Thinking About Becoming a Nurse?

New Mexico State University’s (NMSU) School of Nursing can teach you the knowledge and skills you need to make a difference. NMSU offers a Bachelor of Science program in nursing at three campuses: Las Cruces, Alamogordo, and Grants.

Students in NMSU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program learn the principles of nursing practice and receive extensive hands-on training in hospital and community health settings. Traditionally, the first two years are spent in meeting general university requirements with courses in science, math, arts, and humanities, while the last two years are focused acquiring knowledge and skills for the nursing profession.

A BSN degree is the launching point for a career in any field of nursing and graduate programs in nursing, including those that prepare nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists.

Perks of Being a Nurse:


Trusted Profession


In an impressive 19 year running streak, Americans have rated nurses as the #1 most ethical and honest profession, according to the most recent Gallup poll.


Helping Others


Whether they're caring for patients at the bedside or fighting for patient rights, nurses are in the business of improving and saving lives.


Job Security


Based on data from the NM Department of Workforce Solutions by 2030, there will be more than 1,200 annual job openings for registered nurses in NM.


Earning Potential


Registered Nurses in NM earn an average annual salary of $77,590 per year (or $37.30 per hour) as of May 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Diverse Opportunities


Nurses are needed everywhere. There are many different areas of nursing to work in. If you find one isn't right for you, then it is relatively easy to move into another area of nursing.


Flexible Schedules 


While the basic work day for most people is an 8-hour day, five days per week, the average for nurses is 12 hour shifts, three days per week. Longer hours mean more time to spend doing the things you want to do on your days off.


How Do I Prepare for a Nursing Career as a High School Student?  

  • Focus on key science courses – math, biology, chemistry
  • Excel in English courses that support written and oral communication
  • Obtain leadership experiences or training
  • Work or volunteer in a healthcare setting to make sure that nursing is the career for you

How Do I Become a Nurse at NMSU?

  • Apply to NMSU to enter as a freshman
  • Declare yourself as a ‘pre-nursing’ major
  • Complete 3-4 semesters of designated pre-nursing courses
  • Take a Pre-Nursing Freshman Seminar: 1-credit course that introduces the university and its resources, an orientation to the pre-nursing curriculum, and overview of concepts for professional nursing practice. Emphasis is placed on exploring the nurse’s role as an integral member of the healthcare team across multiple contexts and settings and developing a professional identity.
  • Apply to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program
  • Complete the 5-semester BSN program that includes nursing courses and clinical training experiences
  • Graduate with your BSN degree and take the nursing licensing exam (NCLEX-RN)

How Do I Become Part of NMSU’s Dual Credit Program?

New Mexico State University – Main Campus offers dual credit enrollment for high school juniors and seniors. To be eligible for the Dual Credit Program at New Mexico State University, students must have a cumulative high school GPA of at least a 3.0 and a PSAT score of 860 or above.  This program allows qualifying high school juniors and seniors the unique opportunity to get a jump start on their college education. Through this program, motivated students can enroll in approved college level courses – receiving college credit from NMSU, as well as elective high school credit from their high school. Applications are due by email on by Aug. 7, and classes begin on Wednesday, Aug. 19.  

Some of the benefits of the Dual Credit Program include:

  • Reduced overall cost of your college education
  • Earn college and high school credits at the same time
  • Enrich your education by exploring programs not available at your high school
  • Explore college majors and possible career paths
  • Enjoy a seamless transition from high school to college
  • Gain skills and build confidence that can lead to greater success in college after high school
  • Students earn college credits tuition-free

Please visit the NMSU Dual Credit website for more information:

Early College High School

Early College High Schools (ECHS) use a transformative intervention model of bringing college into high school by simultaneously offering first generation students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and a college-level credential and/or degree. Programming includes meaningful work-based learning experiences that align with dynamic sectors of New Mexico’s economy, and a structured Career and Technical Education (CTE) sequence that leads to credentials recognized by business and industry.

These high schools are tuition free, and expose all ECHS students to rigorous academics and CTE coursework with the use of Career Clusters, related pathways and recommended programs of study. They focus on low-income youth, first-generation college-goers, English Language Learners, ethnically diverse students, and other young people underrepresented in higher education. They also establish formalized partnerships with colleges and community partners that foster shared responsibility for student success.

Defining characteristics of early college high schools:

  • Small size – typically 100 students per grade level
  • Responsible growth – typically opens with ninth grade and takes 4 years to reach full capacity
  • Close proximity to the partner postsecondary – often on their campus
  • Block scheduling – allows for acceleration of the graduation requirements so upperclassman can take college courses
  • Limited high school electives – most elective credits are earned through dual credit coursework
  • Application process for ECHS designation with NMPED

Las Cruces Public Schools that participate:

  • Arrowhead Park Medical Academy (New Mexico State University)
  • Arrowhead Park Early College High School (New Mexico State University)

Moving on Campus? Consider the NMSU Nursing Living Learning Community

The School of Nursing supports a Living Learning Community for freshmen students living on campus in the residence halls. Students room with other pre-nursing students, benefit from peer and faculty mentoring, and participate in social events with other pre-nursing and nursing students.  Have questions? Go to