New York’s nurses are licensed by the Office of the Professions (http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/nurse). The Office currently boasts 282,543 Registered Professional Nurses, or RNs, and 71,688 Licensed Practical Nurses, or LPNs.
New York is not a member of the nurse license compact, but nurses who have met similar requirements in other states may have a relatively quick path to licensure. Candidates who have never been licensed in the U.S. must take the NCLEX licensing exam at the appropriate level. In 2012, New York candidates had an 87.2% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN (a little below the national average of 90.3%). The state average for the NCLEX-PN was 78.5%. Candidates can find the pass rate for individual programs under the education section of the website.
Some New York medical centers provide financial support to nursing students in exchange for a work commitment. The New York State Nurses Association, a professional organization representing RNs and LPNs, makes two $5,000 scholarship awards. The site also provides information about additional state and national scholarships and financial aid opportunities (http://www.nysna.org/).
In order to be an LPN in New York, a person must be at least 17 years old and have a high school diploma or GED, plus at least nine months of nursing education. There are many program options. A candidate can complete a practical nursing program approved by the New York State Education Department, a practical nursing program approved by another state board, or a military program that New York deems satisfactory. Graduates of general RN programs are also eligible for licensure as LPNs. Read "Choosing an LPN program in New York" to get a better idea of how to evaluate LPN programs prior to selecting one.
There are some practical nursing programs in New York that admit 11th or 12th graders. Students should realize that the license is dependent on completing general studies as well as nursing coursework – a copy of one’s high school diploma or GED must be attached to the LPN application.
After completing the nursing program, the applicant will submit educational verification, using one of two forms. One is for individuals who completed approved nursing programs, the other for those who received equivalent education in the military. The application includes an affidavit that must be notarized. The fee for application and first licensure is $143; a portion of the fee may be refunded under certain conditions.
In addition to applying to New York, the candidate must register for the NCLEX-PN (www.vue.com/nclex). The candidate will pay a $200 fee when the candidate registers; the candidate will receive an ATT once it has been determined that the candidate meets eligibility requirements. This will allow to schedule.
A new graduate can work under a limited permit while the candidate is waiting to take the NCLEX. There is a separate application which may be submitted at the same time as the general licensing application, or at a later stage. Click here to download that application. There is a $35 fee. If the nurse is a recent graduate of an approved New York nursing program, the candidate may accept employment and begin work before receipt of the permit. If the candidate is a graduate of any other program, the candidate must wait until the permit has actually been issued.
Employers can verify New York permits and licenses online. A permit, unlike a license, authorizes a nurse to work for one particular employer. The New York State Association of LPNs is not involved with the licensing process, but Licensed Practical Nurses may want to become members.
Out of state candidates must provide verification of past or current licenses, in nursing and also in other professional fields. There is a form available online which can be used for this purpose. The candidate fills out only the top portion; the licensing agency fills out the rest and then sends it to the New York Office of the Professions.
In addition to the general education requirements, a New York LPN must have training in infection control, including HIV and Hepatitis B. New York graduates can expect to receive this as part of their coursework. Other candidates should take an approved course. The requirement is the same whether the candidate is a new graduate or has been previously licensed.
Internationally educated LPNs must have their credentials evaluated through the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. An internationally educated candidate may be granted a limited permit while waiting to take the NCLEX-PN.
In order to be licensed as an RN, a person must be at least 18 and must have completed a nursing diploma or degree program that was at least two years in length. Any program operating out of New York must appear on the list of approved programs: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/nurse/nurseprogs.htm. An out of state program is acceptable if it has gone through a similar approval process in its own state. Read more about your options here: "Choosing an RN program in New York".
After graduation, the candidate will turn in an application to the Office of the Professions (http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/nurse/nurse1.pdf). The applicant must list any professional license the candidate has ever held in any other state. The application must be accompanied by a $143 fee.
If the candidate completed an approved U.S. program, the candidate can go to the Pearson site and register for the NCLEX as soon as the candidate has submitted the application materials and $143 fee and had the school send verification of program completion. The candidate may call 1-866-496-2539 if the candidate prefers to register by phone.
A new graduate may work under a limited permit while the candidate is waiting to take the NCLEX-RN and receive results. The candidate must be under the supervision of a registered nurse. In the event that the candidate does not pass the first attempt, the permit will expire ten days after notification. The permit is valid for a maximum of one year.
The NCLEX-RN is typically the last step in the process. A successful candidate can go online to verify whether the license has been issued (http://www.op.nysed.gov/opsearches.htm). ANA-New York is a professional organization for the state’s RNs. Membership is not tied to licensure.
Out of state RNs are subject to similar requirements, but do not need to take the licensing exam if they have already passed an acceptable one. The State Pool Exam (which was given before the NCLEX) is license qualifying.
In addition to the standard nursing coursework, a New York RN needs education or training in child abuse and in infection control. A nurse who does the education in New York can expect to have this included in the program, but an out of state nurse will generally need to do additional training. There are some distance learning providers among the approved providers (http://www.op.nysed.gov/training/caproviders.htm).
Internationally educated RNs must have their education evaluated. They must go through the CGNFS certification process unless they have taken the Canadian Nurses Association Test in English and scored at least a 400. (They must complete this step before a limited permit can be issued.)
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