Overview of Nursing Schools in New Mexico

  • There are 26 nursing schools in New Mexico. The CCNE accredits 6 nursing schools and the ACEN accredits 15 schools in New Mexico.
  • Typically, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) will take between 18 to 24 months to complete, and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN) will take about 4 years to complete.
  • The average NCLEX passing rate range for ADN students in New Mexico is between 16.20% and 96.50%.
  • The average NCLEX passing rate range for BSN students in New Mexico is between 79.76% and 95.72%.
  • The average annual salary for registered nurses is between $52,080 to $111,220 a year.
  • Registered Nurses (RN) throughout the country and in New Mexico can expect a favorable job growth of 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 which much faster than the average for all occupations.

About Nursing Schools in New Mexico

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 Programs ADN BSN
Number of Nursing Programs 17 11
Average NCLEX Passing Rate 69.35% 91.28%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range 16.20% to 96.50% 79.76% to 95.72%

Best Ranked RN Programs in New Mexico

To help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org 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 14 ADN degree programs and 4 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

New Mexico State University-Carlsbad

96.50% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1500 University Drive, Carlsbad, NM - 88220
  • (575) 234-9200
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 96.50%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 33
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,176
  • Book and Supplies: $4,008
  • Percent Received Aid: 84%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $6,291
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 14%

New Mexico State University Carlsbad's school is a public institution in Carlsbad, New Mexico. With its three-year average NCLEX-RN passing rate of 97% percent, New Mexico State University-Carlsbad is one of the best nursing colleges in the state and a prime destination for out-of-state students as well.

NMSU Carlsbad provides a wide range of high-quality educational opportunities. Nursing provides mobility, flexibility, and a wide range of opportunities across the United States. NMS U's nursing curriculum uses a career mobility format to prepare students for entry-level nursing positions in a variety of health care settings. Nursing education at this university is highly affordable and is provided by highly trained healthcare professionals. Graduates of this university are known to have a solid foundation for entry into practice at the appropriate level. The university also boasts high employment rates of its previous graduates as well as high program completion rates in the past few years. Acute care hospitals, physician's offices, clinics, long-term care settings, health departments, home health care agencies, and hospice care units are some examples of nursing opportunities for the graduates of NMSU.

Undergraduate Programs: New Mexico State University Carlsbad's nursing program provides two degree options.

The first is a one-year Practical Nursing certificate that allows students to the National Council Licensure Exam, which leads to licensure as a Practical Nurse. Similarly, students can also go for an Associate Degree in Nursing, which prepares them for their NCLEX-RN examination. 

Additionally, New Mexico State University also offers a fully RN to BSN program that is coordinated through the Las Cruces campus.

Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus

96.00% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 52 University Blvd, Roswell, NM - 88202-6000
  • (575) 624-7000
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 96.00%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 45
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $2,256
  • Book and Supplies: $5,616
  • Percent Received Aid: 78%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $5,592
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 35%

Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus nursing school is a public institution in Roswell, New Mexico. The University proudly states its high NCLEX-RN pass rates and high ranking among similar institutions in New Mexico as well as the country.

At ENMU, nursing students are taught to focus on improving health outcomes and patient conditions through education, practice, and service. The practical hours in clinical simulation labs allow students to practice their skills to perfection before moving on to real-life patients. Similarly, the clinical practice in multiple healthcare facilities across the area allows students to engage in professional nursing practice that is client-centered, compassionate, culturally appropriate, and ethical for individuals, families, and diverse communities.

Students attending ENMU-Roswell can apply for a variety of scholarships. Scholarships are given out for a variety of reasons, such as academic achievement, financial need, campus/community involvement, leadership positions, and work experience. Several outside organizations also provide scholarships to area students to help with educational expenses.

Undergraduate Programs: ENMU-Nursing Roswell's Associate of Science in Nursing Program typically takes three years to complete. This includes a year of prerequisite classes as well as two years of nursing. Entry-level nursing positions are well compensated and in high demand.

After graduating, candidates take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and begin a career as entry-level nurse generalists.

San Juan College BSN & UNM BSN Aggregated

95.26% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 4601 College Blvd, Farmington, NM - 87402-4699
  • (505) 326-3311
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 95.26%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 151
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,618
  • Book and Supplies: $1,680
  • Percent Received Aid: 92%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $4,495
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 23%

SJC BSN & UNM BSN Aggregated School of Health Sciences Nursing School is a public institution in Farmington, New Mexico. The nursing program at SJC BSN & UNM BSN Aggregated is ranked in the top five in the state and in the top 30 in the entire country. Its three-year average NCLEX-RN passing rate is 96% which is a major reason for its high ranking.

Nursing students are prepared to jump-start their careers in healthcare by receiving instruction from expert faculty in multiple settings such as classrooms, simulation labs, as well as local clinical settings.  Under the guidance of these faculty and other healthcare professionals, students also learn to work directly with patients in nursing homes, hospitals, home care agencies, and skilled facilities.

San Juan College takes pride in being a challenging yet affordable place to earn an associate degree or certificate. As part of that commitment, they work to provide financial assistance to anyone in need. 91 percent of San Juan College's first-year students receive financial assistance in the form of grants, scholarships, student employment, federal student loans, and private student loans.

Undergraduate Programs: The nursing program at San Juan College provides three convenient routes to a rewarding and in-demand career. Their 8-week, 2-year, and 4-year programs will help students begin their nursing careers, depending on their goals.

The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program takes two years to complete over five semesters. The curriculum consists of classroom instruction as well as practical simulation laboratories and healthcare facilities.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is delivered in 8 semesters in the traditional semester format. Students will receive both an associate degree and a bachelor's degree in nursing as a result of a collaboration with the University of New Mexico. San Juan College also offers a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program that can be completed in as little as eight weeks.

Students who complete the ADN or BSN nursing programs are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-RN) to become registered nurses.

New Mexico Junior College BSN & UNM BSN Aggregated

93.81% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 5317 Lovington Hwy, Hobbs, NM - 88240
  • (575) 392-4510
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 93.81%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 63
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,440
  • Book and Supplies: $2,280
  • Percent Received Aid: 87%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $2,576
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 29%

The New Mexico Junior College is a public institution in Hobbs, New Mexico. As one of the highest-ranked institutions in the state, the mission of the NMJC Nursing Program is to promote success through learning by facilitating the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes required by entry-level nurses to provide safe, patient-centered, high-quality nursing care across the lifespan for diverse individuals, families, and communities. 

Nursing education at NMJC includes classroom instruction, laboratory practice, and supervised clinical instruction to ensure that students are equipped with the means to start their careers as competent healthcare providers. Whether you're a first-year college student, a transfer student, returning to school after one or more semesters, or taking classes to improve your job skills, New Mexico Junior College can help you reach your objectives. The Office of Financial Aid assists students in obtaining federal, state, institutional, and private resources to help pay for their education at New Mexico Junior College through scholarships, grants, loans, and work programs.

Undergraduate Programs: In a state-of-the-art facility, the NMJC Nursing Program provides a comprehensive curriculum that aligns with NMNEC (New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium) standards. The Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AAS) program is a two-year registered nursing education program that combines theory classes with simulation and practical instructions. 

Additionally, NMJC offers an LPN Certificate upon completion of Level 3 (third semester) of the NMNEC curriculum and one additional course

New Mexico State University - Doña Ana Community College

92.70% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 2800 N. Sonoma Ranch Blvd., Las Cruces, NM - 88011
  • (575) 528-7000
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 92.70%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 125
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,776
  • Book and Supplies: $5,664
  • Percent Received Aid: 89%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $6,405
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 14%

New Mexico State University- Doña Ana CC's nursing school is a public institution in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The college is a leading community college that provides transformative educational opportunities that meet the transfer and workforce needs of Doña Ana County.

Intentional and creative use of technology, a focus on "real-world" practical experience, diverse perspectives and viewpoints, and informed risk-taking practices of the college allow nursing students to find their path and excel in patient care. Doña Ana CC’s nursing graduates are trained to be professionally and academically skilled and valued by transfer institutions and leading employers.

Grants, Loans, Work-Study, and Scholarships are the four major types of financial aid provided by the college. DACC also provides FAFSA Workshop Sessions to assist students with completing their FAFSA applications. These events are available to both new and returning students.

Undergraduate Programs: Registered Nursing is one of the degree types available at New Mexico State University- Doña Ana CC, and the school offers its services to students on campus. Nursing students can pursue Associate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, RN to BSN level degrees.

Graduate Programs: Graduate programs offered by DACC include BSN to DNP, Doctor of Nursing, Master, MSN to DNP level degrees. All of these programs intend to produce a specialized workforce in nursing that can become a part of the rapidly advancing health delivery system of the present and the future.

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

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.Source: BLS, Department of Education, State Board of Nursing, Nursing School Websites.



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