Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in New York

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New York is home to a wide range of career options and fields, including nursing. In fact, the state has the third highest employment level for registered nurses in the country (after California and Texas) as of May 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some sources, however, reveal slightly different numbers. For instance, data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing shows that the state had 285,228 licensed registered nurses and 22,411 APRNs in 2014, numbers that are a bit higher than BLS stats. Regardless of which numbers you look at, however, both sources suggest that the nursing field in the big apple is booming and likely to continue growing as the population ages and access to healthcare expands. For those interested in pursuing this career, New York is a strong contender for employment. Read on to find out more about nursing schools in New York, salary and employment trends, and licensing requirements.

Top Nursing Schools in New York

Rank School Location
1 CUNY Hunter College New York, NY
2 Molloy College Rockville Centre, NY
3 University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY
4 Helene Fuld College of Nursing New York, NY
5 New York University New York City, NY
6 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
7 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
8 Columbia University in the City of New York New York City, NY
9 Nazareth College Rochester, NY
10 Saint John Fisher College Rochester, NY
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Top Nursing Schools in New York

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  • Methodology +

    BEST 4-YEAR NURSING SCHOOLS

    The top nursing programs listed in this state’s ranking were determined by comparison of three primary, equally-weighted criteria including

    • Student-to-faculty ration
    • In-state tuition
    • Graduation rate

    Additional details for each school were included:

    • Count of programs available
    • Public and not-for-profit schools
    • Normalized on a 100 percent curve

    The methodology used for tie-break is as follows…

    • Ties are broken based on lowest average net price for full-time, first-time undergraduates paying in-state tuition (average cost of tuition and expenses after grants and scholarships).
    • If necessary, the lowest in-state tuition rate is used as a second tie-break


2-Year Schools

  1. CUNY Hunter College
    Location

    New York, NY

  2. Molloy College
    Location

    Rockville Centre, NY

  3. University at Buffalo
    Location

    Buffalo, NY

  4. Helene Fuld College of Nursing
    Location

    New York, NY

  5. New York University
    Location

    New York City, NY

  6. University of Rochester
    Location

    Rochester, NY

  7. Stony Brook University
    Location

    Stony Brook, NY

  8. Columbia University in the City of New York
    Location

    New York City, NY

  9. Nazareth College
    Location

    Rochester, NY

  10. Saint John Fisher College
    Location

    Rochester, NY

4-Year Schools

  1. Columbia-Greene Community College
    Location

    Hudson, NY

  2. Clinton Community College
    Location

    Plattsburgh, NY

  3. Fulton-Montgomery Community College
    Location

    Johnstown, NY

  4. Niagara County Community College
    Location

    Sanborn, NY

  5. Genesee Community College
    Location

    Batavia, NY

  6. Jefferson Community College
    Location

    Watertown, NY

  7. Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing
    Location

    Troy, NY

  8. Crouse Hospital College of Nursing
    Location

    Syracuse, NY

  9. Jamestown Community College
    Location

    Jamestown, NY

  10. Mohawk Valley Community College
    Location

    Utica, NY

New York Nursing Schools for Aspiring RNs

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that nursing schools in New York educated almost 29,000 students at the baccalaureate and graduate degree levels in Fall 2014. These schools also enrolled a significant amount of minority and male students (35 percent and 12 percent, respectively), which is not typically seen in other nursing schools in the US.

The search tool below has been designed to allow prospective students to filter through the numerous nursing schools in New York to find a select few that closely match their preferences and needs.

New York Licensing Requirements

New York has strict requirements for nurses that practice in the state, and these requirements vary depending on the type of license. Aspiring registered nurses can apply for licensure through the New York State Education Department after completing a series of prerequisites. Below is information on how to apply for a first-time RN license, as well as renewal information for nurses in New York.

Licensing Requirements

Registered nurses in New York must be at least 18 years old, be of good moral character and meet the requirements below:

  • Hold at least a two-year degree or diploma in nursing from a program approved by the New York State Education Department or a program approved by the agency that oversees nursing licenses in another state
  • Complete training in the identification and reporting of child abuse
  • Complete approved coursework appropriate to nursing practice regarding infection control and barrier precautions
  • Submit an application for licensure to the New York State Education Department with the $143 registration fee
  • Have your school of record send official transcripts to the NYSED
  • Register to take the NCLEX-RN exam and submit the fee to Pearson Vue
  • Nurses who are licensed in another state may forgo the NCLEX-RN requirement in exchange for proof of a current license in that state

Renewal in New York

Once a registered nurse is licensed, the license is valid for life unless it is revoked, annulled or suspended. Instead of renewing a license, as in most other states, RNs in New York must fill out a nursing license parchment and a registration certificate and keep that registration up to date. Registration is good for up to three years and will need to be renewed in order to continue practicing. By law, RNs cannot practice with an expired registration.

New York Advanced Practice Nurses

Advanced practice nurses are registered nurses who continued their education to work in a specialized area. The New York State Education Department issues certificates for nurse practitioners to specialize in adult health, neonatology, school health, oncology and a host of other areas. Advanced practice nurse certification is valid for life; however, nurses need to renew their registration certificate every three years. In addition to the standard RN requirements, advanced practice nurses must also fulfill the following:

  • Be currently licensed as a professional RN in the state
  • Graduate from a nurse practitioner education program approved by NYSED or be certified as a nurse practitioner by a national certifying organization
  • Complete pharmacology coursework
  • Complete an application for nurse practitioner certification and submit the $85 fee

For more information about advanced practice nursing licensure and renewal, visit the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions.

New York Nursing: A Look at the Numbers

By nature, nursing is an altruistic career; however, it does have great financial benefits in New York. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for nurses in the state is nearly $10,000 higher than the national average. Salaries and need vary by geographic area, but there’s a need for about 13 percent more nurses statewide between 2012 and 2022. Take a closer look at the top-paying metropolitan areas in New York as well as the state and national comparison for different types of nurses.

Top-Paying Areas for RNs in New York

AreaHourly Median WageAnnual Median Wage
New York-White Plains-Wayne NY-NJ Metropolitan Division$41.25$85,790
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island NY-NJ-PA$40.23$83,690
Nassau-Suffolk Metropolitan Division$39.78$82,750
Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown$33.76$70,210
Buffalo-Niagara Falls$33.18$69,020
Capital/Northern New York nonmetropolitan area$30.23$62,880
Binghamton$30.14$62,680
East Central New York nonmetropolitan area$29.98$62,370
Kingston$29.84$62,070
Rochester$29.02$60,360

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

New York vs. National Numbers

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Nursing Resources in New York

New York Black Nurses Association

In an effort to advocate for Black nurses, the New York Black Nurses Association was formed in 1971 and it participates in campaigns for social justice and health care issues.

New York State Education Department’s Office of the Professions

New York State Education Department’s Office of the Professions is the state agency charged with issuing nursing licenses and setting guidelines for continuing education requirements.

New York State Nurses Association

The New York State Nurses Association is a union organization of about 37,000 nurses who advocate on behalf of nurses. It is the state’s largest union and professional association for nurses.

Nurse Practitioner Association of New York State

The Nurse Practitioner Association of New York State is a nonprofit that aims to promote high standards by empowering nurse practitioners. Members benefit from education and networking opportunities, several publications and the association’s legislative efforts.

Nursing Students’ Association of New York

Founded in 1951, the Nursing Students’ Association of New York assists nursing school graduates into the professional world. It has committees and school chapters in which nursing students can get involved.

School Nurse Toolkit

School nurses in the state of New York can access this School Nurse Toolkit to help provide exceptional quality of care within their schools and districts.

Popular Resources

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