New Mexico has seen an increase in popularity toward graduate nursing degrees. Many registered nurses are interested in advancing their nursing careers via higher education, and RN to MSN programs in the state are making it easier than ever. While most schools in the state offer this type of program for those who already hold a BSN degree, RNs with an ADN can explore educational options as well. Upon earning a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN), RNs have the opportunity to enter coveted nursing specialties and earn higher salaries.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in New Mexico

RN to MSN programs can be competitive, so it's imperative that students meet all admission requirements, which may include:

  • Must have already completed an accredited ADN or BSN program (degree level may vary by program)
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for undergraduate work
  • Registered nurse licensure in New Mexico
  • Minimum one year experience as a professional nurse

RN to MSN Courses

A typical RN to MSN program consists of advanced core nursing courses, along with specialty courses that can relate to a concentration of the student's choosing. Common nursing specializations include Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner. It's a good idea to check which specialty tracks a school offers before applying to the program. Beyond the coursework, most schools require that a supervised clinical component be completed before a student can graduate.

The University of New Mexico, for example, offers the following courses as part of its BSN-MSN program:

  • Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing
  • Research in Nursing
  • Health Care Policy, Systems and Financing for Advanced Practice Roles
  • Pathophysiology for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

Online RN to MSN Programs in New Mexico

Busy working RNs who don't think they can attend a traditional classroom-based RN to MSN program have the option of choosing an online program. These programs allow students to complete coursework from their own computers and generally at their own pace, making it ideal for those who wish to continue working or have other personal obligations to attend to. Clinical hours for online programs are usually able to be arranged in the student's local area.

Featured Online School

New Mexico State University, based out of Las Cruces, offers an online MSN: Nursing Administration program tailored to RNs who have already completed a BSN degree. The curriculum emphasizes the knowledge needed to obtain leadership positions across health care fields. The MSN degree also prepares the student for potential future doctoral education. The coursework is offered online, but students will need to plan a trip to campus at least once each year for a 3-4 day orientation.

Admissions and Program Length

The time it takes to complete an RN to MSN program will vary from student to student. Things like part-time or full-time study and specialization chosen can impact total program length, but students can generally finish the degree in 2-3 years of dedicated study. Campus-based programs usually allow admission at the beginning of each semester, including the summer semester. Online programs may offer more frequent entry points.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

While cost can hold back many from wanting to pursue a graduate degree in nursing, most schools offer generous financial aid and/or scholarships to students who qualify for it. Tuition, mandatory fees, and course materials are the main expenses that will need to be covered. For an example on cost, tuition at the University of New Mexico runs approximately $573.18 per credit. This does not include additional fees or expenses for things like textbooks.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in New Mexico

Nurses who complete an MSN degree often go on to obtain prestigious careers such as:

  • Nurse Administrator
  • Nurse Educator
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

Earning an advanced degree in nursing can directly impact future salaries, as highly-educated nurses tend to hold prestigious nursing positions. For instance, a Nurse Practitioner with an MSN in Albuquerque earns a median annual salary of $94,748. Meanwhile, a general registered nurse in the same city earns an annual median salary closer to $63,210.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

Although New Mexico does not have any in-state options for RN to MSN programs, there are options for taking 100% online programs at accredited colleges. The program is almost 2 years in length, but the online options make earning your degree easier. After you have earned your MSN degree you can enjoy a career in specialty fields like oncology, critical care, family/private practice, other other specialty areas; these career paths come with compensation that matches the responsibilities, as well as the experience and qualifications needed to obtain the titles.

New Mexico State University
2850 Weddell St.
Las Cruces, NM 88003
(575) 646-0111
University of New Mexico
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131
(800) 690-0934