Top LPN Programs in New Mexico

Last Updated/Verified: September 15th, 2023

If you want to get into nursing without committing to the 4-year programs required for becoming a Registered Nurse, you might want to consider becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN.

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LPN programs in New Mexico give those passionate about healthcare a faster way to enter the world of nursing. There are many opportunities for a New Mexico LPN to find flexible, satisfying, and well-paid work caring for a variety of patients.

LPNs in New Mexico Quick Facts

There are plenty of training programs for those wanting to pursue the LPN path, including opportunities in Alburquerque, Santa Fe, Farmington, Las Cruces, and Tucumcari.

Overview of the LPN Schools in New Mexico

There are several schools and colleges offering LPN programs in New Mexico. The curriculum may vary between nursing theory and practical or clinical practice. Topics may include:

  • General physiology and human anatomy
  • Learning about common health issues and conditions
  • Medical terminology
  • Health and nutrition
  • Family nursing and care
  • Calculating dosage of medicines

Talk to individual institutions to find out exactly what’s on their LPN curriculum.

LPN Accreditation

LPN programs nationwide must be accredited by an appropriate body. Nationally, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is the leading authority when it comes to nursing education accreditation. All courses in New Mexico must be accredited by the New Mexico Board of Nursing (NMBON).

Admission Requirements for LPN Programs

Always contact the institution you’re interested in, as specific admission requirements for LPN training may vary from school to school. As a general guideline, the minimum requirements usually include:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school graduate
  • Minimum scores for math, reading, and science
  • Grade Point Average of 2.75 or higher
  • Some courses may have other prerequisites, such as completing other courses first

LPN Tuition and Costs

Tuition fees start at $57 per credit hour or $684 for up to 18 credit hours and range up to $4,431 per semester. Different institutions calculate their fees in different ways, so students should take care to understand the costs. Other costs include transport, books and resources, living costs, and board if moving onto campus. Most institutions will be able to provide you with an estimate of what your course will cost in total.

It may be possible for you to apply for a grant or scholarship to help you with some of your tuition costs. For example, some people may be eligible for the A.T. Anderson Scholarship, which supports Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and Canadian Indigenous persons in a variety of STEM fields – including nursing. Other colleges may offer their own financial support packages based on your personal circumstances, so be sure to ask individual institutions to get the most up-to-date information.

LPN License Requirements for New Mexico

Practical nursing programs are generally the fates way to get onto the nursing career ladder. Many nurses find they can continue their education as they work, which they’re able to do as soon as they get their LPN license.

Checklist to become a New Mexico LPN

  • Complete a board-approved LPN training program
  • Request the final transcript or Certificate of Eligibility for Graduation
  • Students must have their fingerprints taken and a criminal history check performed
  • The student pays a fee for LPN licensing
  • Finally, students must register for and complete the NCLEX exam

While awaiting a license, students can apply for a Graduate Nursing Permit (GNP), which allows them to practice as an LPN. A prospective employer must provide details of a Registered Nurse who will supervise the graduate nurse, and the student has to complete separate forms and pay an additional fee for this.


New Mexico LPNs must take the NCLEX-PN exam. This stands for National Council Licensure Examination – Practical Nurse. The exam tests what students have learned over the course of their program, essentially ensuring they’re ready to take on the expected duties of a licensed practical nurse.

LPN Reciprocity

New Mexico has opted into the NLC or Nurse Licensure Compact. As a Compact state, nurses can work between New Mexico and other states that opted into NLC without gaining additional licensure. Nurses moving to New Mexico from non-NLC states may be able to get endorsed to aid in obtaining licensure within New Mexico.

LPN Salaries in New Mexico

Average pay per hour and the expected annual income, plus how much higher or lower above average that is. The national average salary for LPNs is $48,820, and the average hourly rate is $23.47. In New Mexico, the current average wage for LPNs $53,360, but that varies from area to area. The average hourly rate for New Mexico LPNs is $29.72, 9% higher than the national average.

It tends to follow that the fewer LPNs there are in a particular area, the higher wage you may command – but there are exceptions to that rule. Here are the top five New Mexico cities and their average wages:

  • Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area ($53,450 per year)
  • Las Cruces ($52,780)
  • Alburquerque ($50,450)
  • Farmington ($47,680)
  • Santa Fe ($44,150)

Nurses can also make extra money throughout the year in overtime. Currently, LPNs in New Mexico make on average $7,750 in overtime each year. Wages go up the more experienced a nurse is, with LPNs with over ten years’ experience commanding the highest wages. An LPN who trains for their Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) certificate could see wage increases of up to 32.39%. Other certificates that can boost wages include Licensed Master Social Work (LMSW) or a chiropractic license. LPNs that studied for a degree in social work may also command higher wages.

Career Outlook for LPNs in New Mexico

Is the future bright for healthcare workers in New Mexico? It certainly seems so, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They predict that demand for licensed practical nurses will increase by 9% by 2029, which is much faster than the average increase.

Top LPN Schools in New Mexico

New Mexico Junior College 

5317 North Lovington Highway, Hobbs, New Mexico 88240
(575) 392-4510

This popular college is conveniently close to Hobbs and offers the LPN option as part of their diverse range of Nursing courses.

Clovis Community College

417 Schepps Boulevard, Clovis, New Mexico 88101
(575) 769-2811

Clovis focuses on enhancing the employability of its students by promoting confidence and a range of vocational subjects. Their nursing program covers practical aspects such as clinical rotations.

Pima Medical Institute

4400 Cutler Avenue N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87110
(800) 477-7462

This institution specializes in healthcare programs, including a one-year route to a practical nursing certificate. They also offer some time-sensitive financial help towards certain certificates, depending on circumstances.

Central New Mexico Community College

900 University Blvd SE, Alburquerque, NM, 87106
(505) 224-3000

This popular college offers full courses and nurse refresher courses. They have limited seats on all programs and are focused on meeting nursing shortages nationally and within New Mexico.

Vista College

850 North Telshore Blvd, Las Cruces, 88011
(575) 208-0175

Vista College offers a diploma in Practical Nursing, which may lead to gainful employment in long-term care facilities, home and family health, and nursing, plus a range of opportunities within hospitals and clinics.

UNM College of Nursing

2502 Marble Avenue, Alburquerque, NM, 87131

The famous state university of New Mexico, UNM, now has a dedicated College of Nursing offering a range of programs for prospective practical nurses.

NM State University Carlsbad

1500 University Drive, Carlsbad, NM 88220
(575) 234-9200

NM State is a community college offering 2-year courses including a certificate in practical nursing. This establishment is praised for its range of hands-on opportunities and state-of-the-art equipment.

Doña Ana Community College

3400 Espina Street, Las Cruces, NM, 88003
(575) 527-7500

This popular LPN program allows students to gain their LPN license on the way to becoming Registered Nurses if they so wish. Subjects include psychology and pharmacology, which help with a range of patient care concerns.

Luna Community College

366 Luna Drive, Las Vegas, New Mexico, 87701
(505) 454-2500

Luna Community College offers a variety of nursing programs, with a focus on making sure qualified nurses are not just clinically competent but culturally educated and sensitive. They also focus on healthcare within the community, making this an ideal choice for prospective nurses who want to make a difference locally.

Carrington College

1001 Menaul Boulevard N.E., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107
(505) 634-5236

The Albuquerque campus of Carrington offers various medical programs including practical and vocational nursing certificates.

Additional Resources

Here are some additional resources if you want further information on LPN and other nursing careers in New Mexico:

New Mexico Board of Nursing: The official board of nursing for the state of New Mexico provides resources and licensing information for all nurses including LPNs.
6301 Indian School Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 841 8340