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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There are a lot of reasons Bryant & Stratton College is the place to get an education. From the personal attention you receive from instructors that stay after class to make sure you are on the right track.


  • BS Nursing Generalist
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Locations: Syracuse

Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

* Programs vary by location

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  • Medical Assistant
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Locations: Erie

New England Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit, co-educational technical university offering over 50 Associate in Science, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree programs. As a leader in technical career education in southern New England, New England Institute of Technology (also known as New England Tech or NEIT) is committed to providing hands-on technological programs that prepare graduates for positions of leadership in the technical, industrial, business, and allied health communities. Most of our associate degree programs can be completed in as little as 18 months, and bachelor’s degree programs in as little as three years. Last year, over 3,000 students chose New England Tech for the hands-on laboratory and classroom training that provides the necessary skills to begin their technical careers.


  • Nursing BS, Bachelor of Science
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Locations: Warwick

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.


  • RN to BSN (licensed RNs only)
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
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  • B.S. in Nursing (Registered Nurse - R.N. to B.S.N)
Advance your career with an education from Mildred Elley. We offer a variety of degree and certificate programs for careers in the business, health, legal, computer, beauty, and travel industries.


  • Practical Nurse (LPN)-CERT
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Locations: Pittsfield

Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.


  • Nursing (RN to BSN)

Get a hands-on education at Lincoln Tech. Designed for today’s tough job market, our in-depth programs cover many fields including: Health Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Hospitality, Automotive Technology, HVAC Technology and Electrical Systems Technology. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. Programs vary by campus.


  • Medical Assistant
Locations: Edison
  • BSN completion program for Registered Nurses is available entirely online.
  • The RN to BSN program is designed to help students advance their career, or prepare for post-graduate opportunities.
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Over 450 Long Island companies have hired our graduates in the past year.

Hunter Business School was founded in 1972 for the purpose of providing quality career training through intensive and innovative programs.  Hunter Business School’s mission is to provide students with the opportunity to receive a high quality education for the career best suited to their ability, interest and ambition.  We are an educational environment characterized by high expectations and staffed by professionals who are knowledgeable, compassionate, creative, supportive and effective.


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Locations: Medford

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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