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Last Updated: February 07, 2021

Best Nursing Schools in New York

As a prospective nursing student, choosing to study in New York provides many options. Whether you choose to study in New York City or elsewhere in the state, you will be able to find the perfect nursing program for you. New York itself is home to over 180,000 nurses. With expected job growth for nurses at a figure of 16% between 2014-2024, this is a great field for prospective students.

Below are the top 10 universities with best nursing schools in New York:

Columbia University

Columbia University is one of the most prestigious universities in the nation and around the globe and is the top university in NY. It has more than 15 schools and a number of research centers and libraries. Getting into Columbia School of Nursing is no easy feat. The admission is highly competitive. Around 90% of the students who get in nursing courses at Columbia University are provided scholarships, fellowships, and financial assistance. The nursing school provides a range of MS and Doctorate programs for students with/without a nursing background. Currently, the Columbia School of Nursing does not provide part-time programs.

MS Nurse Anesthesia - 27 monthsRN with bachelor's degree63$67,000/year
MDE - 15 monthsNon-nurse college degree71 - 74$88,000/year
PhD - 3 to 4 yearsBSN/Master's degree57$22,000 / semester; though funding is provided for U.S. citizens and permanent residents
DNP - 2.5 yearsRN or APRN; BSN or MSN75-80$67,000/year

New York University

New York University is one of the nation's best-ranked nursing schools. The school's Rory Meyers College of Nursing boasts of a number of nursing programs from graduate to postgraduate. Along with the regular BSN and MSN programs, they have a DNP program along with various advanced certificate programs for aspiring students, who want to specialize in a particular field.

Accelerated 15 month Bachelor
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Nursing prerequisite courses
64 advanced credits$28,000 / semester
Second Degree Transfer Program - 2 yearBachelor program in another field61 advanced credits
BSN - 4 yearsHigh school with prerequisite courses128 credits
  • RN license
  • Associate's degree in nursing
  • SAT/ACT test result
  • Bachelor's degree
  • NYS nursing license
  • 1 year experience in the chosen field
  • 3.0 GPA
$40,000 / semester
  • BSN/MSN degree
  • 3.5 GPA
  • NYS nursing license
  • 1 year RN experience

University of Rochester

At number 3 in the state of NY, The University of Rochester's School of Nursing has a variety of nursing programs, including Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral programs along with non-degree and online programs. Currently, The University of Rochester does not provide a traditional BSN/MSN degree but there are a number of options for students to earn their BSN and MSN through accelerated programs and in conjunction with other degrees.

Dual degree - 4.5 yearsEnrolled in another BA/BS degree$25,000 / semester
Accelerated BSN - 1 yearBachelor's in another field$25,000 / semester
RN to BSNRN license; 3 years of nursing education at one of the three Rochester area community colleges$1,200/credit hour
Accelerated MSN for non nurses 3 to 4 yearsBachelor's degree; 3.0 GPA$1,700/credit hour
RN to BS to MS - 3.5 to 4.5 yearsADN; NYS nursing license$1,700/credit hour
DNP - 3 years but based on prerequisitesBSN/MSN; national certification in the chosen advanced practice specialty$1,700/credit hour

University at Buffalo

University at Buffalo at State University of New York is the number 1 public university in NY. The school capacity is around 430 students which makes it very competitive to get an admission. Being a public university, the cost of tuition is way less compared to other top universities.

4 year Traditional BSN3.0 GPA; 12 Prerequisite courses with a minimum of C grade120 credits$6,000 / semester
RN to BSN - 1 to 2 years; Online2.5 GPA; Course in Statistics32 credits$14,000 total
Accelerated BS - 1 year full-time3.0 GPA; 4 - 9 Prerequisite courses with a minimum of C grade59 credits$24,000 total
Master's in Nursing Leadership - 2 to 3 years; Part-timeThis program has been suspended for the year 202141 credits$20,000 total
BS to DNP - 3 - 5 years3.0 GPS; BSN; RN license; 1 year RN experienceAround 90 credits$95,000 total
MS to DNP - 3 - 4 years; Online3.25 GPA; MSN; CRNA/FNP or equivalent license36 credits$38,000 total
BS to PhD - 4 - 7 years3.25 GPA; BSN; RN license79 credits$38,000 total
MS to PhD 4 - 7 years3.25 GPA; BSN; MSN; RN license57 credits$27,000 total

CUNY - Hunter College

At number 3 in New York, Hunter Bellevue College of Nursing (HBSON) of Hunter College is another public school providing state of the art education to the future nurses.

BSN - 4 years3.2 GPA; 30 credits; Prerequisite courses with a minimum of B grade$28,000 - $72,000 total
RN to BS3.2 GPA; 36 credits; ADN; NYS nursing license$4,000 - $10,000 / semester
Accelerated Second-Degree Nursing (A2D) - 18 monthsBS in non-nursing field; 3.2 GPA; Prerequisite courses with a minimum of B grade$14,000 - $32,000 total
MSNBSN with 3.0 GPA; NYS nursing license; basic statistics course and an undergraduate research course$16,000 - $34,000 total
DNP without MSNBS with 3.5 GPA; undergraduate statistics course and a discrete undergraduate nursing research course; NYS nursing license$620 - $1,000/credit hour
DNP with MSNMSN with 3.5 GPA; NYS nursing license$620 - $1,000/credit hour

Tuition and Schools

Tuition varies on a number of factors: New York University has a tuition rate of $28,000 to $40,000 per semester with an average acceptance rate of 2.5%. While New York University’s price tag may scare away some students, it has established itself as one of the top nursing programs in the country. With a large amount of research funding, New York University is a top choice for graduate students. The University of Rochester has a tuition of $30,000 per semester with an admission rate of 5.7%. The University of Rochester has accelerated programs for RN to BSN and RN to MSN. The University of Buffalo is another top school with a tuition of $14,000 to $38,000 total and an admission rate of 9.5%. This is a school that is both affordable and a great option for nursing students since it is a public university. Over 90% of the University of Buffalo’s BSN students pass their NCLEX on their first try.


Requirements for entrance to a nursing program may vary from school to school, but will largely have a similar basis. Some common prerequisites include: Many hospitals are now requiring nurses to earn bachelor’s degrees. A bachelor’s degree in nursing is a maximum of a four-year degree and can be accelerated to complete in as soon as 1.5 years and may lead to more job opportunities.

Beyond a bachelor’s degree in nursing is a Master’s degree in nursing. This is for experienced nurses who may be interested in the following career tracks: advanced community public health, gerontology, nurse-midwifery, family practice, or family psychiatric mental health. An MSN degree prepares students for the certifications in their chosen specialty.

GPAs are an important part of nursing admissions. Some schools require a 2.5 GPA while others require 3.0. The more in demand the school is, the higher the GPA would be. Volunteer work at a local community center or hospital will not only look good on your application but will also give you experience on the career you are going into. Additionally, nursing information sessions and an eligibility review session will be beneficial in determining the best school for you.


The salary of an RN depends upon 3 major factors: Due to the cost of living in New York being higher, a nurse has a higher median salary. The average hourly wage for registered nurses working in New York state is $38, with the average median wage being $80,000. Salary throughout the state varies depending on the cost of living in the area and the setting they are working in. For example, the nurses in an intensive care unit in Binghamton make $70,000 while those in Brooklyn make $87,000. Salaries may vary based on demand as well as experience and the setting they are working in.

Career Options

The career options in nursing are not limited to being a clinical nurse. The opportunities are endless with options in the administrative and nurse educator field. For those who may enjoy nursing but with a different slant, a legal nurse consultant consults on different medical lawsuits. The annual average salary is $63,000. There are plenty of career options for those with nursing degrees. One of the fastest-growing specialties for nurses is a certified dialysis nurse. Job growth in this field is expected to grow by 6% between 2021 to 2031. To become a certified dialysis nurse, you will need 2,000 hours of experience in nephrology and experience with dialysis patients over two years. The annual average salary is $63,500. Other positions include nurse-midwife with an average salary of $79,000, nurse anesthetist with an average salary of $155,000, and nurse practitioner, with an average salary of $94,000. Many of these options may require additional schooling or certification.

New York City or New York State?

If you choose to study in New York City itself, you allow yourself access not only to a densely populated area but also to many potential hospitals to partner with for volunteering or internships. This allows for hands-on practice and experience throughout your college career. New York City has a plethora of fantastic schools, so you will be at no shortage of great nursing programs.

If you are looking for a quieter college experience, you can find that in smaller cities like Albany or Rochester or a quaint experience throughout the lush expanse of the state. While you will be dealing with cold winters and warm summers, you will be within reasonable distance to New York City almost wherever you go.

Nursing degree courses