2 Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in New Mexico – 2023

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

New Mexico’s 1,650 nurse practitioners are a vital part of the state’s primary healthcare workforce. Graduates of accredited nurse practitioner schools in New Mexico can make decisions regarding the healthcare needs of individuals, families, and communities without the supervision of physicians. Jobs for NPs across The Land of Enchantment are expected to increase by more than 56 percent over the next 10 years while NP salaries average approximately $129,560. If you’d like to learn about the best nurse practitioner programs in New Mexico for 2023, keep reading this page.


(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 2 Best NP programs in New Mexico for the year 2023.)

1) New Mexico State University, Las Cruces

Programs Offered: DNP and Post-Graduate APRN Certificate

Ever thought of taking your nursing career to the highest possible level? Do you aspire to make a difference in the lives of patients suffering from physical symptoms or mental health issues? Well, with New Mexico State University’s NP programs you can achieve all of this. Counted among the best nurse practitioner programs in New Mexico, its DNP-NP also happens to be one of the nation’s most affordable. The school’s location along the US New Mexico border, home to a diverse student population makes for a rich multicultural environment. Not only that, as an NP student here, you can also experience clinical learning at various community sites where you can participate in direct patient care for ethnic minorities.

Outside classroom learning takes place at its well-equipped simulation lab, with open hours available for students to practice hands-on skills in a center that mirrors hospital beds & medical equipment and is fitted with high fidelity manikins.

NMSU prepares you to become a nurse practitioner in New Mexico through its evidence-based DNP and post-graduate certificate programs which come with specialization options in family primary care and mental health.

DNP Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

This DNP program prepares you for leadership roles in direct and indirect patient care. Depending on your interest, you can choose to specialize either in the primary care of individuals across the lifespan or in the care of mental health patients. To start with, you must have completed either a BSN or an MSN. Also, an unencumbered RN license is required to qualify for the BSN to DNP pathway. Whereas if you are an APRN, prepared at the master’s level you must take the MSN to DNP path. While the BSN to DNP path can be completed only on a full-time basis, requiring a total of three years, taking the MSN to DNP route, you can complete it either on a part-time or full-time basis. The program is delivered in an online format with on-campus requirements only for an orientation and a clinical seminar.

The BSN to DNP-FNP/PMHNP track requires completion of 69 credits and 1024 clinical hours, whereas with the MSN to DNP path you must complete 31 credits and 1000 clinical hours.

Post-Graduate APRN Certificate Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

To qualify for this post-graduate nurse practitioner program in New Mexico, you must either be a certified nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist who has earned an MSN or a DNP degree. By completing this certificate, you can add specialized knowledge and skills in either the primary care of families of all ages or mental health patients. Some students who complete their DNP in one specialty, often enroll in this program to earn a second certification. The program is offered in the online format and takes one year to complete. A campus visit is required only during the first week of the summer semester to attend the clinical seminar.

2) University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

Programs Offered: MSN and Post-Master's Certificate

If you find your calling in serving the underserved and are looking at nurse practitioner programs in New Mexico that are committed towards this cause, then what better than University of New Mexico. The nursing school not only supports research in the health of rural and underserved populations but has also been a forerunner in addressing health equity and health policy issues. Here, you will be mentored by a faculty that strives towards the improvement of health through innovative research and scholarly activity. This environment of discovery leads to insightful experiences and inculcates a spirit of life-long learning among NP students.

The school has mainly earned praise for its graduate education, ranking among the US News and World Report’s best in the nation. As a nurse practitioner student, you can participate in the school’s active TeleEcho clinics that provide specialty treatment to distant rural and underserved areas. You can use this opportunity to closely understand the nuances of clinical care in such low resource healthcare settings. Depending on your educational background you can acquire advanced nursing education in either of the four practitioner specializations which are offered in conjunction with an MSN and a post-master’s certificate.

MSN Concentrations: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

To be eligible for this MSN program you must be a BSN graduate who holds an active RN license. Based on your area of interest, you can choose from specializing in adult gerontology acute care, family health, pediatric health, or psychiatric mental health nursing care. Regardless of the track you enter, the number of credits required for graduation is around 52, which also includes approximately 1000 hours of clinical practice in the lab and clinical sites.

The common core courses for all the four tracks include advanced nursing theory, research in nursing, pathophysiology, advanced health assessment & diagnostic reasoning, and pharmacology. Also, courses in health policy, healthcare financing, and evidence-based practice prepare you for leadership roles within the complex healthcare system. In addition to the core courses, you must also complete specialty-specific courses and relevant clinical experience to complete graduation requirements. While the core courses for all specializations are offered online, specialty courses are offered in a combination of online and on-campus formats.

Post-Master's Certificate Concentrations: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Do you seek to expand your nursing practice? With four specialization options offered through this online nurse practitioner program in New Mexico, UNM prepares you for advanced practice roles in an area of your interest. This program is meant for MSN graduates, holding an active RN license. Upon enrollment, your coursework will be planned after a gap analysis of your previous coursework. Upon graduation, you will be eligible to take the certification exam in your population focus and utilize the specialized knowledge to improve health, maintain and restore the well-being of a diverse patient population.



What are the Total Number of Accredited NP Programs in New Mexico?

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners reports that currently there are Six accredited nurse practitioner programs in New Mexico.

Program Type #
Post-Master's Certificate2

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