PRN Nursing Jobs in New Mexico: Ultimate Guide [2024]

Want to pick up high-paying PRN jobs in New Mexico? Nursa is a marketplace that connects nurses and CNAs with shifts near them.

Are you a nurse or nursing assistant considering picking up jobs in New Mexico? Registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) pick up high-paying nursing jobs in ”The Land of Enchantment” with Nursa.

How Much Do Nurses in New Mexico Make?

The following chart displays the average annual incomes based on the metropolitan areas:

Metropolitan Area Mean CNA Wage Mean LPN Wage Mean RN Wage
Albuquerque $34,810 $59,280 $87,240
Farmington $34,110 $58,590 $80,600
Las Cruces $30,870 $56,550 $77,580
Santa Fe $37,190 $68,850 $88.870

The following are the annual average incomes in the state of New Mexico, categorized by the type of nursing license:

Table of Contents

Everything You Want to Know about Nursing Jobs in NM

Nurse salary. Best nursing schools. Cheapest cities to live in. This guide will cover the information you want about living and working in New Mexico as a nurse.

RN, LPN, and CNA salary information throughout this guide comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and living wage information is from the MIT Living Wage Calculator (most recent data as of January 2024).

What Influences Nursing Salaries?

Medical centers in New Mexico offer high-paying jobs to nurses.

The state's income potential is critical when seeking nursing jobs, PRN, or staff positions. In New Mexico, RNs earn an average hourly wage of about $41.15, though this figure can fluctuate based on factors such as location, specialization, and the nurse's level of education. 

What are the Highest-Paying Cities in New Mexico?

Some of the highest-paying cities for nurses working in New Mexico are Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Farmington.

New Mexico is a Haven for Fulfilling Nursing Jobs

What if following your purpose of helping people and serving those in need of your talent came with a scenery full of culture, outdoor beauty, and history? 

Embarking on a nursing career in the picturesque state of New Mexico offers professional fulfillment and a chance to immerse yourself in a rich tapestry.

Whether you're contemplating relocation or exploring per diem or PRN nursing jobs in New Mexico as a current resident, this guide serves as a compass for navigating the dynamic healthcare arena in the state. 

From learning the process of obtaining your New Mexico nursing license to discovering the top-notch medical centers across the state, we've got you covered. 

Let’s delve deeper into the unique experiences and opportunities that await nurses, nursing assistants, and student nurses living and working in New Mexico. 

What Are Some of the Best RN Nursing Programs in NM?

If you are an aspiring nurse, you likely want to know some of the best nursing schools in the state. When choosing a nursing program, many factors come into play. These include accreditation, program outcomes, faculty qualifications, clinical opportunities, and overall reputation. 

We will help you round up some of the state's top nursing programs, all approved by the New Mexico Board of Nursing. This list only holds some top schools, but we will include an overview of what each institution offers to get your New Mexico registered nursing license.

1. University of New Mexico - College of Nursing: The University of New Mexico's College of Nursing is a flagship institution with a highly regarded RN program. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and considered the Best Nursing (BSN) Program in New Mexico by U.S. News & World Report, this university offers diverse clinical experiences, with 65% of its students coming from minority communities. Furthermore, it provides financial aid to 80% of its alumni. 

2. Western New Mexico University: Currently on the U.S. News & World Report's Top Public Schools, 84% of Western New Mexico University’s classes have less than 20 students, offering a more personalized learning experience. The school is committed to community engagement, offering students the chance to participate in health initiatives across diverse populations. It also has an ethnically diverse enrollment of 69%. Accredited by the CCNE, the program emphasizes evidence-based practice.

3. University of St. Francis - New Mexico Campus: The University of St. Francis, with a campus in Albuquerque, offers an RN-to-BSN program that caters to working nurses. The program is known for its flexibility, including online learning options. Accredited by the CCNE, it allows RNs to advance their education while maintaining their professional commitments.

4. Eastern New Mexico University - College of Nursing: ENMU's College of Nursing provides an intimate learning environment with small class sizes, fostering personalized interactions between students and faculty. Accredited by the CCNE, the RN program at ENMU emphasizes hands-on clinical experiences and prepares students for various healthcare settings.

5. San Juan College: San Juan College's nursing program in Farmington, New Mexico, stands out for its emphasis on rural healthcare and strong clinical partnerships with local healthcare facilities. The college's commitment to addressing healthcare disparities in underserved populations is reflected in its comprehensive curriculum, which integrates theoretical knowledge with diverse clinical experiences. With a supportive learning environment, smaller class sizes, and a focus on community engagement, San Juan College provides aspiring nurses with a well-rounded education that equips them to excel in the dynamic field of rural healthcare.

Please note that rankings are subjective and can vary based on personal preferences and career goals. Prospective students must consider their unique needs and aspirations when selecting nursing schools in New Mexico and beyond. Once you're done, you can use the New Mexico nursing license lookup to find your professional information.

What Are Some of the Cheapest Cities in New Mexico?

Affordability becomes a critical factor in ensuring financial stability and comfortable living. Now that you have a good idea of how much you can earn with CNA, LPN, and RN jobs in New Mexico, you could choose your city based on how cheap it is to live there. Also, remember that when you pick up those jobs on a PRN basis using Nursa, your hourly pay will likely be substantially higher than the average figures.

Let's explore how far these wages can take you to make an informed decision. The cost of living for a single adult in New Mexico is $16.07 per hour, meaning that this is how much a person needs to earn per hour to pay for basic living expenses in this state. 

Now, we can delve into some of the most budget-friendly cities in New Mexico, each selected based on criteria that prioritize housing affordability, job opportunities, and overall economic factors.

  • Gallup: Gallup takes the lead as one of the most affordable cities for nurses. Nurses can find stability and financial peace of mind with diverse job opportunities and an economic landscape that supports career growth.
  • Las Vegas: Not to be confused with its famous counterpart—Las Vegas, New Mexico, stands out for its remarkably affordable housing options. The city offers nurses economic stability thanks to a lower unemployment rate and a cost of living that aligns with the state average.
  • Roswell: Known for its extraterrestrial intrigue, Roswell provides nurses with affordable housing. The city's cost-effective housing options ensure that nurses can find comfortable residences without breaking the bank.
  • Hobbs: Hobbs, located in the southeastern part of New Mexico, is an affordable city with a growing economy. Nurses in this city can benefit from a higher quality of life, enjoy recreational and cultural amenities, and save money with budget-friendly living options.
  • Farmington: Farmington strikes a balance between affordability and economic stability. With a thriving job market, Farmington nurses can enjoy the city's scenic surroundings and find diverse career opportunities, contributing to their financial well-being.

These budget-friendly cities provide nurses with a range of options that prioritize different aspects of affordability and overall living experience. As you weigh your priorities, it's essential to find a city that aligns with your career goals and personal preferences in the vibrant landscape of New Mexico.

What Are Some of The Best Hospitals in New Mexico?

Being a nurse, you may be interested to know some of the biggest or most prominent hospitals and healthcare centers in New Mexico. We have created a list of some of the best hospital systems, as well as a brief description of why each stands out; whether you are interested in their size, their research, or their specialties, this list could give you an idea of the areas where to find pediatric, ER, ICU, telemetry, and other nursing jobs for acute-care nurses. 

  1. UNM Health System: The only teaching hospital in New Mexico, it was built in Native American territory to provide fully inclusive care to all. Their services have been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index.
  2. Presbyterian Healthcare Services Network: Within the Presbyterian Healthcare Services network, notable achievements include three hospitals receiving prestigious gold-level Pain and Addiction Care accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians. These endeavors showcase the Presbyterian hospitals' commitment to comprehensive and compassionate care, aligning with the highest standards in emergency medicine.
  3. Lovelace Health System: This network has been ranked among the 20 percent of health systems in the country by Truven Health Analytic and made it to the 150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare list.
  4. CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center: This not-for-profit hospital serves the Santa Fe community. It is the oldest hospital in New Mexico and is known for its commitment to compassionate care and community health programs.
  5. Eastern New Mexico Medical Center: Alongside primary care services and specialized treatments for conditions like allergies, skin disorders, gastroenterological issues, cardiological concerns, general and vascular surgery, and urological conditions, this healthcare network ensures accessibility for their patients through strategically located facilities.
  6. Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center: As a comprehensive healthcare facility, Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center serves the Alamogordo area with 44 specialties, such as pediatric and pulmonary rehab. It is dedicated to providing quality healthcare services to its community.
  7. San Juan Regional Medical Center: San Juan Regional Medical Center serves the Four Corners region as a nonprofit, community-owned hospital. It offers a broad spectrum of medical services is committed to patient-centered care, with diagnostic radiology and emergency medicine as its strengths.
  8. Memorial Medical Center: Memorial Medical Center is a cornerstone of healthcare in southern New Mexico, ranked in the America's 100 Best Hospitals for Prostate Surgery Award by Healthgrades. It is known for its commitment to innovation and excellence in patient care.
  9. MountainView Regional Health System: MountainView boasts nationally acclaimed programs such as a leading cardiovascular and thoracic center, an integrated cardiology clinic, and the distinguished Las Vegas Institute for Robotic Surgery, which is recognized as a Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery. 
  10. BlueCross BlueShield: Health insurance in New Mexico is synonymous with BlueCross BlueShield, a trusted provider offering a spectrum of coverage options. It is recognized for its commitment to accessible healthcare.

These medical centers in New Mexico contribute significantly to the state's healthcare landscape, providing diverse services and playing crucial roles in medical education and community health initiatives.

What Are Some Things to Do in New Mexico?

As of July 2023, New Mexico boasts a population of approximately 2,114,371 residents, contributing to a culturally rich environment. When considering PRN nursing jobs in New Mexico, exploring various cities' fun activities and cultural offerings adds a vibrant dimension to the experience. 

Let's delve into some cities that make the Land of Enchantment a unique place to pursue a nursing career.

  • Artesia: Nestled in the southeastern part of the state, Artesia enjoys a desert climate. Despite its smaller size, Artesia has charm in hosting local events and festivals that unite the community. Nurses in Artesia can explore local art shows, enjoy community fairs, and take advantage of the proximity to natural attractions like Brantley Lake State Park.
  • Casa Blanca: Located in the central part of the state, Casa Blanca benefits from a semi-arid climate. Casa Blanca offers a close-knit community atmosphere. Nurses can participate in local cultural events, and the nearby Cibola National Forest provides opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.
  • Cedar Crest: In the mountains near Albuquerque, Cedar Crest experiences a cooler and milder climate—nurses in Cedar Crest benefit from the picturesque surroundings of the Sandia Mountains. The area offers hiking and skiing opportunities, and the nearby Tinkertown Museum provides a unique cultural experience. Residents can also explore the Turquoise Trail, a scenic route connecting Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
  • Clovis: As one of the larger cities in the eastern part of the state, Clovis has a diverse climate with hot summers and cold winters. Clovis hosts various community events, including the Curry County Fair and events at the Clovis Civic Center. Nurses in Clovis can engage in local sports events, explore the Norman Petty Studios, or enjoy outdoor activities at Ned Houk Park.
  • Espanola: Located in the northern part of New Mexico, Espanola experiences a desert climate. Espanola celebrates its cultural heritage with events like the Santa Cruz Feast Day. Nurses can explore nearby historic sites like the Santuario de Chimayó and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Rio Grande Valley. 
  • Rio Rancho: A suburb of Albuquerque, Rio Rancho enjoys a sunny climate. Rio Rancho provides a mix of urban and outdoor activities. Nurses can attend Santa Ana Star Center events, explore the local art scene, and enjoy recreational activities at the nearby Petroglyph National Monument.
  • Ruidoso: Nestled in the mountains of southern New Mexico, Ruidoso experiences a cool and alpine climate. Known for its outdoor adventures, Ruidoso offers nurses a chance to explore the Lincoln National Forest, go horseback riding, or experience the thrill of Ruidoso Downs Racetrack. The city hosts various festivals and events, including the Ruidoso Art and Wine Festival.
  • Socorro: Situated in the Rio Grande Valley, Socorro has a warm desert climate. Events like the Socorrofest and the New Mexico Tech Performing Arts Series complement Socorro's small-town charm. Nurses in Socorro can explore the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge or attend stargazing events at the Very Large Array.
  • Springer: In the northeastern part of the state, Springer experiences a continental climate. Springer offers a quieter pace of life. Nurses can participate in community events, explore the Capulin Volcano National Monument, or enjoy outdoor activities like fishing and hiking.
  • Albuquerque: As the biggest city in the state, Albuquerque offers many activities. From the annual International Balloon Fiesta, a spectacular hot air balloon event, to the Old Town's historic charm and the vibrant arts scene, nurses in Albuquerque can immerse themselves in diverse cultural experiences. The city also hosts various festivals and has a thriving culinary scene.
  • Santa Fe: Known for its rich history and artistic community, Santa Fe provides nurses with a blend of cultural and outdoor activities. The city has numerous art galleries, museums, and the historic Plaza. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains or enjoy the annual Santa Fe Indian Market.

What Are Some Fun Facts about New Mexico?

As a passionate nurse, exploring the fascinating aspects of New Mexico beyond the healthcare landscape can add depth to your experience in the Copper State. Here are some intriguing, fun facts about New Mexico that might spark your interest:

  1. Unrivaled Skies: The state is renowned for its clear skies and is home to the Very Large Array (VLA), one of the world's premier radio astronomy observatories. Nurses can marvel at the vastness of the universe during their time off.
  2. Birthplace of the Atomic Age: Los Alamos, a town in New Mexico, played a critical role in developing the atomic bomb during World War II. You may find yourself near historic sites connected to the birth of nuclear technology.
  3. Oldest Capital in the U.S.: Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, is the oldest continuously inhabited state capital in the United States. As a nurse in Santa Fe, you'll be surrounded by centuries of history and a unique blend of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures.
  4. International Balloon Fiesta: Albuquerque hosts the world's largest hot air balloon festival, the International Balloon Fiesta. Imagine taking a break from nursing duties to witness the sky filled with colorful balloons during this mesmerizing event.
  5. Georgia O'Keeffe's Inspiration: The iconic artist Georgia O'Keeffe found inspiration in the New Mexico landscape. Nurses can explore the places that influenced her art, including Ghost Ranch and Abiquiú, where O'Keeffe's home and studio are located.
Balloons flying in the air
International balloon fiesta in Albuquerque is the world's largest hot air balloon festival.

As you work nursing jobs in New Mexico, take moments during your time off to explore the enchanting aspects of the state that extend far beyond working in hospitals and healthcare settings.

Pick Up Your First Nursing Job in New Mexico with Nursa

Aspiring nurses have an array of quality nursing programs in New Mexico to choose from. Furthermore, with a diverse culture and social activities, New Mexico is an excellent option for new or experienced nurses looking for a change of scenery. 

If you are hesitant about making a big move without knowing a state or particular city in advance, explore your options with PRN nursing jobs! You can pack your bags and PRN your way across the country in search of the perfect location. After all, you don't have to be a travel nurse to travel.


PRN shift on your schedule in New Mexico


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