New Mexico is one of the most sparsely populated states which means there are many widely spread small communities in need of healthcare providers. One important role is Nurse Aides or CNAs and becoming one in the state of New Mexico can lead to a very rewarding career.
In order to work as a Nurse Aide in New Mexico, the state’s Department of Health requires aspiring nurse aides to acquire state-approved training so they can be certified and then included in the Nurse Aide Registry.
In the state of New Mexico, nurse aides can work for 120 days while in search of training. All the Nurse Aide’s training and evaluation must be completed during this four-month grace period. Nurse Aides undergoing training may only carry through duties for which they have undergone training. A nurse aide’s status on the registry must be verified by employers before hiring. Military nurses, nursing students, and foreign nurses may directly take the exam as they can apply to be exempted from the training by providing the relevant documents to the Department of Health.
New Mexico CNA Certification Requirements
There are some requirements you must meet before you can become a CNA in New Mexico or even start classes. While lack of a high school diploma is not a basis for exclusion according to the DOH, training institutions might ask for it as a requirement before admission. However, there are few schools that will accept a passing grade while being assessed for entry.
The most important are:
- Be a minimum of 18 years of age
- Have a high school diploma or GED (dependent on the training institution)
- Undergo a physical exam and TB Clearance (current within 6 months)
- Have two forms of valid state-issued ID
- Be up to date with your immunizations
- Have a clean criminal record (fingerprinting)
- Possess a current CPR card
New Mexico CNA Training & Testing Costs
To gain a CNA certification in the state of New Mexico you must pass a state-approved course. These must have a minimum of 75 hours, at least 16 of which must be dedicated to clinical training. The duration of the program might vary based on the school. This combination of in-person and classroom training is designed to make graduates job-ready to work straight away.
Certification costs vary in the state of New Mexico depending on when and where you get your training. CNA classes in New Mexico may cost anywhere from $400 to $1,650 for tuition, which might not include textbook costs, uniform costs, etc. Because these programs are very often short-term there aren’t many options for financial aid, but it is suggested you discuss your options with a financial aid adviser. The costs of your training though can be reimbursed by your first employer following certification. If a Medicaid-funded institution employs or offers you employment the state will fund your testing fees. Some workplaces might even offer free CNA training. For a list of locations offering free CNA training in New Mexico, follow this link.
Free CNA Classes & Nurse Aide Training Courses in New Mexico
If all of this sounds like CNA classes might be right for you, the following list are a few suggestions on where to get started. Each of these facilities offers training or classes. Some may be free, while others require tuition payments – please contact the organizations directly through the linked website for further information. Because New Mexico is so sparsely populated most of the classes available can be found in Albuquerque, but we have listed some other options in other cities.
CNA Training in Albuquerque, NM
Central New Mexico Community College. Central New Mexico Community College houses the School of Health, Wellness, and Public Safety where you can attend a Nurse Aide course. It is a 155-hour long program which is comprised of 60 hours of classroom instruction, 45 hours in a lab setting, and 45 hours of clinical training. For tuition information please contact the school directly.
Pima Medical Institute. The program is completed over the course of 6 weeks and consists of 130 hours of classroom instruction (52.5 hours), lab (37.5 hours) and hands-on training (40 hours). Tuition is around $1,600 including textbooks.
CNA Training in other New Mexico cities
Doña Ana Community College in Las Cruces, NM. The Nurse Aide course is comprised of classroom lectures, lab practice on mannequins and other students and clinical training. It is 16 weeks long, separated into two sets of 8 weeks each. The first part is lectures and lab while the second consists of clinical training. For tuition and hours please contact the school directly at 575-527-7500, 800-903-7503 and Fax: 575-528-7300.
Northern New Mexico College. NNMC has a campus in Española, NM and a campus in El Rito, NM. The program is suitable for anyone who wishes to work as a Nurse Aide in acute or long-term care facilities. It consists of both classroom instruction and lab practice. For tuition information please contact the school directly. Phone numbers are as follow for Española Campus: (505) 747-2100 and for El Rito Campus: (575) 581-4100
Additional New Mexico CNA resources
The above information will help you get started on the path to becoming a qualified CNA and beyond. The information below will help as your career progresses, or with further educational goals.
New Mexico Nurse Aide Registry
To contact the New Mexico Nurse Aide Registry, use the information below:
Licensing & Certification Bureau
2040 S. Pacheco Street
2nd Floor, Room 413
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
Telephone: 505 476-9040
Fax: 505 476-9026
Voice Response System 505 827-1453
Out of State CNAs
CNAs from out of state can begin to work in New Mexico when they transfer their license through reciprocity if you are still active and have good standing in your home state’s registry.
You must provide your relevant documentation regarding certification, proof of training, and listing on the registry. You must also have no evidence of abuse or neglect on the current license.
CNA Renewal in New Mexico
Your New Mexico CNA license is good for two years, after which it must be renewed.
To do this you must:
- Show evidence of a minimum of 8 hours of paid-for work during the two years period under the supervision of a licensed nurse.
- Complete the employment verification form.
Your new certification is valid for 24 months beginning from your last reported date of employment.
How much does a CNA make in New Mexico?
Like with any job, the location in the state and the employer mean that wages can vary between roles. On average, a CNA in New Mexico makes $13.61 hourly or a yearly salary of $28,310. Those in metropolitan areas tend to make more than rural, but of course, there is a higher cost of living in cities. More experience and more education help lift the pay rate incrementally, and this is a career with continuous development opportunities to help you thrive.