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Becoming a Nurse in NY

Thursday, October 8, 2020

This guide is intended to provide advice for our CDPAP aides who are interested in a career in nursing in NY.


The primary institution that maintains the health of all humanity has its roots firmly planted in the field of nursing. A Hospital’s effectiveness dramatically depends on the presence of nurses.


Nurses religiously combat poor health in ways doctors can only dream. Nurses outnumber Doctors 3-1 in medical practice making them essential to the very lifeline of medical care. Thus, this field is progressively growing and continually seeking more professionals.


New York state, like the rest of the country,  has a significant need for highly-trained nurses.


This article highlights all the vital information you need on this journey you are about to embark on, ranging from academic requirements to options for further studies. Take a moment to equip yourself with this knowledge before you proceed, which will help you avoid any stumbling blocks. 


Types of nursing professions in NYS

Nursing in New York state is a broad field with various specialties. All of which play different roles in medical intervention with multiple requirements and income. Although the area of study varies, the foundation of this career remains relatively constant, thorough patient monitoring and care.


The following are different subsets of nursing in NYS with their current likely income:


Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

LPN’s work under the supervision of doctors, Registered Professional Nurse (RN), or other more advanced medical practitioners.


They play the vital role of primary patient care, often performing duties like close monitoring of vital signs and stable condition, alongside procedures like inserting catheters, taking comprehensive patient histories, assisting with specimen collection for tests and procedures, as well as ensuring patients hygiene.


This intimate knowledge of a patient's wellbeing places a nurse at the center of patient management and treatment optimization.


LPN's career in NYS primarily centers on case-finding, health promotion, health counseling/ guidance, and adequate provision of palliative and restorative care under the direction of a registered highly-trained nurse or licensed physician, dentist, or other more advanced health care provider.


In simpler terms, LPNs are the novices as well the powerhouses of the healthcare industry, attending to patients one on one, and providing health care at a level that is fundamental to the patient's recovery.


Most often, an LPN is positioned to assist in essential procedures like administration of medications, provide pharmacological treatments, and collate patient measurements, signs, and symptoms.


LPNs do not often work in a hospital setting. The expertise of LPNs is vital in doctor's offices, prisons, government, and military facilities with an average pay of $50,765/year for LPNs in the state of New York, according to ZipRecruiter.


Being an LPN is a sure way of becoming an official nurse. In NYS, accredited schools run an LPN program that lasts an average of one year after which you apply for an official license.


You will obtain this license by getting a CPR card and pass the NCLEX-PN exam. The LPN position is simply a stepping stone and not a permanent position in this field.


Requirements for the LPN program includes:


·   A high school transcript or GED certificate

·   The completion of the ATI TEAS exam with a minimum C+ average

·   Graduating from a nursing education program academically approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED)

·   Completing the New York State required infection control coursework. If not, you must qualify for an exemption from the coursework requirement

·   Passing a routine drug screening and thorough background check


Nursing Education Programs: In addition to the above requirement, you should have proof of graduation from a nursing education program that meets at least one of the following five criteria:


·       A nursing education program approved by NYSED as license qualifying for LPN

·       A nursing education program approved by NYSED as license qualifying for RN.

·       A nine-month or more extended education program offered by the US Armed Forces which is acceptable to NYSED

·       A nursing program is located in a different state or US Territory if approved by the licensing authority of the US Territory as preparation for practice as an LPN or RN.

·       A nursing education program is located in a country outside of the United States or its territories, which is acceptable to NYSED.


Aspiring to be an LPN is a good option for you that serves as a concrete path towards a fruitful nursing career. The Prospective employers on LPN include:


·   Nursing homes for senior citizens

·   Health care facilities; i.e. Hospitals

·   Physician's offices

·   Home health care services

·   Government and military facilities

·   Other facilities, e.g. churches, research centers, schools amongst others


Being an LPN is a great responsibility bestowed on a person after basic training. Thus, highly regulated requirements are put in place as regards moral character.

They include:


·       Has your professional training, employment or privileges been prematurely terminated by any licensed medical institution, or have you ever willingly or unwillingly resigned or withdrawn from such association to avoid earlier mentioned termination?

·       Have you ever been found guilty after legal trial, or pleaded guilty in any court?

·       Are there existing pending criminal charges against you in any court? Has any certified licensing or disciplinary authority refused to issue you a license? Including if your license ever revoked, annulled, canceled, prematurely suspended, refused renewal of a professional license belonging to you now or priorly.

·       Are there current charges pending against you in any jurisdiction for any sort of professional misconduct?


After successful qualification for a license as an LPN, A license parchment and a registration certificate is issued by the New York Education Department. After this, it is valid for life unless in a case of surrender, revoke, annulment, or suspension by the New York State Board of Regents (NYSBR).


Your valid LPN registration certificate will provide you with the authorization needed to practice as an LPN for a total of three years in New York State. The second registration moves your re-registration period to align with your month of birth.


It is a must to renew your registration every three years to be able to practice nursing as an LPN in New York State. It is Illegal to practice as an LPN with an expired registration.


Registered Professional Nurse (RN)

RNs refers to the standard nurses recognized by most people. RN's collate vital information necessary in making clinical inferences to maximize patient-centered management.


Although they may not function independently of direction from professionals, RNs remain higher up the food chain than LPNs. Their responsibility involves providing professional and compassionate care while supervising appropriate care by other medical personnel.


Registered Professional Nurses are officially registered and thus, do the majority of close supervision as it regards procedures inpatient management. A role that largely rests on the Registered Profession Nurse is to supervise the care provided by other personnel.


Also, they provide health education to patients, their families, other health care providers, and the public and participate in health research and in making health care policies. To become an RN, you must have the following requirements:


·   Minimum age of eighteen years

·   Be of considerable good moral character;  

·   Be a graduate of a nursing education program acceptable to NYSED;

·       Complete New York State required infection control coursework and child abuse reporting coursework;

·       Pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or any other license examination acceptable to NYSED; and,

·   apply for an R.N. license with NYSED


The majority of nursing programs require a bachelor's of science degree from an accredited university that lasted a minimum of 4 years. However, there are also options for a two-year program, for those who already have a bachelor's in a different medically related field and want to switch career paths. 


Nursing school education teaches a wide variety of courses that cover relevant topics, which are clinically relevant to nursing-specific material. Most science classes will be anatomy and physiology focused on a nursing-specific concept that includes an overview of related clinical fields like pharmacology, pathology, acute patient care, and psychology, amongst others. 


Nursing, as stated in the intro, a fulfilling and lucrative career path suited to many people. According to ZipRecruiter, Registered Professional Nurses in New York make an average of 77,148/year, which is higher in comparison to the national median family income.


Regardless, becoming an R.N. is an opportunity for you to work one on one with patients and find fulfillment in your daily interactions that make a difference in someone else's life.


A standard NYS registered professional nurse is required to carry out the following responsibilities;


·       Contribution as members of interdisciplinary health care teams and health-related committees to plan and implement health care.

·       Execution of various medical regimens while being supervised by licensed physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and podiatrists; and

·       perform health assessments;

·   perform close and detailed patient monitoring

·   diagnose and treat a patient's unique responses to diagnosed health problems

·   teach and counsel patients and their caretakers about their health


Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

CNSs are highly-trained professional clinicians with advanced education in a specific area of the nursing practice. They are qualified to practice in a wide range of health care settings.


Furthermore, a CNS is an RN with qualifications obtained by completing advanced clinical nursing education (minimum of a master's degree) and is officially certified by New York State as a clinical nurse specialist.


To apply to become a CNS, check out this material. The fee attached to this application and initial registration is $80. Registration remains valid for only three years after which renewal is mandatory. You should note that certifications present are state-specific.


As stated earlier, Nurses outnumber doctors three to one, which simply makes nurses the majority of the health care workforce wielding the title of health worker with the most consistent and increased proximity to patients in recovery.


As a CNS’s area of specialty will be classified by:

·       Target population (such as pediatrics, geriatrics, women's health);

·       Practice Setting (such as critical care or emergency room);

·       Associated disease or medical subspecialty (such as Nephrology or oncology);

·       Type of care (such as Orthopedic or rehabilitation); or

·       Type of problem (such as pain, wounds, stress, etc.)


As regards income, a Clinical Nurse Specialist in NYS makes an average of $116,715/year, according to ZipRecruiter.

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

NP is a certified professional with additional nursing education alongside certification from the New York State Education Department (SED) or an accepted equivalent certificate. Some credentials that are accepted in the NYS in place of SED for clinical Nurse Practitioners are as follows:


·   The American Nurses Credentialing Center

·   The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

·   The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation


Their certification is solely on either an educational or national basis. Here are some recommended options for your NP. Training includes those offered at Simmons University and Utica College, amongst others. 


A Nurse with this title is trained and qualified to practice in the following areas:


·   Palliative Care

·   Adult and Family Health

·   Obstetrics

·   Neonatology

·   Psychiatry

·   Gerontology


Their training enables NPs to practice in more fields than other nurses listed above. You should know that many laws and regulations exist as regards the New York Laws that govern nurse practitioners. It is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with established rules.


To earn your N.P. Certificate in New York State, you must present evidence of a master's, postgraduate, or doctorate through a registered program in the NYS.

Your prior training program should entail:


·       Qualified personnel that supervises a clinically designed curriculum aimed to prepare N.P.'s to efficiently diagnose patient's illnesses and perform therapeutic procedures within a particular area of practice.

·       Comprehensive knowledge of pharmacotherapeutics.

·       Tutorship program that lasted a minimum of one semester in length and was supervised by an N.P. or a physician.


Main course requirements that are part of all advanced practice nursing programs include:


·       Advanced pathophysiology/physiology (that includes general principles applicable across the human lifespan)

·       Advanced health assessment (that includes an evaluation of all systems of the body, advanced assessment methods, techniques, and concepts)

·       Advanced pharmacology (that includes pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics of broad categories of agents)


Four particular clinical nurse specialties are officially recognized in the state of New York:


·   Adult Health

·   Pediatrics

·   Oncology

·   Psychiatric Mental Health


According to ZipRecruiter, an NP makes an average of $119,586/year in NYS. The benefit of their acquired educational advancement is very evident by the rise in income as well as responsibilities.


In case you were wondering, midwifery is currently not considered a nursing profession in the state of New York. Thus, it is a separately licensed profession.

What is Nclex?


The NCLEX-PN is an evaluation exam which was grown by the National Council of State Board of Nursing (NCSBN) and is routinely administered by Pearson VUE. Frequently, the ability to meet standard examination requirements for licensure as an LPN, you must successfully pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). The primary aim of testing is an assessment of acquired knowledge and skills essential for safe and practical entry-level LPN.


NCLEX is an exam that you should have at the back of your mind if you wish to venture into the career path of nursing. Steps to register for NCLEX are as follows;


·       Submit your application to the Nursing Regulatory Body (NRB). This step is to validate your eligibility to take the NCLEX exams.

·       Proceed to register for the NCLEX exam with Pearson VUE. You will be required to provide an email address during this process.

·       Wait for your exam schedule from Pearson VUE.

·       Arrange the final schedule here


NCLEX exam for candidates seeking U.S. licensure requires a total fee of $450. A breakdown of this fee can be seen here. Download the Application form here.


The NCLEX exam consists of questions with quantities ranging from 75 to 265. The pass rate of NCLEX is averagely 88% for first-time takers, and 43% for repeat test takes, according to the National Council of State Board of Nursing (NCSBN).


Candidates who fail the first attempt will receive an NCLEX Candidate Performance Report (CPR). The CPR serves as an individualized guide to prepare such candidates for a second attempt.


Note that NCLEX-PN is applicable only in the U.S. Other regions will require their respective licensure


Continuing education in NY


The ladder to climb in your career is longer than you imagined. The region of NYS has various institutions that provide the opportunity for you to gain a master's degree or advanced certificate programs.


Here is a list of institutions in NYS with the associated programs they run. These programs only admit licensed practicing nurses.


The benefits of furthering your studies in nursing are numerous, but a few are as follows:


·   Your pay will increase with career advancement, which is only possible after you obtain your MSC.

·   You will have an increased variety of specialties at your disposal.

·   You will be qualified to take particular leadership roles.

·   You gain more career options as you will be able to work as a nurse educator

·   You will gain an all-inclusive insight into the study of clinical sciences which will make your practice more enjoyable


Whatever stage you find yourself in your nursing career, even if you haven't officially begun. It is never too early or too late to start looking at prospective ways to further your training.

What are the requirements for nurses?


Strict Requirements provided by the New York Board of Nursing License Renewal CEU includes


·   All R.N.'s are required to finish three contact hours of infection control within a four years interval;

·   Two contact hours child abuse (a one-time requirement for obtaining the first license);


All interested parties must complete course work in all of the following topic areas:


·       New York State and federal requirements for prescribing controlled substances

·       Pain management

·       Appropriate prescribing

·       Managing acute pain

·       Palliative medicine

·       Prevention (screening and signs of addiction)

·       Responses to abuse and addiction

·       End of life care.


Out of state nurses moving to N.Y.


New York is a city booming with various opportunities, especially for a qualified nurse. Nurses who are yet to be licensed in the U.S. must sit for the NCLEX licensing exam to be able to practice legally in NYS.


New York state nursing practitioners are to follow strict guidelines to practice in NY. Suppose you received an official license as an LPN or LVN in another state or associated U.S. Territory and successfully passed either the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE) or the NCLEX-PN. In such a case, you are qualified to receive licensure as an LPN in NYS.


How do I get reciprocity with New York?


To commence your practice in the state of NY, you should Consider The following requirements depending on your level of entry;


Out-of-state LPNs should possess proof of past or current nursing licenses. You can find a form to serve as proof of permit here.


In addition to general education requirements, an LPN must have prior training in infection control strategies, that include HIV and Hepatitis B. The topics are part of the nursing curriculum in NYS.


Therefore, out of state LPNs are required to take an approved course that covers those aspects. International LPNs that are new to NYS must have their credentials assessed by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools.


Such an assessment may result in a temporary permit to practice before taking the NCLEX-PN


Out of state RN's require the State Pool Exam (Received before NCLEX). They need not pass any state licensing exam if they already have an acceptable one.


Internationally trained R.N.'s must have their credentials evaluated by CGNFS. The sole exception to this rule applies to individuals who have passed the Canadian Nurses Associated Tests in English with a minimum score of 400.


The field of nursing provides the life source to patient care and monitoring, hence the rigorous guidelines to ensure optimum quality in training. Nursing has remained a rewarding profession that maintains the long term job security that's rare to find in other occupations.


Nurses have remained continuously high in demand with the rapid expansion of the American health care industry, and this is expected to continue, making your decision to walk this part a great one. The journey that is the vocation of nursing is one that should be enjoyable and fulfilling