Becoming an LPN in New Mexico

The state of New Mexico strives to ensure a higher quality of patient care by promoting proactive leadership, continued education, and mutual respect. Individuals interested in becoming part of the growing community of healthcare workers can become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) by completing state requirements. Per a recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LPN jobs could increase by as much as 12% by 2026, making the profession a desirable one.

  New Mexico LPNs earn around an hourly wage of $22.48 or annual salary of $46,760, which is roughly $2,730 more per year than national average.

Details on New Mexico LPN Schools & Classes

There are a variety of institutions in New Mexico that offer practical nursing programs, from junior colleges to vocational schools. Classroom-based programs are prevalent, but online courses are also gaining popularity. Students can typically choose to attend either part-time or full-time. Total program time depends on the type of schedule the student chooses, but typically falls in the 1-2 year range from start to finish.

Students enrolled in LPN programs in the state can expect to take a mix of core courses, nursing theory courses, and hands-on clinical practice to be arranged at local medical facilities. Course titles may include:

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology
  • Math/Dosage Calculations
  • Family Nursing
  • Pharmacotherapeutic Interventions
  • Common Health Problems
  • Medical Terminology
  • Nutrition

Accreditation

Choosing a fully accredited LPN program is one way to ensure that you are investing in a quality education. Accredited programs must maintain an agency’s strict standards, and are continually re-evaluated. National agencies such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) exist for this reason, and regional accrediting bodies can do the same. Students should also check that their program of choice is endorsed by the New Mexico Board of Nursing.

Admission Requirements

Students should peruse their school’s entrance requirements before applying to an LPN program to ensure that they are eligible for admittance. Requirements vary, but often include:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school graduate (or GED)
  • Completion of any prerequisite courses
  • Completion of college placement tests
  • Pass drug screen and background check; provide proof of immunizations
  • Written personal statement or interview with staff may be required

Tuition and Costs

Total practical nursing program costs can vary wildly between schools, so students are encouraged to shop around to get an idea of each program’s rates. Generally, expenses include tuition, mandatory fees, and supplies (such as textbooks and uniforms). Additional expenses such as transportation and room/board are generally not included in the school’s fees. Most schools have a financial aid office that can help students explore payment possibilities.

As an example, New Mexico State University’s PN program costs an estimated $6,045.55 to $7,277.55 in its entirety. This includes the tuition for one calendar year and all extra expenses.

New Mexico LPN Licensing Requirements

Upon graduating from an LPN program and passing the required licensing exam, students are eligible to become licensed as practical nurses. In order to receive state licensure, the applicant must submit an application to the state, including:

  • Official transcript from approved program directly from the program source.
  • Proof of English competency.
  • Submit a criminal background check.

New Mexico LPN licenses expire every 2 years and require 30 hours of approved continued education within each 2-year period for renewal.

NCLEX Exam Information

The licensing examination for practical nurses is called the NCLEX-PN exam, and all aspiring LPNs must pass it before they can apply for licensure. The exam covers a variety of nursing-related topics and is designed to test a student’s general nursing knowledge. For more information on the NCLEX-PN, our overview is here. Students can also take the NCLEX-PN practice test to get a better feel for the examination.

LPN Reciprocity and eNLC

New Mexico is one of the states that has opted in to the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). Nurses are able to work between states that participate in the eNLC without having to seek additional licensure. Nurses from non-eNLC states can apply for licensure in New Mexico by endorsement.

Foreign applicants must also provide a full course review of the attended nursing program from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) with their original transcripts coming directly from the academic source. They must also provide Verification of English Competency.

LPN Salary in New Mexico By Area

The table below lists career information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for licensed practical nurses in New Mexico. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Albuquerque950$23.03$47,900
Las Cruces250$22.10$45,970
Farmington120$22.03$45,830
Santa Fe100$23.68$49,260

For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our New Mexico LPN to RN/BSN programs page.

LPN Programs in New Mexico

ProgramDetails
Central New Mexico Community College
525 Buena Vista Dr SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
(505) 224-3000 Visit Homepage
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Doña Ana Community College
2800 Sonoma Ranch Blvd, University Park, NM 88003
(575) 527-7540 Visit Homepage
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Luna Community College
366 Luna Drive, Las Vegas, NM 87701
(505) 454-2500 Visit Homepage
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New Mexico State University
1500 University Dr, Carlsbad, NM 88220
(575) 234-9200 Visit Homepage
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Northern New Mexico College
921 N Paseo De Onate, Espanola, NM 87532
(505) 747-2100 Visit Homepage
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Vista College
6101 Montana Ave, El Paso, NM 79925
(915) 779-8031 Visit Homepage
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