Certified Nursing Assistant Programs in New Mexico

Are you considering a rewarding healthcare career? Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in New Mexico might be the perfect opportunity for you. CNAs play a crucial role in the healthcare industry, providing essential support to patients and healthcare professionals. With a high demand for CNAs in the state and various certified nursing assistant programs in New Mexico available, now is an ideal time to embark on this fulfilling career path.

CNA Training Options in New Mexico

New Mexico offers numerous state-approved CNA training programs to help you become a competent nursing assistant. These programs can be found in various settings, including community colleges, vocational schools, and nursing homes. With Albuquerque being the largest city and the healthcare centre of the state, it is an ideal location to find CNA training opportunities.

Steps to Become a CNA in New Mexico

To become a CNA in New Mexico, you must first complete a state-approved nurse aide program that consists of at least 75 hours of training, including a minimum of 16 hours of hands-on clinical training. These programs are designed to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide quality care to patients, ensuring their safety and comfort.

Upon successful completion of your CNA training program, you will be eligible to take the New Mexico Nurse Aide Competency Examination. This exam consists of a written or oral test and a clinical skills evaluation, which assesses your ability to perform essential nursing assistant tasks.

Passing the exam is crucial for obtaining your CNA certification and being listed on the New Mexico Nurse Aide Registry, which is a requirement for employment as a CNA in the state.

Free and Affordable CNA Training Opportunities

While CNA training programs can be quite affordable, it’s worth exploring free and low-cost options to minimize your expenses. Some local organizations in New Mexico offer free CNA training, and nursing homes in or near Albuquerque may also provide free training opportunities. By pursuing these options, you can save on tuition costs while still receiving high-quality education.

List of CNA Programs in New Mexico

There are several state-approved CNA programs available in New Mexico, ensuring that you can find one that suits your needs and preferences. Some of the notable programs include the University of New Mexico and ENMU-Ruidoso. These programs offer comprehensive training, preparing you for a successful career as a CNA.

For a complete list of CNA programs in New Mexico, you can visit the CNA Training Programs Admissions page. 

Exam and Certification Process for CNAs in New Mexico

Once you have completed your CNA training, the next step is to take the New Mexico Nurse Aide Competency Examination. This exam is administered by Prometric and consists of two components: a written or oral test and a clinical skills evaluation. Passing both components of the exam is essential for obtaining your CNA certification and being listed on the New Mexico Nurse Aide Registry.

Exam Components and Preparation

The written component of the CNA exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions with a time limit of 90 minutes. This section tests your knowledge of essential nursing assistant topics, ensuring that you have a solid understanding of your responsibilities as a CNA. If you prefer, you can opt for an oral test instead, which includes a reading comprehension section to evaluate your reading aptitude for working in a nursing home environment.

The clinical skills evaluation involves performing five nursing assistant skills in a simulated setting. All candidates are evaluated on handwashing and indirect care behaviours, and the other three skills are randomly selected. This part of the exam assesses your practical abilities, ensuring that you can competently perform essential nursing assistant tasks. 

Application Procedure and Test Fees

To apply for the CNA exam in New Mexico, you must first complete a state-approved nurse aide program and meet the minimum training requirements. Once you have completed your training, you can apply for certification and take the exam by visiting the New Mexico Nurse Aide Registry website and filling out the necessary forms.

The fees for the CNA exam in New Mexico include $100 for the skills test/written test combination or $110 for the skills test/oral test combination, plus a 5% sales tax. 

Maintaining and Renewing CNA Certification

As a certified nursing assistant in New Mexico, it’s essential to maintain your certification to continue working in the healthcare field. Your CNA certification must be renewed every 24 months. Prometric will send you the necessary renewal forms before your certification expires, which you should return to the address indicated on the forms.

New Mexico Nurse Aide Registry

The New Mexico Nurse Aide Registry is an essential resource for CNAs in the state. It is responsible for the authorization and supervision of CNA training programs within New Mexico, ensuring that the programs meet the state’s requirements. The registry also offers support for certified nurse aides, facilitates training and reciprocities, and provides guidance to medical facilities concerning CNA training programs.

By staying informed about the New Mexico Nurse Aide Registry and its functions, you can ensure that your CNA training and certification remain up-to-date and in compliance with the state’s regulations. This will help you maintain your eligibility for employment as a CNA in New Mexico and contribute to the success of your career in healthcare.

Reciprocity and Transferring CNA Certification to New Mexico

If you’re a certified nursing assistant from another state and are planning to move to New Mexico, you may be eligible for reciprocity. This process allows you to transfer your CNA certification to New Mexico by submitting the necessary documents, including a verification form from your current state’s nurse aide registry.

Employment Opportunities and Salary Expectations for CNAs in New Mexico

With a high demand for CNAs in New Mexico, there are numerous employment opportunities available across the state. There are more than 1700 CNA job openings in New Mexico, with the greatest concentration of positions located in and around Albuquerque. Some potential employers include hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, and home care agencies.

The average salary for a Certified Nursing Assistant in New Mexico is $31,620. While this figure may vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and employer, it provides a general idea of the earning potential for CNAs in the state.

With comprehensive training, certification, and dedication to providing exceptional patient care, you can enjoy a rewarding career as a CNA in New Mexico.


In conclusion, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant in New Mexico offers numerous benefits and opportunities for personal and professional growth. With various state-approved CNA training programs available, you can choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences. Once you have completed your training and obtained your certification, you can enjoy a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry, providing essential support to patients and healthcare professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a CNA in New Mexico?

On average, it takes approximately 8 weeks to become a Certified Nursing Assistant in New Mexico. This time is dependent on the route of certification chosen, with programs ranging from 75 hours of classroom and clinical training to having prior military experience or completing a similar program in another state.

How much does a CNA make in New Mexico?

The average salary of a CNA in New Mexico is $37,050 per year or $17,81 per hour, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2021.

In what state is it easiest to become a CNA?

Becoming a CNA is easiest in states that have streamlined the licensing process, such as California, Delaware, Iowa, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. These states require the least amount of time to obtain certification, so they are ideal for individuals looking to become certified nursing assistants quickly.