Is this a wise plan?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I'm a nursing student halfway done with a BSN program. I live in New York State and was wondering what is known about challenging the LPN exam in NYS during a nursing program. I realize it's not acceptable in NYS particularly but wondered if taking it in another state would suffice and then pay for licensure in New York.

    I'm finishing up nursing fundamentals and associated clinicals and thought that after Med/Surg and Community Health and associated clinicals next semester I might be qualified to sit for the exam in another state. I'm very interested in working over the summer as an LPN and very part time during school to gain experience. Thank you so much!

    Dear nursing student,

    Congrats on being halfway done with your BSN!

    Each state has different criteria for challenging the LPN exam. You are right in that some states consider the first half of an RN program to be equivalent to LPN training. Depending on the state, there are requirements for eligibility, including a specific number of clinical hours and course topics.

    Next you would have to apply for reciprocity in New York. Here is a link with instructions for application to New York when licensed in another state. Even if possible, the process could take longer than you anticipate and not yield as much time to practice as you would like.

    It's commendable that you want to gain experience but it would involve a lot of legwork on your part. At the very least, contact the New York state board before you invest time and expenses to make sure it's doable.

    Sometimes in life it's better to go with the flow rather than complicate circumstances and overthink options. Consider enjoying your short summers off, or working as a PCT. You will gain hospital exposure and start networking to land a job when you graduate.

    You can still be an excellent RN in the end without the added stress. Best wishes and start looking for a hospital that offers a residency program- it's the best way to start your career.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth


    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,566; Likes: 4,700
    Nursing Professional Development Specialist; from CA , US
    Specialty: Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho


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