Due to the increasing population of elderly who need of long term care in New Mexico, there will be a significant rise of employment available for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) over the next years. CNAs usually work under the supervision of a registered nurse or any qualified professional in hospitals, nursing homes, adult day care centers and long-term care facilities, private companies, and government agencies.
They assist the nurse with the basic care of the patients in activities of daily living, such as mobility and communication, bathing and grooming, feeding, taking vital signs, collecting specimens, administering medication, and report any changes in the patient’s condition.
Therefore, to become someone a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in New Mexico, will have to complete a CNA training program approved by New Mexico Board of Nursing, and then pass the New Mexico Nurse Aide Competency Exam to obtain a CNA certificate.
There are many different facilities that provide training courses, such as community colleges, vocational and technical schools, online schools, American Red Cross, hospitals and nursing homes.
Some employers will pay for a CNA’s training, as long as the CNA agrees to work for a specific amount of time at the facility after licensing and the placement on the New Mexico Nurse Aide Registry.
CNA Training Requirements in New Mexico (NM)
Most training programs in New Mexico require a high school diploma or GED certificate and clean criminal record for entrance. All approved programs meet guidelines and Federal regulations, and it is important for every student to attend theoretical and practical training sessions, that have at least 75 hours of instruction, including at least 16 hours of actual patient care.
The courses include a wide variety of topics, such as patient’s rights, primary health issues and infection control, documentation and reporting, basic anatomy, and emergency response procedures. Also, some other topics covered in education, include medical terminology, physiology, nutrition, communication and documentation skills, etc. In New Mexico, CNA class fee can range from $500 to $2000.
New Mexico CNA Certification
The student will sit for the competency exam, if has fulfilled all areas of the training successfully, within 24 months of completion of training. The certification test is administered by Prometric and is controlled by the New Mexico State Department of Health. The aim of this test is to demonstrate that candidates possess the knowledge, experience and skills required to perform CNA duties.
Like the instruction, the competency exam is divided into two parts. The written test, which tests a candidate’s knowledge, and includes 55 multiple-choice questions, and the clinical skills test, which mimics a clinical setting. The examinee is asked to perform five skills, that are chosen randomly from a set of 25 skills, which she/he learns during the CNA training, and she/he must pass both sections of the test to become certified and to be added on the New Mexico Nurse Aide Registry. The registry keeps a record of all the individuals, who have been certified by the state board.
If the examinee fails the test three times consecutively, will have to retake the CNA training again. The Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) must renew certification every two years, and execute the duties of nursing assistant for at least 8 hours in the last twenty four months as a paid employee.
CNA Employment & Salary in New Mexico
Once the nursing assistant become certified and added on the New Mexico Nurse Aide Registry, is ready to work in the healthcare field and to enjoy a good salary, but this depends heavily of experience. Many healthcare facilities, assisted care homes and long-term care facilities, hospitals including the St. Vincent Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital and Memorial Medical Center, as well as private companies and government agencies, offer employment opportunities for CNAs that are able to build on their knowledge, experience and their abilities.