Choosing an LPN Program in New York

If you are looking for an LPN program in New York, you will need to make sure the program is state approved. The New York Department of Education has issue a warning about unapproved programs.

The good news is that New York has approved a lot of LPN programs. The Department has provided a list by region (http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/nurse/nurseprogs-lpn.htm).
Most programs are for a general adult population. Some are “secondary” or “secondary extended”; a secondary program is begun in 11th grade and completed by graduation while a secondary extended program is begun in 12th grade and not completed until after high school.

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Many adult programs are run by Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES). BOCES are formed through cooperation between multiple school districts and may serve the larger community as well as the student population.

The other programs are offered by a wide variety of institutions, including community colleges, SUNY member schools, adult learning centers, and even hospitals. As you may guess, there’s more than just geography differentiating one program from another.

NCLEX Pass Rates in New York

After program completion, a practical nursing candidate must pass the NCLEX-PN, a national board examination. This is required for licensing purposes. NCLEX pass rates are one indication of program quality, but prospective students should recognize that they also reflect a program’s admission policies and student population. The New York Office of the Professions has published five years of LPN pass rates (http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/nurse/nclexpn2008-12.htm).
Secondary programs typically have lower NCLEX pass rates.

National Accreditation

National accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is not crucial, but is a signal of high standards. A few of the state’s practical nursing programs are ACEN-accredited.

Transfer of Credits

Prospective students may also want to consider their options for transferring credits and/ or articulating to higher programs. Most practical nursing programs do not award academic degrees. Some do not award academic credits. Even though individuals who complete these programs do not have transferable credits, they may still be awarded advanced placement in an RN program, thanks to New York’s LPN to RN Articulation Model (http://www.lpntorn.info/More_About.html). In many cases, they will be eligible for LPN to RN programs in other jurisdictions as well. Some programs set educational standards higher, requiring completion of an accredited program.

The Admission Process

A prospective student should be prepared for some selectivity in the admission process. Schools typically require an admission exam. There is often an interview as well.
Colleges may require academic prerequisites. A strong student can generally be admitted without spending time on a waitlist. However, prospective students may wish to compare selection procedures used by different types of program.

Convenience

Classes may be held in the day or evening. Schools may offer additional services on-site, for example, day care.

Financial Considerations

A scan of WIA-approved New York LPN programs reveals that most cost between $8,000 and $15,000. There are some outliers. Different types of institutions charge different rates. This depends partly on whether they have funding sources other than student fees and tuition and whether they are for-profit.

Possible sources of financial aid include the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), the Stafford Loan, the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), the Pell Grant, and Aid for Part Time Study (APTS).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average earnings for New York LPNs at $44,250 (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292061.htm). Individuals often earn below the mean at a first job, but location within the state can also be a big factor. Schools can be a good source of information about entry level salaries in their region. Southern Westchester BOCES, for example, notes recent graduates have reported salaries above $43,000. Many schools offer job placement services in some form. Some offer assistance with skills like resume writing.

Resources

LPN License Requirements in New York

Career Overview: Becoming an LPN in New York

New York Department of the Professions: Nursing

New York State Association of LPNs

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