Two adult nursing students posing in lab at Remington school building

ILION – When Little Falls resident Sara Annutto attended a Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program Open House about a year ago at the Remington school building in Ilion, she wasn’t focused on becoming a nursing student, but she heard about the program and thought she would check it out.

In June, she is expected to graduate from the program as a licensed practical nurse. She plans to go on to become a nurse in the dermatology field.

“Here I am,” she said, while recently talking about the program while in a lab at the Remington school building. “I love it.”

The Herkimer BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program will be hosting a series of LPN Open Houses from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month March through August at the Remington school building at 77 E. North St. in Ilion. The first one is this Wednesday, March 4, and the other dates are April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1 and Aug. 5.

Herkimer BOCES offers a full-time LPN program that lasts 12 months and offers part-time day or part-time evening programs that require 20 months. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN exam. This exam licenses them with the state of New York as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). To learn more about the program, visit

The LPN program is one of several adult and school-aged programs that Herkimer BOCES operates out of the Remington school building, which Herkimer BOCES has leased from Central Valley since 2013. During the current school year, 212 school-aged children from the 10 component school districts and 250 adults from the community have attended programs housed in the Remington building.

As a more permanent solution to its space needs, Herkimer BOCES proposes to purchase the Remington school building. The Central Valley community voted 256-16 on Nov. 12, 2019, in favor of selling the building to Herkimer BOCES.

The next step is for residents of all 10 component districts to vote on Tuesday, March 31, whether to authorize the purchase of the building by Herkimer BOCES.

Qualified voters may vote at any location listed below or at the Herkimer BOCES William E. Busacker Complex Technical Education Conference Room at 352 Gros Blvd. in Herkimer. Each district will have a voting location for residents’ convenience:

  • Central Valley: Small gym at CVA
  • Dolgeville: High School Lobby
  • Frankfort-Schuyler: Old Gymnasium
  • Herkimer: High School Library
  • Little Falls: Middle School Gymnasium

  • Mount Markham: District Office
  • Owen D Young: Founder’s Study
  • Poland: Lobby
  • Richfield Springs: Entrance adjacent to baseball field
  • West Canada Valley: Front Lobby

Find out more information about the purchase proposal and the vote at

‘An introduction’

The Herkimer BOCES LPN Open Houses allow local adults to learn about the program, meet faculty, view the facilities and find out more about how to apply, Herkimer BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program Coordinator Sara Nicolette said.

“It serves as an introduction to our program in just one hour,” Nicolette said. “I try to give them a realistic sample of what the program is going to be like.”

When Annutto, a full-time student, attended the Open House, she enjoyed learning what the classes and clinicals would be like and decided the program was right for her. One thing that stood out to her is how much you can accomplish in a short period of time.

“It’s quick,” she said. “One year full-time to get your LPN.”

If any local adults asked Annutto if they should check out an Open House or apply for the program, she would advise them to go for it, she said.

 “I would tell them it’s definitely worth it,” she said. “You just have to push yourself really hard for it, and you can do it.”

‘The program for me’

Full-time student Kayla Clifford, of Utica, went into the Open House with a different perspective than Annutto.

“I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to be a nurse,” Clifford said. “This was kind of just my first stop to do.”

Meeting the LPN coordinator and staff during Open House helped confirm for Clifford that she wanted to apply.

“It was intimidating at first, but to know they’re so supportive of your goals and your success individually, made me realize this is the program for me,” she said.

If local adults interested in the program ask her about it, Clifford tells them that faculty can be tough on you, but that gives you a better chance to succeed in the end on your testing and as a nurse.

“This is the best program around because of the support of the instructors and the coordinator,” she said.

Another thing Clifford likes about the program is the nursing classroom and laboratory facilities at the Remington school building.

“It’s comfortable, and it makes you feel safe,” she said. “I love the labs.”

After completing the program, Clifford plans to earn a bachelor’s degree and become a registered nurse, specializing in a field she will determine along the way. She feels that the Herkimer BOCES program has also helped prepare her for those next educational steps. “They really teach us not only to be nurses, but also how to study and be a student,” she said. “We’re learning to study and be students and go on further if we want to.”

Two nursing students practicing on a mannequin

Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program full-time students Sara Annutto (left) and Kayla Clifford (right) practice on a mannequin in a nursing lab at the Remington school building in Ilion. Herkimer BOCES is hosting multiple LPN Open Houses the first Wednesday of each month from March to August starting on Wednesday, March 4. For more information about the nursing program, visit For more information about a public vote on Tuesday, March 31, on whether Herkimer BOCES should purchase the Remington school building from Central Valley, visit