Best LPN Programs 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 9% by 2029, making the profession a desirable one. LPNs in New Mexico earn approximately $22.86 per hour, which equates to an average annual salary of $47,560. This is roughly $510 per year more than the national average.
Are you looking to become a licensed practical nurse in New Mexico? The school you choose is important when it comes to getting your license. Approved programs in New Mexico are offered at community colleges, technical centers, and private career schools - we list 5 schools across the state. After careful review of NCLEX-PN exam first-time pass rates over the past several years, we have ranked the top 3 programs. For more information on our LPN program rankings, see our Methodology page.
To see all the top ranked LPN programs in New Mexico click here.
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
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.
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 about $5,000. This does not include any licensing renewal fees.
For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our New Mexico LPN to RN/BSN programs page.
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 NLC
New Mexico is one of the states that has opted in to the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). Nurses are able to work between states that participate in the NLC without having to seek additional licensure. Nurses from non-NLC 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.
New Mexico State University
The Carlsbad campus of New Mexico State University (NMSU) has multiple career pathways for motivated students. NMSU's nursing department hosts a practical nursing program for those who wish to pursue an entry-level healthcare career. Enrolled students take courses in community health nursing, medication and dosage calculation, legal and ethical issues in nursing practice, and much more.
Doña Ana Community College
Doña Ana Community College (DACC) is located in a Las Cruces, New Mexico, with additional centers in Anthony, Sunland Park, Chaparral, and Hatch. DACC provides educational opportunities, including a competitive LPN program that prepares students for in-demand careers in healthcare centers, hospitals, nursing homes, and more.
Computer Career Center
The Computer Career Center, a division of Vista College in Las Cruces, offers students a practical nursing program that can be completed in under 15 months of full-time study. This hands-on program readies students for entry-level nursing careers in a variety of healthcare settings, including long-term care facilities, hospitals, home health, and more.
Continued List of All Programs in New Mexico
Clovis Community College
417 Schepps Blvd, Clovis, NM 88101
Pima Medical Institute
4400 Cutler Ave N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87110
Are we missing your school's program or need to make changes to the information listed? Please contact us.
Additional NM Nursing Resources
- New Mexico Board of Nursing
6301 Indian School Road, NE, Suite 710
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Phone: (505) 841-8340
- New Mexico Nurses Association
P.O. Box 418
Santa Fe, NM 87504
Phone: (505) 471-3324
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.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|