New Mexico RN License Renewal Guide

RN License in New Mexico

To practice legally and unimpeded as a Registered Nurse (RN), you have to periodically renew your RN License in New Mexico. Doing this shows your employers, co-workers, and patients that you are updated with current medical knowledge and best practices, which is constantly subject to change. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the New Mexico RN license renewal process, providing step-by-step instructions and essential information. Whether you’re a seasoned nurse or a recent graduate, this article will help you navigate the renewal process efficiently.

Understanding the Renewal Requirements

Like all state government bodies, the New Mexico Board of Nursing (NMBON) has a specific set of renewal requirements that it asks out of its RNs. Before you send any applications, you want to get these requirements done beforehand, to avoid any inconveniences. Here are some key aspects of the renewal process:

Continuing Education Requirements: RNs in New Mexico are required to complete a certain number of continuing education units (CEUs) during each renewal cycle. The exact number of CEUs may vary based on your practice area and whether you hold additional certifications.

Gathering Necessary Documents: To complete the renewal application, you’ll need your current RN license number, your Social Security Number, and your contact information. Additionally, have your proof of continuing education completion and any other required documents ready.

Criminal Background Checks: As part of the renewal process, RNs must undergo a criminal background check, which includes fingerprinting. Any criminal convictions or disciplinary actions may impact your ability to renew your license.

Mandatory Reporting: RNs are obligated to report any changes in their employment status, criminal charges, or participation in drug or alcohol treatment programs to the NMBON.

Fees and Payment Options: There are fees associated with renewing your RN license, and it’s essential to be aware of the fee structure and payment options available to you.

Continuing Education

Continuing education is a vital component of RN license renewal in New Mexico. It ensures that nurses stay current with the latest developments in the healthcare field and maintain their competence. Here’s what you need to know about continuing education for RN license renewal:

Approved Providers and Courses: The NMBON provides a list of approved continuing education providers and courses. Make sure that the courses you take are from accredited sources to ensure they count towards your renewal requirements.

Tracking Your Continuing Education Units (CEUs): It’s your responsibility to keep track of the CEUs you earn during your renewal cycle. Maintain records of certificates, transcripts, or any other proof of completion.

Reporting CEUs to the New Mexico Board of Nursing: When it’s time to renew your license, you’ll need to report your completed CEUs to the NMBON. Ensure that you submit accurate documentation to avoid delays in the renewal process.

Criminal Background Checks

Nursing requires a high level of moral integrity, to practice at a high level. This is why the NMBON requires a criminal background check of its RN applicants, before they can renew their license.

  1. Fingerprinting and Background Check Process: To undergo a criminal background check, you’ll need to provide fingerprints. The NMBON will use these prints to conduct a thorough background check to ensure you meet the necessary qualifications for licensure.
  2. How Criminal Records Affect Renewal: Having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify you from renewing your RN license. However, it’s essential to disclose any convictions or disciplinary actions on your renewal application. The NMBON will assess each case individually.
  3. Reporting Convictions and Disciplinary Actions: If you have any criminal convictions or disciplinary actions, it’s crucial to report them accurately on your renewal application. Failure to disclose this information can lead to delays or denials in the renewal process.

Mandatory Reporting

RN license holders in New Mexico are required to report specific changes or incidents during their licensure period. Here are the key areas where mandatory reporting applies:

  1. Reporting Changes in Employment: If you change your employer during your licensure period, you must report this change to the NMBON. This ensures that your license remains accurate and up-to-date.
  2. Reporting Drug or Alcohol Treatment: If you enter a drug or alcohol treatment program, it is mandatory to report this to the NMBON. This allows them to assess your fitness to practice safely.
  3. Reporting Criminal Charges: Any criminal charges filed against you during your licensure period must be reported promptly. The NMBON will evaluate the charges and determine if they impact your ability to renew your license.

Preparing Your Renewal Application

Once you have prepared all your requirements, it is time to prepare and submit your RN license renewal application in Mexico. Luckily, this process is comparatively straightforward:  Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you prepare your RN license renewal application in New Mexico:

  1. Completing the Online Application: The New Mexico Board of Nursing has streamlined the renewal process by offering an online application portal. Visit their website and follow the instructions for license renewal. Provide accurate information and verify all details before submission.
  2. Address Updates and Contact Information: Ensure your contact information is up-to-date, including your mailing address and email address. This information is crucial for receiving updates and notifications from the NMBON.

Renewal Process for Inactive or Retired RNs

RN license holders in New Mexico may encounter situations where they need to switch their license status. Here’s an overview of the renewal process for inactive or retired RNs:

  1. Renewing an Inactive License: If you have an inactive RN license and wish to reactivate it, you will need to meet specific requirements outlined by the NMBON. This may include completing additional CEUs or providing evidence of competency.
  2. Returning to Active Status: Nurses who wish to return to active status from inactive or retired status must follow the reactivation process. This typically involves completing any outstanding CEUs and meeting other renewal requirements.
  3. Retired Nurse License Renewal: Retired nurses may still need to renew their licenses to maintain certain privileges or to volunteer in healthcare settings. The renewal process for retired nurses often has simplified requirements.

License Renewal Fees

RN license renewal fees are fluid and subject to change. That being said, there are a number of constants that remain the same, regardless of the year.

Fee Structure: The NMBON has a fee structure for RN license renewal, which may vary depending on factors such as your license type and the timing of your renewal. Familiarize yourself with the current fee schedule.

Payment Options: The NMBON typically offers various payment options, including credit card payments, checks, and money orders. Ensure you choose a payment method that suits your preferences.

Late Renewal Penalties: It’s crucial to renew your RN license before the expiration date to avoid late renewal penalties. Late renewals may incur additional fees, and you risk practicing without a valid license if your renewal is significantly delayed.

Timeline for Renewal

NMBON has its own renewal timeline and cycle that all RNs must adhere to. Knowing when the cycle starts and ends allows you to plan accordingly, without getting blindsided by unforeseen changes and deadlines.

Renewal Period: The renewal period for RN licenses in New Mexico typically occurs every two years. Ensure you know your renewal cycle and the deadline for submission.

Early Renewal: Some nurses choose to renew their licenses early to ensure there are no last-minute complications. Early renewal allows ample time for any required continuing education or documentation.

Late Renewal: Renewing your license after the expiration date may result in late renewal penalties, and there’s a risk of practicing without a valid license. It’s crucial to submit your renewal application well before the expiration date.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s address some common questions about RN license renewal in New Mexico:

  • Can I renew my RN license if it has lapsed?
    Yes, you can renew a lapsed RN license in New Mexico by following the reactivation process outlined by the NMBON. This often includes completing required CEUs.
  • How often do I need to renew my RN license in New Mexico?
    RN licenses in New Mexico must be renewed every two years. Be sure to check your renewal deadline to avoid late fees.
  • Can I renew my license if I have disciplinary actions on my record?Disciplinary actions on your record may affect your ability to renew your license. It’s essential to disclose such actions and follow the NMBON’s instructions for renewal.
  • What should I do if I can’t meet the continuing education requirements?
    If you’re unable to meet the continuing education requirements for renewal, you may need to delay your renewal until you can fulfill the requirements or seek guidance from the NMBON.


By renewing your RN license in New Mexico, you can continue legally practicing while sending a strong message. It shows your commitment to providing safe and high-quality healthcare to New Mexico’s citizens and for the state’s finest facilities. By understanding the renewal requirements, staying up-to-date on continuing education, and complying with mandatory reporting, you can navigate the renewal process smoothly. Remember to renew your license on time to avoid late penalties and potential disruptions to your nursing practice. For further assistance or specific inquiries, contact the New Mexico Board of Nursing, and they will be happy to guide you through the renewal process.

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