At a career fair for licensed practical nursing students, the 18 organizations participating shared a similar message: There are many opportunities available for LPNs.
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program students who will be graduating this June as LPNs attended the Herkimer BOCES LPN Career Fair on Wednesday, May 18, and met with representatives from a variety of healthcare facilities, nursing homes and colleges.
“There are opportunities every place,” Herkimer BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program Coordinator Sara Nicolette said. “Our full-time and part-time programs will graduate a combined 32 students this June. They all have multiple job opportunities. It’s a great time for job security for LPNs.”
As Herkimer BOCES hosted the LPN Career Fair on Wednesday, May 18, it also hosted its first in-person open house for potential new students since before COVID-19 that same night. There is a need both for LPNs to fill job openings and for adult students to fill openings in LPN education programs, Nicolette said.
“We are actively recruiting,” Nicolette said. “We need people interested in taking care of people who want to work in nursing. It’s the quickest way in – to become an LPN.”
A second in-person open house will take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25, at the Remington Educational Complex at 77 E. North St. in Ilion. Attendees will be able to take a tour of the nursing facilities, see the LPN virtual lab in action and ask questions to faculty and Nicolette.
For adult LPN students, Herkimer BOCES offers a 12-month full-time program and 20-month part-time day and part-time evening programs. The next full-time class will start July 5, 2022, with graduation in June 2023. The next first-year part-time day and evening classes will start Sept. 6, 2022, with graduation in June 2024.
The deadline to apply for the next full-time class is June 1, 2022, and the deadline to apply for the next part-time classes is Aug. 1, 2022. For information, click here. To apply, call 315-867-2206 to schedule an entrance exam.
‘Looking for all the LPN candidates we can get’
Heather Bellinger, clinic manager for Dialysis Services at Mohawk Valley Health Services, attended the LPN Career Fair to find new employees.
“Dialysis is always looking for LPNs,” she said. “They work right alongside our RNs [registered nurses] and PCTs [patient care technicians].”
LPNs have multiple roles to fill in dialysis, Bellinger said.
“They’re a really great asset to our team,” she said. “I’m looking for all the LPN candidates we can get, and I welcome them with open arms.”
Angelia Kehl, recruiting and sourcing specialist for St. Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam, also was searching for new employees during the event.
“We have opportunities for LPNs in many areas,” she said, providing examples such as long-term care, behavioral health, the operating room and more. “You name it.”
With St. Mary’s being a small, rural, hospital, it can provide one-on-one attention to new graduates, Kehl said. The variety of LPN options also allows LPNs to transfer from one area to another – such as from urgent care to the operating room, she said.
“There are a lot of opportunities at St. Mary’s,” she said. “We want to make sure they’re comfortable in those opportunities.”
‘Everybody needs LPNs’
Slocum-Dickson Medical Group was represented at the career fair by Frank Servadio, director of human resources, and Andy Salvatore, clinical coordinator and registered nurse.
“Like everyone else in the area, we need LPNs,” Servadio said.
Due to attrition, retirements because of the COVID-19 pandemic and Slocum-Dickson Medical Group growing, there are 15-20 vacancies there for LPNs right now, they said.
Salvatore said there is a “very high need for LPNs,” and Slocum-Dickson officials believe their setting is just as important as other healthcare settings because they are trying to prevent patients from having to go to hospitals or other facilities.
Servadio said Slocum-Dickson’s pitch to LPNs includes a focus on quality of life because the organization can offer no nights, no weekends, several holidays off and no mandating extended hours. It also provides at least 25 specializations for LPNs.
Trying to appeal to what LPNs are looking for is part of the process when there are so many open positions to fill at Slocum-Dickson and elsewhere, they said.
“Everybody needs LPNs, obviously,” Servadio said.
‘Always have a demand for LPNs’
The Grand Healthcare System was represented at the career fair by Amy Pickett, director of nursing, and Michelle Musella, recruiter. The need for LPNs is even higher now than it has been because there were so many extra retirements in response to COVID-19, Pickett said.
“We always have a demand for LPNs,” Pickett said. “It’s healthcare in a pandemic.”
Pickett and Musella shared an example of how working with Herkimer BOCES is beneficial for them by telling the story of a certified nursing assistant at The Grand who completed the Herkimer BOCES LPN program and then went on to work as a unit manager while studying to become an RN, graduated and became an infection control specialist at The Grand.
“She got her start in nursing right here,” Pickett said, of Herkimer BOCES.
Pickett and Musella also want to arrange for Nicolette to visit The Grand and help recruit more CNAs there to start attending the Herkimer BOCES LPN program.
“I think we can definitely turn around a few LPNs,” Musella said.
‘So many different opportunities’
Herkimer BOCES adult LPN student Duane Wynn Jr., of the part-time evening program, said he thought the LPN Career Fair was beneficial.
“I think it’s great because there are so many different opportunities you can see,” he said.
Wynn plans to continue college studies he started previously and become an RN, so he appreciated that there were both college and career organizations at the event.
“It’s awesome,” he said.
On the right, Slocum-Dickson Medical Group’s Frank Servadio, director of human resources, and Andy Salvatore, clinical coordinator and registered nurse, speak to Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program students during the Herkimer BOCES LPN Career Fair on Wednesday, May 18.
Heather Bellinger (right), clinic manager for Dialysis Services at Mohawk Valley Health Services, speaks to Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program students during the Herkimer BOCES LPN Career Fair on Wednesday, May 18.
On the right, The Grand Healthcare System’s Amy Pickett, director of nursing, and Michelle Musella, recruiter, speak to Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program students during the Herkimer BOCES LPN Career Fair on Wednesday, May 18.
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program students speak to a representative from Excelsior College during the Herkimer BOCES LPN Career Fair on Wednesday, May 18.
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program students speak to representatives from a variety of organizations during the Herkimer BOCES LPN Career Fair on Wednesday, May 18.