University of New Mexico Nursing School Review

As a Hispanic-serving center of higher learning, University of New Mexico (UNM) was founded in 1889. It is located in the heart of Albuquerque, New Mexico with additional satellite learning centers in Gallop, Taos, Valencia County and Los Alamos.  The university presents a rich and diverse culture of Native citizens, Latinos, Hispanics and Indians.  UNM boasts to be the flagship research university in the state with extensive research especially in the health care sector. It offers over 210 baccalaureates, master and doctoral degree programs available in both traditional and non-traditional modes of learning.

Nursing Programs at University of New Mexico

Health science programs and medical care make UNM one of the most respected research institutions in the state. In the nursing category, the university has bachelor, master and terminal nursing degrees. The baccalaureate programs are designed for basic entry-level candidates seeking initial licensure and registered nurses wishing to complete a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree (BSN). At the master’s level, candidates can choose from the 6 Master of Science in nursing (MSN) options available while those seeking terminal degrees can enroll for the PhD in nursing. Post-master’s tracks are available for all the MSN concentrations above. UNM baccalaureate and master programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Basic Entry Option

The basic entry option is designed for recent high school graduates with no prior nursing experience. The program admits students twice annually for the fall and spring semesters.  Candidates are expected to have completed at least 16 prerequisite credits prior to placing their applications. However, applicants must note that preference is given to New Mexico applicants over other applicants.

Once admitted at UNM, students must complete 65 credits of freshmen and sophomore courses after which, a second application into the BSN basic entry option is made. The basic entry option curriculum consists of 63-credits of upper division nursing courses and is designed to take 4 academic semesters.  In total, the two categories of 128credits take 8 academic semesters to complete. Upon successful completion, students graduate with a 4-year Bachelor of Science in nursing degree and become eligible to take the NLCEX-RN exam.

RN to BSN Undergraduate Degree Option

This is an online program designed to allow and accommodate registered nurses to have flexible schedules in their quest for higher education.  The track admits students thrice annually for fall, spring and summer semesters. Registered nurses are given individualized progression plans and acceleration options are available for high achieving students.  Admitted students take a Nursing Acceleration Challenge Exam (ACE RN to BSN) to facilitate award of 34 upper division courses.  Other credits in the lower division category can be transferred if applicable.

Master in Nursing Program

The graduate nursing program offers various options leading to the Master of Science in nursing (MSN). The graduate program has advanced practice, community health and nursing education and administration. In the advanced practice category, the following MSN tracks are offered:

  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse-Midwifery
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

The Nursing education, Nursing Community health and Nursing Administration tracks can be offered alone or as dual degrees along with Public Health or Public Administration (MSN/MPH or MSN/MPA).

Acute Care Nurses Practitioner

The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) track welcomes BSN-prepared candidates from nationally accredited programs. BSN graduates of non-accredited programs together with Registered nurses with non-BSN degrees can also be admitted based on individualized selection. All candidates must also have valid registered nurse licenses for New Mexico.

The program takes 6 terms including 2 summers of full time study to complete. However, core nursing courses can be completed on part time basis but once started on the ACNP courses; students must commit themselves full time basically during the second year. All courses are web-enhanced so students do not need to be in campus for classes. On this note, students can arrange for accessible clinical sites and preceptors with UNM at various sites throughout the state.

Family Nurse Practitioner

The FNP track starts in the summer semester and is only available as a full time track with only 2 core courses being offered online. Clinical core courses are offered in blocks and rotations must be followed ie lectures followed by clinicals. Students in this track must be prepared to travel outside Albuquerque for 2 mandatory clinical rotations. This is because the program aims to train nurses in working underserved populations.

Nurse Midwifery

The academic qualifications needed for eligibility to apply match those of the other advanced practice tracks above. However, candidates for this track are required to have at least one year working experience as registered nurses. It is also a 6-terms full time program with a curriculum consisting of 55 credit hours.  Students are strongly advised not to take employment during study.

All but one course in the first two terms can be completed online and students may choose to stay away. For all other terms, students must be available on site on a full time basis. The track also has a strong emphasis on rural settings and a lot of travelling outside Albuquerque is inevitable.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

The PNP track is designed for candidates who meet academic qualifications matching those for the above tracks. However, the candidates must have at least 2 years experience as a registered nurse to be eligible for selection.

It is as 47-credit full time program with no provisions for part time classes. Classes commence in summer for year round learning for a period of 6 terms of 2 academic years including 2 summer sessions.  Core and non-clinical courses can be completed online but PNP courses must be taken on site.

Nursing Education

The nurse education track is a very flexible program as all courses can be taken online with exception of fieldwork. The 32-credit curriculum can be completed on a full time basis of 4 semesters inclusive of a summer semester or a part time basis of 6-terms: 4 semesters and 2 summer sessions. This track can be taken as a dual degree along with Master of Public health (MPH) or Master of Public Administration (MPA).

Nurse Administration

This track is available independently or students can opt for a dual degree along with MPH or MPA.  The curriculum consists of 32 credits that can be completed in a part time plan that can extend up-to 7 years to accommodate the working demands of registered nurses. The fulltime plan of 4 semesters including a summer takes less than 2 years to complete. All courses can be completed through web-enhanced online modes.

Post-Master’s Certificates

University of New Mexico offers post-master’s certificates in all the concentration areas at the MSN level. The tracks consist of an average of 15 courses to help registered nurses become certified in the following areas:

  • Acute Care Nurses Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Midwifery
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Education
  • Nurse Administration

PhD Program

This terminal nursing degree at University of New Mexico is available for master-prepared students.  However, BSN students with a master degree other than MSN are only considered on an individual basis. Students can choose their own individualized concentration plan or opt for the university’s Health Policy concentration.

Degree requirements are completed in a part time plan requiring only 6-7 credits per term. Learning is all-year round and includes summer semesters. A maximum of 70 credits are required to fulfill the requirements for graduation.

University of New Mexico
1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
NM 87131