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Long IslandNassau

Nursing program in new location to hold open house

The Vocational Education & Extension Board School of Practical Nursing, one of six state-approved programs on Long Island, has moved into a building in Hicksville and will host an open house Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m.

The renovated building, at 30 E. Cherry St., formerly was St. Ignatius Loyola Elementary School. For decades, the practical nursing school was located on Jerusalem Avenue in Uniondale.

The program now will accommodate 210 students, up from about 170. Officials said it has been turning away some 20 prospective students yearly.

The 11-month-long program's tuition is $13,000 for Nassau County residents and $13,500 for nonresidents. The program has been state-approved since 1963.

Applicants must be at least 18 and have a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Graduates can become licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, after passing a state exam, and many continue their education to become registered nurses, or RNs, officials said.

The median annual wage for licensed practical nurses was $41,540 in May 2012. The field is projected to grow 25 percent by 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the baby-boom population ages, the overall need for health care services is expected to increase.

Licensed practical nurses will be needed in residential care facilities and in home health environments to care for geriatric patients, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook.

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