Top 10 Best Nursing Schools in New York

16 Min Read Published May 31, 2024
City skyline of New York City

Earning a degree from an accredited nursing program is the first step to becoming a registered nurse (RN) in New York. 

As one of the largest states in the nation, New York is home to plenty of different nursing programs. The high cost of living in New York also means a higher median wage, with New York nurses earning more on average than most other states.

To get a job as a nurse in New York, a good place to start is a New York nursing school. These schools prepare nurses for a career and make it easier for nurses to land a position in the state of New York.

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Top 10 Best Nursing Schools in New York

Methodology

This is a panel-reviewed selection based on a number of factors including,

  • Reputation
  • NCLEX pass rate
  • Tuition
  • Acceptance rate, when available
  • Only ACEN or CCNE-accredited schools are eligible 

Nurse Panel

Our selection panel includes 4 Registered Nurses with over 55 years of combined nursing experience and 7 nursing degrees.

  • Tracy Everhart, MSN, RN, CNS
  • Tyler Faust, MSN, RN
  • Kathleen Gaines MSN, RN, BA, CBC
  • Leah Helmbrecht, BSN, RN
  • Because nursing careers take different forms, the top 10 New York nursing schools are ranked in no particular order.
In-State Tuition
$34,550 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$34,550 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Molloy University offers several nursing program options to prospective students. In addition to the traditional four-year BSN program, LPN to BSN and RN to BSN programs are available. For students interested in advancing their education, numerous Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist programs are also available.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 77%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 18%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,145
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,145
Contact Information:
  • Address: 1000 Hempstead Ave, Rockville Centre, NY
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $90,956

 

In-State Tuition
$55,384 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$55,384 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

The price might scare some nurses away, but New York University has established itself as one of the top nursing programs in the entire nation. The College of Nursing at NYU is one of the top schools for research funding, something graduate students will definitely be interested in, and they prepare nurses for a career in any part of the world. While prospective nurses can earn their BSN at NYU, the master's and doctoral programs are exceptionally famous for their rigor and for producing top-quality graduates. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 12%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 7%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,630
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,630
Contact Information:
  • Address: 70 Washington Sq South, New York, NY
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 95%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $94,243

 

In-State Tuition
$49,460 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$49,460 per year
Accreditation
ACEN
Online?
No

Wagner College’s BSN programs blend liberal arts with nursing studies, giving students a well-rounded education. This is ideal for students who are planning on continuing their education since it gives them a better basis. Wagner also has plenty of graduate-level programs, including a new DNP program. The Evelyn L. Spiro School of Nursing was named a 2012-16 Center of Excellence in Nursing Education in the category of "Creating Environments that Enhance Student Learning and Professional Development."

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 69%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 0%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $2,060
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $2,060
Contact Information:
  • Address: One Campus Rd, Staten Island, NY
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $95,910

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

In-State Tuition
$60,550 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$60,550 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

The University of Rochester offers countless options for nursing school. College graduates can earn full tuition coverage for the accelerated nursing program with a three-year work commitment at specific UR Medicine hospitals.

Students can expect to complete 49 credits over three full-time semesters and 700 clinical hours at the University of Rochester Medical Center and through immersive simulation experiences. If this doesn’t sound like something that would be a good fit, there are multiple other undergraduate and graduate-level nursing programs for students. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 39%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 9%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,890
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,890
Contact Information:
  • Address: Wilson Blvd. - Wallis Hall, Rochester, NY
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 92%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $68,194

 

In-State Tuition
$7,070 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$24,990 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
Yes

The University of Buffalo has been educating nursing students for over 85 years. It offers small classes but the resources of a large research-intensive university. In addition to the typical undergraduate and graduate degrees, UB also hosts a program that allows Buffalo public high school students to explore different career opportunities in nursing. While the tuition isn’t cheap, most students receive financial aid. Over $370 million in financial aid and scholarships is awarded annually.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 68%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 7%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $295
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,041
Contact Information:
  • Address: 12 Capen Hall, Buffalo, NY
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 84%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $66,681

 

In-State Tuition
$42,085 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$42,085 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Started in the 1860s, Adelphi University has been educating nursing students in New York for decades. While the undergraduate nursing program is large and very successful. The graduate-level programs really stand out. For a fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Adelphi as a 2022–2023 Best College among national universities for the best undergraduate nursing program, best nursing master’s program, and best value school. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 73%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 7%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,275
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,275
Contact Information:
  • Address: South Ave, Garden City, NY
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $90,625

 

In-State Tuition
$7,070 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$24,990 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Stony Brook University offers several BSN programs, including a fast-paced 12-month accelerated nursing program, an RN-to-BSN program, and an RN-to-BSN to MSN program. Ten graduate-level programs are also available, and even more certificate programs are available to those wanting to advance their education. Additionally, there are numerous DNP programs.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 49%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 8%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $295
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,041
Contact Information:
  • Address: 310 Administration Building, Stony Brook, NY
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 88%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $85,898

 

In-State Tuition
$48,152 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$48,152 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Home to the Lienhard School of Nursing at the College of Health Professions, Pace University’s nursing program is one of the best in the country and is often recognized as a top-level program. Applicants can choose from several undergraduate and graduate-level programs. Students in the accelerated nursing program can earn a BSN in only 11 months, one of the country's quickest program completions.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 9%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,381
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,381
Contact Information:
  • Address: 1 Pace Plaza, New York, NY
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $90,727

 

In-State Tuition
$7,070 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$24,910 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Best for New York residents who enjoy working in rural communities, Binghamton University has an affordable, flexible nursing program. Students can continue working while pursuing a graduate degree here, and each graduate degree is designed to support the health of rural communities – something that people forget New York has plenty of.

SUNY Binghamton also offers nursing students a forensic health minor, which is especially useful for nurses interested in pursuing forensic nursing or even nurse law positions. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 42%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 1%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $295
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,038
Contact Information:
  • Address: 4400 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, NY
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 91%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $69,775

 

In-State Tuition
$7,070 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$16,980 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Farmingdale State College only offers undergraduate-level degrees, but they have great outcomes. They have over a 94% NCLEX-RN pass rate four years running, and the New Your State Board of Regents accredits all their BSN programs. If you’re looking for a BSN and want to work in New York, this could be the school for you.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 73%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 6%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $295
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $708
Contact Information:
  • Address: 2350 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale, NY
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $93,439

Choosing the Right School

Choosing a school isn’t always as easy as picking the cheapest tuition or the highest acceptance rate. Many schools offer a specialized education, giving nurses a leg-up when applying for positions.

Also, most schools offer specific programs that you can’t find in other institutions. One college may have a great psychiatric nurse practitioner program while another has an excellent program for pediatrics.

Before picking a school, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions to narrow down your options:

  • What are your professional goals as a nurse?

  • Are you studying toward a BSN? An MSN? If you’re already an RN, is there a program that saves you time and money to earn a degree?

  • Do you want to study at a school in or near the city of New York, or do you prefer to be in another part of the state? 

  • Do you want to earn one degree, or are you looking for multiple degrees or even a certificate? Is there a school that offers all these options?

  • Which schools are within your price range, and how can you make the more expensive schools affordable?

4 Key Factors That Affect Nursing School Tuition

Keep in mind that colleges and universities reserve the right to change tuition rates at any time. The yearly tuition rates listed here will vary for each student depending on various factors including,

  • Transfer credits

  • Completed competency exams

  • Amount of credits taken per year

  • Financial aid awards

Check with the specific school for current tuition rates.

New York Nurse Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

  • Registered nurses in New York earn a mean annual salary of $93,320, as of 2021.

  • New York employs 188,300 RNs, or 21.72 RNs for every 1,000 workers.

Next Steps:

Spend some time researching different schools you might be interested in attending. There's no need to pick the perfect school right now, so keep an open mind about which New York colleges and universities might be a good fit.

Once you've picked a few schools you are interested in, follow these next steps:

  1. Contact each school’s admissions offices. Get in touch with each school's admissions office to learn more about the admissions process, admission requirements, and what materials you need to submit when applying. 

  2. Check to see if you meet the nursing school requirements. Nursing schools usually have their own requirements for applicants, and these are tougher to meet than the college/university's admission requirements. Make sure you're on track to become nursing school eligible if you aren't already. 

  3. Submit your application(s). Once you've figured out all the materials you need to submit a strong application, the final step is to send them in!

Common application requirements include:

  • High school transcript (GPA)

  • ACT and/or SAT scores

  • College entrance essay(s)

  • Letter(s) of recommendation

Important Considerations When Comparing Schools: 

You'll begin to receive acceptance letters from colleges and universities, and that brings us to the next step in the process: comparing schools to pick the best option. Comparing schools is an excellent way to figure out which school aligns with your wants and needs the best. 

Factors to consider include:

  • Annual tuition/nursing program cost

  • Financial aid, scholarships, and grants offered

  • Cost of living on-campus or in the area

  • Distance from home

  • Public vs Private (public schools offer in-state tuition)

  • School and nursing program acceptance rate

  • Length and type of program (BSN or ADN)

  • Program outcomes (NCLEX pass rate and job placement)

  • School accreditation (regional and national)

Why You Should Care About a Nursing Program’s Accreditation  

Accreditation is how schools and programs verify their academic quality. When applying to colleges in New York, make sure they're accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Also, do not apply to a nursing program unless it holds programmatic accreditation! 

The two nursing accreditation organizations to look for are

If you earn a degree from an unaccredited school, you may have trouble securing federal financial aid and finding work as a nurse after graduation. Furthermore, if you plan on attending a graduate or doctoral program, a prerequisite is a BSN from an accredited nursing program. 

Getting a License in New York

According to the New York Board of Nursing, nursing students looking to become RNs have a pretty straightforward path to licensure. New York is not currently part of the Enhanced Nursing Compact License (eNLC), however, there is legislation pending to be a part of the eNLC. 

To get a license in New York, you'll need to:

  • Study at a nursing school approved by the New York State Board of Nursing

  • Take and pass the NCLEX-RN

  • Pay an application fee and pass a criminal background check

  • Apply through the New York Board of Nursing

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Wilkes University

The R.N. to M.S.N program is for registered nurses with associate degrees who want to become nurse practitioners. It focuses on advanced clinical skills, professionalism and evidence-based practice. Our integrated exam preparation courses provide dedicated study resources, leading to impressive passing rates consistently above the national average and graduate success.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Conclusion

Different nursing schools have different benefits and drawbacks, especially when compared to similar institutions. One school might be more affordable, but another could offer a niche program that you’re interested in studying. Because of this, picking the perfect school can seem difficult.

Before committing to any school, consider the following:

  • How much money the program is going to cost from start to finish

  • How easy it is to get into the school and nursing program

  • The benefits/drawbacks this school has compared to others

After you’ve thought it over, the last thing to do is to send out the application to the school (or schools) you picked!

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