Qualifications and Regulations
New Mexico does not have any unusual requirements for its Certified Nursing Assistants. For the most part, the qualification process is exactly the same as it is in other states. In order to take the national certification exam, or NATCEP, the candidate must enroll in a state-approved nurse aide training program. These programs can be found in a number of locations across the state, but all programs are required provide at least 75 hours of instruction. Within those 75 hours, at least 16 hours must be spent on supervised practical training. The practical education can be conducted in a laboratory or long-term care facility, so long as it is supervised by a Registered Nurse and appropriately challenges the applicant with situations that will be close to their working experience as a CNA. The administration of the certification test is handled by a private test-provider, Prometric. In order to take the exam, an applicant must register with Prometric online. This will only be possible if the applicant has enrolled in or completed a nurse aide training program, as there will be a program code given that is needed to access the test-scheduling portion of Prometric’s website.
The average wage a CNA makes working in New Mexico is around $24,000 per year. This is very close to the national average. At the lower end of the pay-scale, beginning CNAs make about $21,000 per year and the most experienced can make up to $27,000 per year. This range is very standard for American CNAs. There are also some attractive advantages to receiving your CNA training in New Mexico. For instance, the state is one of many that prohibit the cost of CNA classes to be charged to the applicants. If the candidate receives an offer for employment while still completing their training program, the cost of the training program must be covered by the new employer. A more common experience is that a job offer is received after completing a CNA course, and so long as it is within one year of completing a state-approved program, the New Mexico state department is responsible for reimbursing the candidate for the cost of their previously completed training. The cost for CNA courses differs greatly between the different institutions that provide it. Generally speaking, state-approved programs can range in price between $250 and $2000. Prometric’s fee for providing both portions of the test is $105, but this too can be reimbursed by New Mexico’s state department with the appropriate documentation of employment.