General Program Information



At Herkimer BOCES, we have a long tradition of training practical nurses for the Mohawk Valley. We realize our graduates come from diverse backgrounds and ages and have adapted our programming to be reflective of those needs. Some come with no healthcare experience and are in need of training. Others are building upon existing nursing skills. One thing all our students hold in common is a desire to continue their education and provide a brighter future for themselves and their families.

Our goal is three fold:

- First, to give the student the knowledge and practical skills to enter the healthcare field and pass the PN NCLEX exam.

- Second, to develop professional skills that will enable them to obtain and retain sound employment in the healthcare field.

- Finally, we take great efforts to teach our students how to be good students. In doing this, we not only assist them in succeeding here, but it opens educational opportunities for a lifetime.

Our graduates can be found in area clinics, home care, physicians' offices, extended care facilities and acute care facilities. Many have continued on in their educational experiences. We invite you to consider our program and have developed this website to answer many of your questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are questions the LPN Coordinator is frequently asked:

Are LPNs new?

The term LPN stands for Licensed Practical Nurse. In 1892 the first formal school for practical nursing was opened in Brooklyn New York. During the 1940’s and 50’s, in response to registered nursing shortages created by WWII, practical or vocational nursing schools began to open around the country. At this time the majority of registered nursing schools were hospital based with a certificate issued at the end of the program. Traditionally the LPN has continued to be trained in the vocational setting with certificate degrees in practical nursing being granted upon completion of the programs. After passing State Board exams a license is issued. Herkimer BOCES was initially established in 1962.

What are the different levels of nursing?

As health care has evolved so has nursing. Currently there are 3 primary areas that one can practice within the nursing field. All are regulated by the individual states board of nursing.Per the NYS office of professions they are defined as follows:

There are three distinct licenses within the nursing profession in New York State:

Registered Professional Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse and Nurse Practitioner.

A Registered Professional Nurse (RN) may:

- Diagnose and treat a patient’s unique responses to diagnosed health problems;

- Perform health assessments to identify new symptoms of possibly undiagnosed conditions or complications

- Teach and counsel patients about maintenance of health and prevention of illness or complications;

- Execute medical regimens as prescribed by licensed physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and podiatrists, and,

- Contribute as members of an interdisciplinary health care team and as consultants on health related committees to plan and implement the health care needs of consumers.

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) provides skilled nursing care tasks and procedures under the direction of an RN, physician, Headlineor other authorized health care provider.

A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is an RN who has earned a separate license as an NP through additional education and experience in a distinct specialty area of practice.

Nurse practitioners may diagnose, treat, and prescribe for a patient’s condition that falls within their specialty area of practice. This is done in collaboration with a licensed physician qualified in the specialty involved and in accordance with an approved written practice agreement and protocols. Nurse Practitioners are autonomous and do not practice under the supervision of the collaborating physician. (Nurse practitioner specialty areas: Acute Care; Adult Health; College Health; Community Health; Family Health; Gerontology; Holistic Nursing; Neonatology; Obstetrics and Gynecology; Oncology; Palliative Care; Pediatrics; Perinatology; Psychiatry; School Health; Women's Health)

One level is neither better nor worse than the other; all three require formal education and a licensing exam. All three provide patient care. The difference is depth of knowledge and scope of practice and where they can be utilized in the health care setting.

What is scope of practice?

The individual state boards of nursing set the scope of practice for the varying levels of nursing. Scope of practice directly regulates what the nurse can actually do in the state they practice in regarding patient care. It is not universal nor is it dependent on the individuals’ ability. It is a legal definition and standard that the nurse is held to in the state they are practicing.

Where can LPN’s work?

LPN”s can practice any place where there is an RN, physician, or other authorized health care provider to coordinate the patients care and do any assessments needed to make adaptations and changes in the patients care. This is primarily done by an RN. They can be found in clinics, nursing homes, adult residential settings, home care, and selected acute care settings.

Can I use my LPN if I want to go on to school for my RN?

Yes, you will be trained in all the basics of patient care, wellness and disease processes, and pharmacology. This knowledge gives you an excellent base to build upon should you wish to continue your education. In addition we take great pains to prepare you academically for the rigors of an RN program. Approximately 30% for our students continue on for their RN at some time in their nursing career.

Is the LPN being “phased out”?

At present LPN’s can be found in all 50 states. They have established themselves as a profession with a solid market share within the healthcare field. The likelihood of them being phased out simply does not exist. Through the years, the areas they have been allowed to practice in has shifted from time to time but they are a permanent vital part of the healthcare team.


Herkimer BOCES offers three different classes that all lead to a certificate in Practical Nursing and eligibility to sit for the NYS NCLEX licensure exam. Placement is based on a review of your TEAS test scores, professional references and a discussion of your goals and life situation during the admission interview. Class selection may be requested, but the final decision is that of the Nursing Coordinators.

Below are some issues to consider when determining a course that is right for you:

How do you intend to meet your financial obligations?

If you must work full or part-time you will need to determine when you will find time to study, meet family obligations and sleep. Set a plan that allows you at least one hour to study for every hour in class.

How will you meet your family obligation?

Children no matter what the age need to have a plan for a caregiver. Are you the primary caregiver for any adults? Set a plan for alternate caregivers or you will quickly be having issues with our attendance policy. This plan should be multiple layers deep with a backup plan to the backup plan.

How dependable is your transportation?

You are responsible for transportation not only to school, but also to all clinical sites. Public transportation is minimal in our area so the majority of our students have automobiles. If your car breaks down how will you get another? Again have your plan be multiple layers deep and include good snow tires.

Remember: Failing to plan is planning to fail!

If you have attended college this may also help in making your course selection:

-Part-time first year is the equivalent of 9 college credits per semester

-Full-time is the equivalent of 21 college credits per year

-Part-time second year is the equivalent of 12 credits per semester

Nursing Program Schedule


The nursing program is an 1180 clock hour program. Full time classes begin July 5, 2022, with graduation occurring June 2023.

Part time classes begin the first full week of September 2022 and continue through the last week of June 2023, then resuming for the second year in September 2023 and graduating in June 2024.


Classes meet from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Clinical days vary depending on location. Generally they are 7:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Start times may vary but they are all an 8-hour day. Class time is scheduled before or after each half day clinical.


Full time classes begin July 5, 2023, with an eight-week summer session from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In September 2023, full time classes integrate with the part time second year classes. The schedule varies, with classes offered Monday through Friday.



Begins first full week of September 2023 - graduates June 2025.

First year class or clinical meet 2 days a week: Thursday & Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Second year class or clinical meet 3 days a week: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Begins first full week of September 2023 - graduates June 2025.

First year class meets 3 days a week: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and five daytime Saturday clinicals (generally 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

Second year class meets 3 days a week: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and every Saturday (daytime hours) for clinicals. (generally 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.).