7 Best Albuquerque Nursing Schools

7 Best Albuquerque Nursing Schools

The best Albuquerque nursing schools have accredited and affordable programs that will elevate your nursing career and put you in demand! The state of New Mexico has numerous healthcare-related challenges, not the least being a shortage of nurses. According to the University of New Mexico, the state’s rural areas need at least 83 nurses per 100,000 residents. Sadly, they have less than a third of that. There is a lot riding on New Mexico’s nursing schools – most of which are in Albuquerque. Most nursing schools, clinics, hospitals, and health centers are located in the ABQ. Therefore, it is one of the best places to prepare and acquire a job.

So, if you are interested in a nursing career in New Mexico, your services will be in high demand. Also, you will get the kind of pay that you deserve. Before you go about settling your attention to one nursing school in Albuquerque New Mexico, you should first do your research and find a school that is accredited, offers the courses that will put you in demand, and an accelerated program if possible. Evaluate the costs, based on your budget or that of your parents.

How We Ranked the Best Nursing Schools in Albuquerque

The editors are TopRNtoBSN are most concerned with helping prospective nursing students find programs that will really make a positive impact on their careers. That’s why we feature only accredited colleges, universities, and nursing schools, ranked according to practical factors like cost, reputation, salary potential, and variety of programs.

7 Best Albuquerque Nursing Schools
7 Best Albuquerque Nursing Schools

1. University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico’s College of Nursing (UMN CON) offers several CCNE accredited nursing programs at various academic levels. Nearly 1,000 nursing students attend classes at UNM, which is among the best nursing schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico. UMN offers two BSN degrees, a prelicensure and an RN to BSN available online. At the graduate level, UNM’s College of Nursing offers hybrid and online options, depending on the academic focus. DNP and Ph.D. candidates have the opportunity to select a clinical concentration or in nurse executive organizational leadership.

The University of New Mexico operates multiple campuses throughout the state. They have locations in Rio Rancho, Los Lunas, Gallup, Taos, Los Alamos, and also Albuquerque. Established in 1859 before the union adopted the state, the University of New Mexico now serves approximately 25,100 students. Additionally, UNM is one of the best western higher learning institutions and is a Hispanic Serving school.

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2. Carrington College

Carrington College is one of the most affordable and the best nursing schools in Albuquerque. The school offers two nursing programs from its Albuquerque campus. They have a combo program in vocational or Practical Nursing, a traditional RN program, and also a nursing bridge program for Licensed Vocational Nurse to Registered Nurse. Furthermore, Carrington’s RN academic program has accreditation from the ACEN, approved by the State’s Board of Nursing, and can be finished in only 24 months.

Carrington College operates as a for-profit institution of higher education with 20 locations across the western portion of the US. Founded in the late 1960s, Carrington focuses on career training in the medical-related fields of dentistry, veterinary, medical, and criminal justice. Additionally, the school has accreditation from the CAAHEP and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

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3. Central New Mexico Community College

(PRNewsfoto/Central New Mexico Community Co)

Central New Mexico Community College offers several nursing programs from one of the most affordable and best nursing schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico. CNMCC offers an associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Nursing and a nurse refresher course, plus a dual degree program that is offered through Central New Mexico Community College and the University of New Mexico. These nursing programs have received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and approved by the state’s Board of Nursing. Note that those who hold a Practical Nurse license can receive credit for prior learning when applying to this Central New Mexico Community College campus.

Central New Mexico Community College was established as a public junior college in 1964. CNMCC maintains several sites and campuses through the greater Albuquerque area that serves approximately 22,150 students. Additionally, Central New Mexico holds the distinction of having the largest undergraduate student body in New Mexico.

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4. Brookline College

Brookline College’s College of Nursing offers two baccalaureate-level nursing programs from its Albuquerque location. The school offers a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) program that can be finished in only 30 months, with 122 credit units required. Brookline also offers another CCNE-accredited BSN program for those who hold a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field. Both nursing degrees offered by Brookline College prepare graduates to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.

Brookline College is a multiple campus higher learning institution with facilities in New Mexico, Arizona, and also online. The Brookline BSN programs are available in Albuquerque and Phoenix and have been for four decades. Additionally, the school has accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, the CCNE, and also each state’s respective nursing boards.

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5. University of New Mexico-Valencia County Campus

The University of New Mexico’s Valencia County and Los Lunas Campus (UNM Valencia) offers a nursing program that prepares nursing students to sit for the national NCLEX-RN exam. All students graduating from one of the best nursing schools in Albuquerque find employment within six months of passing the national licensing exam for Registered Nurses. The nursing program from the University of New Mexico Valencia has received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The University of New Mexico’s Valencia County campus offers an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) in nursing and a dual degree AASN and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN).

The University of New Mexico (UMN), a state university, was founded in 1889 with a student enrollment that exceeds 25,550 students. The Valencia County – Los Lunas Campus of UMN operates as a branch of the state’s main university system. The school’s 150-acre rural campus in Tome overlooks the Manzano Mountains and the Rio Grande Valley. The nursing programs offered by UNM Valencia.

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6. Luna Community College

Luna Community College’s Department of Nursing (LCC) offers an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) in nursing. The program follows the state’s curriculum and implements a concept-based course delivery approach. LCC ranks among the best nursing schools in Albuquerque with its 71-credit, ACEN accredited nursing degree program. Classes for this degree include psychology, human anatomy, pathophysiology, biology lab, and also principles of nursing practice.

Luna Community College began with an act of the state’s legislature in 1969. Today, the community college maintains several campuses in Las Vegas, Santa Rosa, Mora, and Springer, New Mexico. Additionally, the school got its name from a member of the state’s house of representatives and a Rough Rider of the first volunteer cavalry in the country.

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7. Pima Medical Institute – Albuquerque

Pima Medical Institute Albuquerque offers a variety of affordable nursing programs in and around the greater Albuquerque area. Recognized among the best nursing schools in Albuquerque, Pima Medical Institute offers an associate degree in nursing and two Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree programs – one for RN to BSN candidates and another that offers an emphasis in health care administration. Both baccalaureate degree programs are available entirely online. Pima Medical Institute Albuquerque’s degree programs are for working learners and students interested in completing the degree in an accelerated manner. Pima Medical Institute also offers a certificate in practical nursing. The nursing degree programs are accredited by CCNE.

Pima Medical Institute operates multiple campuses across the western portion of the United States. The Albuquerque campus of Pima Medical Institute serves about 700 students offering two-year degree and certificate programs, while the Albuquerque West campus serves about 100 students. Pima Medical Institute is a for-profit higher learning institution with a retention rate of first-time students of 76%.

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How Do I Choose a Nursing School in Albuquerque?

For all these Albuquerque nursing schools, you should ask for the tuition, scholarships, agreements, uniforms, and material that you can use. Make an appointment to see the facilities, as it is a profession that involves both theoretical, hands-on, and practical knowledge, it is important that they offer you a classroom and a laboratory with the essentials, simulating a small clinic with anatomical models, dissection table, mannequins, stethoscopes, stretchers and more.

It is essential that you ask questions about a nursing program and school. Then evaluate if it is a program that will fit your needs. Also inquire about what you will learn throughout the program offered by the nursing schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico that you have your eyes on.

How is the Job Market for Nurses in Albuquerque?

There are many job options in different areas when it comes to nursing jobs in Albuquerque, New Mexico which makes the profession more attractive for people who want to teach, help and take care of other people. Albuquerque nursing jobs are in demand and so it is safe to say that the job market is relatively good. This is especially true if you are bilingual. Many need your services because the population has people from countries that speak various languages.

If you have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, you will find more opportunities. However, there are fewer opportunities for LVNs. But, nursing is one of the easiest fields in which to land a job. In Albuquerque, midwives also earn a decent living and are in high demand too. In fact, midwifery is dominant in this area of the United States. Many Hispanics prefer to give birth at home as a way of avoiding the hospitals due to their immigrant status. In addition, in the Hispanic culture, having a baby at home is the ideal option.

For those interested in nurse practitioner jobs in Albuquerque, there is hope because there are thousands of opportunities and openings. It is clear that the job market across the United States is always in need of nurses. And, Albuquerque is no different. In 2019, the nursing sector in Albuquerque made it Number 6 on best places to work in the healthcare field. If you want to be a registered nurse, you will also find it easy to get a job at a reputable healthcare facility. This may be a hospital, doctor’s office, or corporation. You can check major hospitals first in your search to find Albuquerque nurse practitioner jobs that pay well.

How Much Do Nurses Make in Albuquerque?

Registered nurses working in Albuquerque undergo extensive training. So, they can serve in a variety of positions, from general nursing work to more specialized jobs like nurse practitioners or midwives. The average nurse salary in Albuquerque for a nurse is between $32 and $35 per hour. Registered nurses (RNs) with little experience earn on average about $25 an hour. RNs with one to four years of experience earn between $26.98 and $35.24 per hour. Nurses with up to 9 years of experience can expect to earn a median salary of $28.72 to $35.82 per hour. Furthermore, nurses with up to 19 years and as few as 10 years of experience earn an average of $32.12 to $38.70.

Some nurses may choose to train for advanced practices and advanced certification. Skilled nurses in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) can earn between $27.90 and $36.98 per hour. However, critical care nurse practitioner salary Albuquerque can earn between $27.74 and $36.76 per hour. Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) nurses can earn between $28.72 and $37.37 per hour. Nurses in the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) can earn an average salary of $27.96 to $46.66 per hour. RNs who work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, family planning clinics, and prenatal clinics can earn between $21 and $34 per hour.


Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris