Lehman, La Guardia Community College, and SBS Welcome New Classes of Nurse-Trainees

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Recent graduates of the program celebrate their achievement.
October 2023 program graduates celebrate.

A new program is giving international nurses living in New York free training for the NCLEX exam and a chance to double their salaries thanks to the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS).

Click to see if you qualify.

The SBS, LaGuardia Community College, and Lehman College announced on Feb. 21 the implementation of SBS's 2024 National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) for English Language Learners (ELL) Training Program.

The free program helps internationally trained nurses gain the additional skills and knowledge needed to successfully pass the NCLEX-RN ELL exam, obtain nursing licensure in New York State, and secure positions in hospitals and clinics across the city. By completing the training and passing the exam, participants can double their salaries to $100,000.

Coming at a time when hospitals are facing shortages of nurses and support staff, the initiative facilitates the entry of qualified New Yorkers into of one of NYC’s fastest-growing industries while promoting job retention and opportunities for career advancement.

“This program addresses the critical need for quality nurses and fosters a culturally connected healthcare environment, resulting in personalized and empathetic patient-centered care,” said Lehman College Interim Provost Jorge Silva-Puras. “I applaud our students for reaching such an important milestone in their careers and becoming part of the trained medical professionals who ensure New York City’s health and well-being.”

The passage of the NCLEX-RN exam holds immense significance for immigrant nurses seeking to practice in the city, as it significantly enhances their earning potential. Graduates of these training programs often receive job offers from prominent hospitals in New York City, where the current demand for registered nurses exceeds 4,000 openings. The courses not only pave the way for successful careers but also empower nurses to generate wealth and elevate their livelihoods in the dynamic environment of the City.

Minia Esperanza de Ponce is one of many internationally licensed immigrant nurses who have achieved career success through the NCLEX-RN ELL training offered at Lehman.

"This program was life changing for me and my family,” she said. “By rejoining my chosen profession, I am returning to a field that is highly respected and valued. Now I have job stability and I have a good salary, which gives me financial independence and allows me to build a strong economic foundation for my family. It also allows me to strengthen my skills and continue to learn and advance my career.”

The NCLEX-RN ELL training program is open to New York City residents with nursing-equivalent degrees from countries outside the United States who are currently earning less than $40,000 per year.

“This program is a perfect reflection of our administration’s vision for a city that meets the needs of working New Yorkers,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “Immigrants are the backbone of our city, our neighborhoods, and our economy. Through the NCLEX-RN ELL program, we are not only promoting career advancement, but also wealth-building opportunities for a new generation of immigrant New Yorkers.”

Individuals interested in Lehman College's full-time NCLEX-RN ELL training program can learn more here.