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New Mexico

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CNA Training in New Mexico

New Mexico lies east of Arizona and west of Texas. It has a hot, arid climate, particularly throughout the Chihuahuan Desert. However, the parts of the state that lie in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range see much more diverse temperatures and even snow during the winter. New Mexico’s capital is Santa Fe; this city celebrates its heritage with Spanish revival architecture, an open-air opera, and a great downtown scene. Albuquerque is another large city where CNAs can find many of the state’s 37 hospitals and 6,716 nursing homes. With over 2 million residents in this increasingly popular state, CNAs can be assured of finding plenty of jobs in a variety of different health care facilities.

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About New Mexico

– Capital: Santa Fe
– Minimum Wage: $7.50
– Number of Hospitals: 37
– Number of Nursing Homes: 6,716


– Total Population: 2,085,572
– Population (ages 45-64): 533,455
– Population (ages 65+): 318,855
– Population (ages 85+): 37,373

Top Colleges & Unversities

– Saint John’s College (NM)
– New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
– University of New Mexico

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in New Mexico

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CNA Training Requirements

Taking the Test (Procedure)

Out-of-State Applicants

Renewing & Expired Certification

Applications & Forms

Contacts & Additional Resources

The New Mexico Department of Heath oversees the CNA training programs throughout the state and works with the state’s Nurse Aide Registry to ensure CNAs are properly licensed. New Mexico follows minimum federal guidelines, which state that CNAs must have 75 hours of training at minimum before sitting for the competency evaluation. Of these hours, 16 of them must be in a clinical setting practicing hands-on care under the supervision of a nurse. This type of training allows students to learn theory and to practice what they have learned before heading out on their own.

New Mexico does allow certain groups to waive training. Nursing students who have completed a basic nursing course and clinical hours in the past 24 months can apply for a waiver. Also, graduate nurses who are not yet Board-certified, military-trained health care personnel, out-of-state nurses and foreign nurses may all waive training.

However, the most direct route to CNA licensure is to complete a state-approved training course. Students should be at least 18 years of age except for those completing training in an approved high school setting. The state does not require a high school diploma or GED. Students will need to have state and federal background checks completed using fingerprints before they can apply to take the competency examination. Finally, students must be physically fit as evidenced by a doctor’s physical, have up-to-date immunization, have negative tuberculosis screenings within the past six months and hold current health care provider CPR cards.

New Mexico has Prometric administer its tests. Prometric uses a two-part system to test students’ knowledge of CNA theory as well as their ability to successfully perform CNA skills. Both sections of the test must be completed on the same day initially. The fee to take both sections of the test is $105 for the written version or $115.50 for the oral version.

The knowledge section tests CNA theory and is usually performed on a computer. However, students with documented disabilities or those with difficulty reading English may request the oral test. The knowledge section has 60 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 90 minutes or less. The oral version has an additional 15 questions testing basic reading comprehension.

Next, students will take the skills section in front of an evaluator. Students will be asked to perform five skills, three of which will be randomly chosen on the test day. The other two skills are hand washing and indirect care. Students will have 31 to 40 minutes to complete this section based on the tasks that were chosen.

Students must pass both sections before their names are submitted for inclusion in the state’s Registry. Students will find out whether they have passed while at the testing center. Those who fail must retake the section that they failed. Students have up to three attempts in 24 months to pass without having to retrain.

CNAs moving to New Mexico from out-of-state will want to apply for endorsement. Because New Mexico follows minimum federal guidelines for training hours, CNAs from most states will be accepted here. CNAs must have current active statuses on their prior states’ registries and must have worked at least eight hours in the past 24 months. They must also be in good standing with their states with no complaints of patient abuse, neglect or maltreatment. Applicants will be required to pay any associated fingerprinting fees for having a state criminal background check performed. CNAs whose certifications have expired within the prior 24 months due to not working the required hours may be able to waive training in New Mexico and only take the competency evaluation.

New Mexico CNAs must renew their certifications every 24 months to remain active on the State Registry. To be eligible to renew, CNAs must have worked for pay under the supervision of a licensed nurse for at least 8 hours in the past 24 months and will need to fill out the Employment Verification Form. Those working in Medicaid-approved nursing facilities do not have to pay a recertification fee; those who work in non-licensed facilities must pay a fee of $23.10 to renew. CNAs who allow their certifications to expire will be required to retest if the expiration occurred within the past 24 months or retrain and retest if the expiration occurred more than 24 months ago.

New Mexico Department of Health
New Mexico Board of Nursing
New Mexico Nurse Aide Registry
Verify your CNA License here

New Mexico Department of Health
Health Facility Licensing and Certification Bureau
2040 S. Pacheco Street, Room 413
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Phone: 505-476-9040

Employment Information for New Mexico

Average Salary for CNAs in NM

At an average salary of $26,790 per year or $12.88 per hour, New Mexico CNAs make enough to have a good quality of living especially when compared to the state’s income per capita of just $23,763. While starting CNAs often make several thousand dollars less than this average amount, those with experience can expect to make nearly $30,000 per year or can go on for higher health care education.

Job Outlook in NM

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics listed 6,520 CNA job opportunities in New Mexico as of 2014. CNAs can expect to see a surge in the number of open jobs here within the next decade as the Baby Boomer generation ages. Currently, the state has over 318,000 residents over the age of 65 and another 533,000 between 45 and 65.

Employment Opportunities

Top Hospitals in New Mexico
Hospital NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneWebsite
Presbyterian Hospital1100 Central Avenue SEAlbuquerqueNM87106505-841-1234Website
Acoma-Canoncito-Laguna Hospital80B Veterans BoulevardAcomaNM87034505-552-5300Website
Advanced Care Hospital Of Southern New Mexico4451 East Lohman AvenueLas CrucesNM88011575-521-6600Website
Alta Vista Regional Hospital104 Legion DriveLas VegasNM87701505-426-3500Website
Amg Specialty Hospital-Albuquerque235 Elm Street NEAlbuquerqueNM87102505-842-5550Website
Artesia General Hospital702 North 13th StreetArtesiaNM88210575-748-3333Website
Carlsbad Medical Center2430 West Pierce StreetCarlsbadNM88220575-887-4100Website
Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center455 St. Michael's DriveSanta FeNM87505505-983-3361Website
Cibola General Hospital1016 East Roosevelt AvenueGrantsNM87020505-287-4446Website
Dr. Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital301 East Miel De Luna AvenueTucumcariNM88401575-461-7000Website
Eastern New Mexico Medical Center405 West Country Club RoadRoswellNM88201575-622-8170Website
Espanola Hospital1010 Spruce StreetEspanolaNM87532505-753-7111Website
Gallup Indian Medical Center516 East Nizhoni BoulevardGallupNM87301505-722-1000Website
Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center2669 North Scenic DriveAlamogordoNM88310575-439-6100Website
Gila Regional Medical Center1313 East 32nd StreetSilver CityNM88061575-538-4000Website
Guadalupe County Hospital117 Camino de VidaSanta RosaNM88435575-472-3417Website
Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital7000 Jefferson Street NEAlbuquerqueNM87109505-344-9478Website
Holy Cross Hospital1397 Weimer RoadTaosNM87571575-758-8883Website
Kindred Hospital-Albuquerque700 High Street NEAlbuquerqueNM87102505-242-4444Website
Lea Regional Medical Center5419 North Lovington HighwayHobbsNM88240575-492-5000Website

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