How To Become A Nurse In New York

New York needs more than 196,000 registered nurses at a time when more of its hospitals are requiring their nurses to have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Gone are the days when nurses did not go to college, but attended nursing schools run by hospitals.

Up until the mid-1980s half of the registered nurses in the country started their careers that way, but as most hospital-based schools closed, community college education became the norm. But things are changing. While New York state has a growing high demand for nurses, getting qualified for a license hasn’t gotten any easier.

The need for degreed nurses has contributed to a surge in enrollment in nursing courses at four-year colleges, because people want to work in New York. The “Empire State” is an exciting place to live and the nursing salaries are attractive. The average salary for a licensed practical nurse (LPN) is $45,000 statewide and registered nurses (RNs) make considerably more at an average annual salary of nearly $70,000.

Office of Professions Licenses Nurses in New York State

New York nursing licenses are granted through application to the state Office of Professions. To be licensed as a RN in the state you must be at least 18, meet the educational and National Council Licensure (NCLEX) examination requirements. LPNs must be at least 17 years of age, have a high school degree or equivalent and also meet education and licensure requirements.

In addition, New York requires all nurses and applicants for licensure to complete coursework and training in identifying and reporting child abuse and be trained in infection control and barrier precautions, including engineering and work practice controls, to prevent the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis b virus (HBV) in the course of professional practice.

To meet the professional education requirement for RN licensure, applicants must have at least a two-year degree or diploma from a program in general professional nursing that is acceptable to the New York State Education Department. LPN requirements are graduation from at least a nine-month program in practical nursing registered by the education department.

More Bachelor’s Degrees Required in New York

A shift in the demand for nurses with bachelor’s degrees has contributed to a surge in enrollment in nursing courses at four-year colleges, particularly those that have opened programs for current RNs to earn degrees. Enrollment in community colleges, the typical path to becoming a nurse, remains strong, but many of those schools are looking for new arrangements, like partnerships with four-year schools, to keep their graduates competitive.

New York has established a task force to address the nursing shortages in the state where the situation has affected the health care of its residents for the past 20 years. The state has raised salaries and offered more benefits to attract more people to the nursing field and provide quality care for the rapidly aging “baby boomer” generation.

Nursing Schools in New York

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Nursing School Locations

Columbia University
116th Street and Broadway
New York, NY 10027
(212) 854-2522

New York University
665 Broadway, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-4500

University of Buffalo
12 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1160
(716) 645-2000

University of Rochester
School of Nursing
RC Box 27061
Rochester, NY 14627

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