexico RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of New Mexico, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

New Mexico RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs1710
Average NCLEX Passing Rate83.93%88.20%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range63.64% to 100.00%76.19% to 97.44%
Average Net Price$7,136.00$10,954.25
Average Net Price Range$4,418.00 to $10,485.00$4,821.00 to $19,099.00
Average Student Loan$9,498.57$10,503.88
Average Student Loan Range$4,500.00 to $14,902.00$5,500.00 to $14,902.00
See Additional DetailADN Rankings for New Mexico StateBSN Rankings for New Mexico State

Best Ranked RN Programs in New Mexico

Best Ranked RN Programs in New MexicoTo help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both New Mexico and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 17 ADN degree programs and 5 BSN degree programs in New Mexico. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in New Mexico to provide our state rankings. View our methodology

NM Rank
US Rank
Offered As:
97.72 ADNNew Mexico State University-Carlsbad146 CarlsbadPublicCampusACENSee School Details
96.42 ADNSJC BSN & UNM BSN Aggregated289 Farmington

San Juan College is located in Farmington, New Mexico.  San Juan College offers both ADN and BSN programs.  The BSN program is actually in partnership with University of Mexico; students first earn their ADN degree, then subsequently earn their BSN degree – only 30 credits are completed at the University of Mexico.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
94.20 ADNEastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus3185 Roswell

Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell is located in Roswell, New Mexico.  ENMUR offers an ADN program.  At this time, ENMUR does not offer an LPN to RN option at  their school.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
92.72 ADNNew Mexico State University-Doña Ana CC4258 Las CrucesPublicCampusACEN, CCNESee School Details
90.36 ADNUNM College of Nursing5346 Santa FePublicCampusACENSee School Details
89.71 ADNNMJC BSN & UNM BSN Aggregated6373 HobbsPublicCampusACENSee School Details
89.48 ADNUniversity of New Mexico-Valencia County Campus7384 Los LunasPublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.93 ADNLuna Community College8478 Las VegasPublicCampusACENSee School Details
85.94 ADNClovis Community College9506 Clovis

Clovis Community College is located in Clovis, New Mexico.  Their nursing program is divided into 4 semesters; after the first two semesters, the student earns their LPN certification.  After the final two semesters, the student earns their associate’s degree in nursing.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
85.71 ADNCNM BSN & UNM BSN Aggregated10513 AlbuquerquePublicCampusACENSee School Details
84.66 ADNUniversity of New Mexico-Gallup Campus11533 GallupPublicCampusACENSee School Details
82.94 ADNCarrington College-Albuquerque12578 AlbuquerquePrivate For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
61.44 ADNNorthern New Mexico College13712 EspanolaPublicCampusACEN, CCNESee School Details
94.43 BSNUNM College of Nursing4171 Albuquerque

University of New Mexico is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The College of Nursing offers a traditional BS program and an RN to BSN program, which is offered online. They also offer the dual degree option, which allows students to complete classes for both the ADN and BSN concurrently.

PublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
80.92 BSNNew Mexico State University-Las Cruces6482 Las Cruces

New Mexico State University is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  NMSU has 3 options for its nursing students: a pre-licensure BSN, an online RN to BSN program and a 2nd degree pathway program. They are also a member of the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC), which is a collaboration of all state-funded nursing programs across the state of New Mexico in standardizing nursing education and simplifying resources.

PublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
78.71 BSNNational American University7499 AlbuquerquePrivate For-ProfitCampusACME, COASee School Details

Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in New Mexico

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in New Mexico

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in New Mexico offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties: Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

New Mexico  RN Licensing Requirements

New Mexico State Board of Nursing 6301 Indian School Road NE Suite 710 Albuquerque, NM 87110 (505) 841-8340 Fees: Initial licensing fee, RN: $110 License renewal (every two years), RN: $93 Continuing Education Requirements: All nurses: 30 contact hours every renewal period

RN Licensure by Exam

When the candidate has met the educational requirements, he/she will apply to the New Mexico Board. Final transcripts from a U.S. program are acceptable for determining exam eligibility. Candidates who apply immediate upon graduation may be granted a permit to practice if there is a facility looking to hire the candidate. Along with fingerprinting, the process should be done early. There are some forms in the application that require notarization. The permit processing can take three weeks or longer. There are multiple costs that the candidate will be responsible for. The application fee is $110, the background check $44, and the official exam $200. These payments cannot be combined as they go to separate agencies. A candidate will register for the NCLEX exam through Pearson VUE and schedule the exam when Authorization to Test (ATT) has been received. In New Mexico, the process does not end with passing the licensure exam. The New Mexico Rural Nurse Residency program was put into place in order to support novice RNs who are hired by facilities that have less than 200 beds.

RN Licensure by Endorsement

A registered nurse who gained licensure in one of the other 50 states may obtain a license in New Mexico by endorsement. Candidates must submit verification of licensure. In addition to the required background check fee, candidates must pay $110 if a temporary license is not required and $160 if it is.

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

International nurses are eligible for licensure if their education program was equivalent. There are four education evaluation services in the state of New Mexico. Nurses must also demonstrate English proficiency if the program was not completed in English or the exam was not passed in English.

RN Salaries in New Mexico

There is an expected 40% vacancy rate for registered nurses in the state of New Mexico by the year 2025. It is also reported that only 37% of the registered nurses in New Mexico have obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Upon the completion of a BSN, nurses will find a wide array of job openings that would not have been available before. New Mexico RNs earn a mean average income of $69,110 annually. Opportunities outside of the hospital for baccalaureate nurses may include:
  • Nursing home administrators
  • Hospice care
  • Government organizations
  • School nurses
  • Public health
  • Physician’s offices

New Mexico Registered Nursing Salaries

Albuquerque has the highest employment rate of registered nurses as well as the highest annual wage. Farmington has the highest hourly wage but only by a slim margin.
Area nameEmploymentHourly mean wageAnnual median wage
Albuquerque, NM8,960$32.08$65,970
Farmington, NM770$32.22$64,070
Las Cruces, NM1,050$31.95$63,190
Santa Fe, NM820$31.68$65,410
North and West Central New Mexico nonmetropolitan area1,140$31.05$63,490
Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area1,650$29.45$59,910
Southwestern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area460$30.33$62,850
Los Alamos County, New Mexico nonmetropolitan area80$31.51$62,390
Source:, 2014 Data