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Licensed Practical Nurse


A licensed practical nurse (LPN) is a licensed health care practitioner who provides nursing care under the direction of an RN, CNS, NP, midwife, physician, physician assistant, specialist assistant, dentist or podiatrist. LPNs provide compassionate care that is respectful of each patient’s needs, values and wishes. They work a variety of settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facilities, clinics, private practices, correctional facilities, and private homes.

New York law does not allow LPNs to: practice nursing independently, perform nursing assessments or triage, develop nursing care plans or provide mental health counseling. LPNs are not allowed to provide clinical services that require nursing or medical assessments. For example, LPNs do not administer IV chemotherapy, IV anesthesia or IV antibody therapy.

Licensing Requirements

To be licensed and registered as an LPN in New York State, you must:

  • be of good moral character;
  • be at least seventeen years of age;
  • meet education requirements;
  • meet examination requirements; and,
  • apply for an LPN license with NYSED.

In New York State, some nursing school graduates (who have applied for an RN or LPN license and a limited permit) may qualify to practice nursing before being licensed and registered as an RN or LPN. NYSED issues limited permits to qualified nursing school graduates, allowing them to temporarily practice nursing under RN supervision.

Laws that govern LPN licensure are included in Education Law Article 139 and 8 NYCRR Part 64.

Education Requirements

To meet the education requirements for an LPN license, you must complete high school or the equivalent and graduate from a nursing education program acceptable to the New York State Education Department (NYSED). You will also have to complete infection control coursework acceptable to NYSED or qualify for an exemption.

Acceptable Nursing Education Programs.

You must graduate from a nursing education program that meets one of the five criteria below.

  1. An LPN education program registered by NYSED as LPN license qualifying.
  2. -OR-

  3. An RN education program registered by NYSED as RN license qualifying.
  4. -OR-

  5. A nine month or longer education program offered by the United States Armed Forces, which is acceptable to NYSED.
  6. -OR-

  7. A nursing education program located in another state or U.S. territory, if approved by the licensing authority of that state or territory as preparation for practice as an LPN or RN. (U.S. territories include: Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa).
  8. -OR-

  9. A general nursing education program or LPN education program offered in a country outside the United States and its territories, which is acceptable to NYSED. You will be required to have your nursing education credentials verified by CGFNS, an independent credentials verification organization.

Examination Requirements

To meet the examination requirements for licensure as a registered professional nurse and/or licensed practical nurse, you must successfully complete the NCLEX examination developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and administered by Pearson VUE. For those applicants applying for licensure based upon licensure in another jurisdiction, scores from the State Board Test Pool (SBTP) examination and NCLEX may be accepted for licensure. The licensing authority in the jurisdiction in which you took the examination (see instructions for Form 3) or Nursys (see Verification of Nurse Licensure in Another State) must verify acceptable scores on the examination(s) directly to the Office of the Professions.

To qualify to take the NCLEX-PN examination, you must:

  1. Submit an Application for Licensure (Form 1) and the $143 licensure and first registration fee to the New York State Education Department.
  2. Ask your school to verify your education directly to the New York State Education Department on Form 2 (New York State programs completed prior to 4/1/98 or other U.S. programs), or Form 2AF (for graduates who are applying for an LPN license based on completion of equivalent education in a program conducted by the U.S. armed forces) or have your educational credentials verified by CGFNS (non-U.S. programs).
  3. Register directly with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX examination. To register for the examination, you will need the program code for your nursing education program that is listed in the NCLEX Candidate Bulletin. The NCLEX Candidate Bulletin and additional information regarding the examination are available on the Web at or . You may register for the examination online at or by calling Pearson VUE at 1-866-496-2539*


*If you are a graduate of a New York State nursing program, or an approved nursing program in the U.S., you may apply for the examination at any time after submitting all the items in 1 and 2 above. If you are a non-U.S. nursing program graduate, you may only apply for the examination after receiving a letter from the New York State Education Department notifying you that your education has been approved and you are now eligible to sit for the examination.

Fees (as of November 2, 2016)

The fee for licensure and first registration is $143.
The fee for a limited permit is $35.

Licenses Issued and Active

In 2014, there were 3,616 licenses issued for this occupation.
In 2015, there were 3,537 licenses issued for this occupation.
As of July 1, 2016, there were 70,308 active licenses for this occupation.

Licensing Authority

New York State Education Department
Office of the Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services
Nurse Unit
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234
Phone: (518) 474-3817 Ext. 280
Fax: (518) 474-3398

Standard Occupational Classification

29-2061 - Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).

Additional Information

National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, Inc.
3801 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 190
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: (800) 948-2511 or (919) 779-0046
Fax: (919) 779-5642


Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.

This page was last updated on 11/29/16.

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