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FLCC aims to produce more nurses with a new LPN program

FLCC classroom with desks and two simulation beds
FLCC School of Nursing

Another local college will be launching a licensed practical nursing program this fall in hopes of alleviating the current nursing shortage.

New York has approved Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua to begin recruiting students for its new LPN program beginning in September. The college already trains certified nursing assistants and registered nurses.

Heather Reece-Tillack, the Nursing Department chair at FLCC, said the goal for the 12-month program is to produce as many nurses as possible.

“We're seeing more LPNs back in acute care due to the nursing shortage,” Reece-Tillack said. “The idea is just to get as many nurses educated as we can, and then have the multiple pathways so that they can continue on if they choose to.”

Reece-Tillack said the nursing shortage has been an ongoing concern, and the COVID-19 pandemic caused many nurses to leave the field, which exacerbated the need.

She said community colleges provide a way for students to get this training at a more affordable cost.

“Nurses are valued, and there's always a place for them,” Reece-Tillack said.

She added that the program also allows for a continuum of learning.

“Whether they start as a CNA and come in as an LPN, or they come in as an LPN and continue on to their RN, we as nurses believe that we're lifelong learners,” she said.

The registered nursing workforce is expected to grow by 6% from 2021-31, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Reece-Tillack said the college has already received 10 applications for the new program.

Racquel Stephen is a health and environment reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Rochester and a master's degree in broadcasting and digital journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.