Becoming a Certified Nurses Assistant in New Mexico
The New Mexico Human Services Department is responsible for maintaining certification of nurses assistants in New Mexico. A nurses aide registry lists all certified nurses assistants qualified to work in the state. The state requires nurses aides to have at least 75 hours of training, including at least 16 hours of actual patient care. Within 24 months of completion of training, candidates for certification are eligible to be tested by a company called Thomson Prometric. After passing the exam, graduates are awarded with their certificates by Prometrics. The fee for testing is $99.75, which can be paid for by the state if the candidate has been offered employment contingent upon passing the test, or if he or she is already employed by a Medicaid-approved facility. Prometric can be reached at http://www.prometric.com/NurseAide/NM.htm. The company offers a 50 multiple-question practice test, examination content outlines, testing guidelines, application form, and application for the C N A registry. Certificates are good for 24 months and can be renewed at a cost of $21.00. For renewal an aide must demonstrate having worked in the field for at least 7 hours during the previous 24 months.
Most training programs in New Mexico require a high school diploma for entrance. Schools are located throughout the state, and some nursing homes offer their own programs, which can frequently lead directly to paid employment at the facility. Schools vary in their number of hours of instruction and clinical time, although all schools teach the basics of nursing care. Dona Ana Community College in Las Cruces, for instance, has a course requiring 8 semester hours, with a lab fee of $150.00. San Juan College in Farmington offers a 6 week, six credit hour course in the summer and 8 week, 6 credit hour courses in the fall and spring semesters.