Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in New Mexico is one of the best ways to break into the healthcare industry without sacrificing too much of your time.
Not only can you get your license quicker than most medical courses, but you can also rest assured that you will be able to find a stable and sustainable source of income as soon as you get certified.
But how exactly do you become an LPN in New Mexico?
Is it an easy process? What are some of the courses you will have to take to get your certification?
We are here to answer all of those questions and more by giving you a simple guide on how to become an LPN in New Mexico.
We’ll also answer FAQs, such as:
- Can LPNs from Another State Work In New Mexico?
- Which States are Participating In the Nurse Licensure Compact?
- How Many Times Can You Take the NCLEX Exam In New Mexico?
- Is There a High Demand for LPNs In New Mexico?
- How Much Do LPNs Make In New Mexico?
So if you want to know the details, then keep on reading!
How to Become an LPN in New Mexico in Just 5 Steps
Becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in New Mexico may not be a walk in the park, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated process.
Today, we will be talking about the 5 steps you need to follow:
- Step #1: Find a State-Approved LPN Program
- Step #2: Meet the Requirements for Your Chosen Program
- Step #3: Qualify for the NCLEX Exam
- Step #4: Take and Pass the NCLEX Exam
- Step #5: Find Your First LPN Job
Ready to kick start a prosperous career in LPN? Let’s get started!
Step #1: Find a State-Approved LPN Program
The first step is to find a suitable LPN program in your area. You need to make sure that you are enrolling in a state-approved school, or else you will have a tough time qualifying for your state licensure exam.
LPN programs typically last about 1-2 years, but that will depend on the schedule you choose.
Both in-person and online classes are available, so students with busy schedules or who work full-time can also take classes and qualify for their certificate of completion.
Some of the courses you should expect to encounter in your state-approved LPN program are:
- Family Nursing
- Common Health Problems
- Medical Terminologies
- Pharmacotherapeutic Interventions
To ensure that the LPN program you are choosing is approved in the State of New Mexico, you can check if the New Mexico Board of Nursing approves it.
Step #2: Meet the Requirements for Your Chosen Program
Once you have chosen a state-approved LPN program, it’s time to start meeting the qualifications. Most LPN programs don’t just accept every applicant that walks through their doors.
There are certain conditions that potential enrollees have to meet, such as:
- Being 18 years of age or older
- Possess a high school diploma or GED
- Pass a drug screen and background check
- Provide proof of current immunizations
We listed some of the basic requirements that you will encounter in most programs. Some schools may need other relevant documents, so be sure to ask.
Tuition and other expenses will vary from school to school. So we greatly encourage you to “shop around” until you find the right program that meets both your career goals and fits your budget.
Another thing you should check is if your program has financial aid services for students so you don’t break your wallet.
After compiling all your requirements together, it’s time to enroll in your LPN program!
Step #3: Qualify for the NCLEX Exam
Graduated from your LPN program and received your certificate of completion in the mail? Awesome!
Now it’s time to file for your state licensure exam through the New Mexico Board of Nursing.
Don’t worry; we’re almost to the finish line, so just hold on a little longer.
To be eligible to take the exam, you have to submit:
- A filled-up application form and payment of the $150 application fee
- The official transcript of your state-approved certificate of completion (sent by your school to the New Mexico BON)
- A recent criminal background check
- Registration with Pearson Vue and payment of the $200 application fee
The New Mexico BON will evaluate your application to see if you qualify for the exam.
If you do, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) form from Pearson Vue.
Once you receive this form, you can set the final schedule for your NCLEX exam and continue preparing for it while you wait for the exam day.
Step #4: Take and Pass the NCLEX Exam
The exam you will be taking is called the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses or the NCLEX-PN exam.
Here, you will encounter various nursing-related topics designed to measure your mastery of general nursing knowledge and your decision-making skills.
Don’t worry; you can access an NCLEX practice exam, so you know what to expect on the actual exam day!
If you pass the exam, then you will receive your LPN license! Congratulations!
If you don’t pass on the first try, then don’t be too discouraged!
You can still retake the exam. Thankfully, you will even be sent a diagnosis of how you performed so that you will know what you need to improve when you take it again.
Just take note, however, that you will need to re-register and pay the examination fee again.
Step #5: Find Your First Job as an LPN
Once you receive your license, you can finally start working as an LPN!
Most LPNs work in nursing care facilities, home health care, and offices of physicians.
But you can also apply in other institutions, such as hospitals, assisted living facilities, schools, correctional facilities, outpatient care centers, community health centers, etc.
The demand for LPNs is always there!
But it’s important to remember that while you are working, you also need to keep your LPN license active.
IMPORTANT: LPN licenses in New Mexico expire every 2 years. To renew your license, you will be required to take 30 contact hours of state-approved continuing education programs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming an LPN in New Mexico
Now we know the 5 steps to becoming an LPN in New Mexico… But you may still have questions in your mind.
We’ll try to answer some of the frequently-asked and relevant questions.
Can LPNs from Another State Work In New Mexico?
Yes, LPNs who are licensed in another state can still work in New Mexico.
In fact, if your current state participates in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), you will be able to work in the state of New Mexico without seeking additional licensure.
If you are from a non-NLC state, you can still work in New Mexico by getting a license by endorsement.
Which States are Participating In the Nurse Licensure Compact?
According to the updated list of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), the states that participate in the NLC program include:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
More states are currently trying to participate in the NLC, so make sure to check out NCSBN’s official website for updates.
How Many Times Can You Take the NCLEX Exam In New Mexico?
If you fail the first attempt at the NCLEX exam, you are allowed to retake it up to 4 times within a year.
However, you will have to wait at least 45 days between each retake.
Is There a High Demand for LPNs In New Mexico?
Yes, there has been a steady increase in the demand for LPNs in New Mexico.
You won’t have to worry about the wait just to get employment.
How Much Do LPNs Make In New Mexico?
According to indeed.com, the average base salary of LPNs in New Mexico is $30.60 per hour, with some companies even going as high as $55 an hour.
This translates to about $64,973 per year.
This is higher than the national mean wage.
As you can see, the LPN field is a fantastic way to land a stable and sustainable job fresh after graduation!
And that’s not all! You can even increase your salary the more years of experience you have and depending on which state you work in.
As you can see, the process of becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in New Mexico is not complicated.
Just remember to choose the right state-approved program for you, meet their qualifications, pass your classes, and take advantage of the available resources!
If you feel unsure about how to proceed with your program application, feel free to refer to this article as many times as needed.
We sincerely hope that we were able to give you enough information to make your application process a breeze. Best of luck!