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:

  • Firstto 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.


Our philosophy of nursing education is patterned on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The students are viewed as individuals with basic needs for safety, an understanding of their individual social lives, family obligations and financial circumstances. It is through the addressing of these basic needs that sets the stage for learning to occur.

The next level addresses Practical Nursing as a vocation. This requires the development of academic, as well as, clinical skills and professionalism. These skills are taught in a structured environment of classroom, lab practice and structured study. Classroom and skills lab instruction are all tailored to create such a learning environment. An emphasis on nursing process, critical thinking, theory application, peer relations, student skills, clinical skills and team work are key to this process.

As the education process continues the practical nursing student must also recognize his or her place within health care as a vital team member. The role of the Licensed Practical Nurse is regulated by individual state law rather that individual ability and experience. Each nurse is individually responsible for being aware of and complying with the regulations of the state they live in. Understanding the Licensed Practical Nurse scope of practice is as vital a part of the nursing education as understanding the nursing process.

With a base of safety, a body of educational and professional development and a grasp of their intricate role in health care, the students are equipped to enter the field of nursing as an entry level Practical Nurse. Our graduates should be eager to learn, be competent care givers and willing to assist those in need. Ideally he or she will have acquired the skills and desire for learning to enable them to be a lifelong learner and to further their education, if desired.