Sep 22, 2023  
2022-2023 CNM Catalog, Volume 54 
2022-2023 CNM Catalog, Volume 54 [The CNM Academic Year includes Fall, Spring, Summer Terms]

Medical Assistant, Certificate of Completion

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School of Nursing & Patient Support (NPS)

Medical assistants are cross-trained to perform routine administrative and clinical duties in clinics, doctor offices, and other health care agencies. Medical assistants are multi-skilled in areas of medical office organization, patient care management, and health navigation.  Specific duties vary by medical setting depending on the location, specialty, and size of the office/clinic. The Medical Assistant Program provides students with the knowledge, skills and professional behaviors required for entry-level positions as a medical assistant.

The Medical Assistant Program is seeking accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 9355 – 113th Street N, #7709, Seminole, FL, 33775, (727) 210-2350, upon the recommendation of the Medical Assistant Education Review Board (MAERB).

Upon accreditation, graduates of the Medical Assistant Program will be eligible to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Certification Exam of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and/or the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) Certification Exam of the American Medical Technologists (AMT).

See Recommended Sequence of Courses

Educational Option Information

  • This educational option is a: Certificate of Completion.
  • This educational option can be completed: In three terms.
  • This educational option is designed for: Students who want to pursue a career as a medical assistant. Medical assistants perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. This program will prepare graduates to take a national certifying exam.
  • Primary course location: CNM Rio Rancho / UNM Health Sciences Rio Rancho

Approximate Costs of this Educational Option

Financial Aid Considerations

Special Requirements

Physical Requirements

Students must be in good physical and psychological health. Students may be asked to provide documentation of a recent physical examination. Many health programs require the student to be able to safely lift and/or move a minimum of 50 pounds. Reasonable accommodations are made for students with disabilities. However, some disabilities may prohibit students from completing program specific competencies or gaining employment. Students with disabilities that may interfere with completing program competencies are advised to contact the School of Nursing and Patient Support (NPS) office for more information

Criminal Background

Most of the health programs in NPS require students undergo the New Mexico Department of Health caregivers criminal history screening program. This involves state and federal felony criminal background checks with fingerprints. This must be completed prior to starting their program or prior to beginning their clinical experiences. Students with a disqualifying conviction can appeal some of those convictions through the New Mexico Department of Health.

Depending on the program, students may or may not be allowed to remain in the program pending appeal. Students who do not successfully appeal a disqualifying conviction will not be allowed to start or remain in the program. A successful appeal does not guarantee eligibility for licensure after graduation in professions that require licensure.

Other Compliance Requirements

Many of the health programs in NPS require students to undergo a routine urine drug screen, provide documentation of current immunizations, have a current Healthcare Provider Basic Life Support (CPR) certificate and other training prior to beginning the program or beginning clinical education, all of which, along with the criminal background check, are verified through the Office of Verification and Compliance.


Students are responsible for their own transportation to off-campus training sites. (Clinical courses at healthcare facilities, hospitals, externships, etc.)

Educational Opportunities

Students planning to continue their education beyond the certificate level may pursue other academic programs in the healthcare field.

Some of the prerequisites courses in this program are transferable and may be applied to four-year degree programs at other institutions. CNM currently has transfer agreements with many colleges and universities in New Mexico and elsewhere.

Career Opportunities

Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. Medical assistant duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice.

Additional career information is available from the American Association of Medical Assistants ( or American Medical Technologists (

Medical assistants are expected to have good job prospects. Nationally, employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2016 to 2026. The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As a result, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients.

An increasing number of group practices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities will also need support workers, particularly medical assistants, to complete both administrative and clinical duties. Medical assistants work mostly in primary care, a steadily growing sector of the healthcare industry.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

Ten Year Rule for CTE Courses

Career and technical education courses in this program will qualify for credit for a period of ten academic years. Due to changing technologies, trends, and professional demands, courses completed ten or more years in the past will satisfy program requirements only if they are approved by the instructional school in which they were offered. Cohorted programs may have additional restrictions.

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