If you live in the Empire State and are considering a career in nursing you no doubt have a lot of questions that need answering before you make a decision about which of the many nursing programs in New York to enroll in and exactly what form you want that education to take. Here are some of the basics about nursing in New York and the nursing programs in New York that will enable you to join the thousands already working as nurses there.
The Career Outlook for New York Nurses – As is the case in many other US states, the demand for licensed and trained nurses in New York still outstrips the number of available graduates from nursing programs in New York at both the LPN and the RN level. This is not because being a nurse in New York does not pay relatively well as in fact nurses’ salaries in New York are on average 15% higher than the national average.
As of 2011 the average salary for an LPN in New York is approximately $55,000 per annum while an RN can expect to command a salary of around $80,000 for general nursing and in excess of $100,000 for those who chose to specialize. These figures do vary somewhat depending upon the region of New York a graduate of nursing programs in New York chooses to work in but on the whole nurses in NY are better paid than in many other states.
Although many are drawn to the idea of living and working as a nurse in New York City itself, there are many job opportunities for nurses all over the state and the demand is especially high in the more rural counties that are somewhat under served medically in general. There are in fact a number of tuition forgiveness programs offered by both the state government itself and private institutions to encourage more graduates of nursing programs in New York to work in these areas.
A growing trend in New York, as well as in other larger states, is for hospitals, doctor’s offices and care facilities to employ nurse practitioners to supplement their MD staff and provide the bulk of everyday patient care in a number of different fields of medicine. Individuals who decide to pursue this career path can expect to be well compensated as well as offered the chance to undertake a far larger and more satisfying role than many other nurses. In fact a nurse practitioner in New York is paid on average somewhere between $130,000 to $150,000 per year and there are job openings available all over the state.
Basic Licensing Requirements for All Nurses in New York – Before you enroll in a nursing program of any kind you should know that the State of New York has other requirements other than educational ones that all nursing school graduates must be able to meet before they will be granted a nursing license at any level. An individual must :
be of good moral character; (nursing school graduates do have to submit to a criminal background check before sitting the licensing exam)
be at least eighteen years of age;
be able to prove US citizenship or legal residency
meet education requirements;
complete coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse offered by a New York State approved provider; and
meet examination requirements.
Types of Nursing Programs in New York
There are a number of different nursing programs in New York that afford students different levels of education and qualifications. Which you choose will depend upon how long you want to remain in school before entering the world of work as a licensed nurse and of course how much money you are willing to invest in your education:
Nursing Programs in New York – LPN – The designation of licensed practical nurse entitles a graduate to work as a nurse in many different health care settings under the direct supervision of a registered nurse and/or an MD. LPN nursing programs in New York can be found at most general vocational and technical schools in the state as well as at almost all community colleges. Most LPN nursing programs in New York take about a year to complete and consist of approximately half practical study and half classroom learning.
Nursing Programs in New York – RN – The higher designation of registered nurse expands both the duties of a nursing school graduate as well as their earning potential. An Associates in Nursing is sufficient education to become an RN in New York State. These programs typically take two years to complete and are offered at both community colleges and some private colleges as well.
A growing number of nursing students are electing to take their education even further though and are continuing on to complete a BSN in nursing. These additional nursing programs in New York take about a further 18 months to complete and do come with the advantage that unlike other nursing degree programs an RN to BSN program can be completed completely online as well as at physical colleges and universities.
Nursing Programs in New York – Nurse Practitioner – In case you are not sure a nurse practitioner is a high-level nursing professional who is licensed to examine and diagnose patients and prescribe medications, tasks registered nurses and licensed practical nurses cannot legally perform. In order to become a nurse practitioner in New York State a nurse must first complete a Masters in Nursing and choose a specialty they wish to focus on. After they have earned their MSN a would be nurse practitioner then has to pass another licensing exam before they are officially awarded the designation. An MSN takes 2-3 years to complete depending on whether a student chooses full time or part time education and such courses are offered at many of New York’s public and private universities.