New York Nursing Programs

Overview of New York Nursing Needs

In terms of education and job opportunities, New York State is an excellent location for nursing students. Home to approximately 20 million people (and rising), New York has 143 nursing schools to choose from–four of which rank as the best in the nation. Job prospects for nurses are also varied and abundant, and the New York-White Plains region (when combined with metropolitan New Jersey) hires more Registered Nurses than any other area in the US. This region also hires the most Home Health Aides and the second most Nursing Assistants in the country.

Job and education prospects aside, the state’s crown jewel, New York City, maintains its reputation as a world-class destination offering the best in art, theatre, shopping and dining. In addition, this city’s position as a leader in finance, publishing and cultural diversity also assures a wide variety of economic resources for New York State as a whole. Some smaller cities choose to focus on industry-specific incomes; Ithaca, for instance, is a major education hub for both Cornell University and Ithaca College.

Job Outlook for NY Nurses

At 8.4%, New York’s unemployment rate is currently above the national average. However, some industries are doing better than others and healthcare jobs are on the rise both in-state and nationally, according to the US Department of Labor. As in the rest of the country, New York RNs can expect to find the most job options in surgical hospitals such as Buffalo General Hospital, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and The Mount Sinai Medical Center. Positions in physicians’ offices, home health care, and nursing homes are also on the rise.

In New York there are currently 166,950 working RNs in the state. An average annual wage for a Registered Nurse in NYS is $74,100, with some of the highest state wages in Northern New York and the Buffalo/Rochester region. Home Health Aides are also high in demand; New York hires the most in the country (currently 123,260 jobs), though at approximately $10.21 per hour the average wage in NY is lower than in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

No matter how and where one ultimately pursues a nursing career it is wise for students to consider these key things while gaining an education:

  • As the need for nurses increases, so does the need for nursing educators.
  • Many states are actively seeking RNs with BSN degrees and higher.
  • Specializing can increase one’s potential, though relocating may become necessary.
  • Advanced degree nurses are often sought in underserved regions, particularly those with prescriptive authority.

Average Nursing Salaries in New York:

Data from BLS 2011 10th Percentile 25th Percentile 50th Percentile
Registered Nurses $49,860 $60,450 $73,130
Licensed Practical Nurses $31,300 $36,060 $43,810
Nursing Aides $21,500 $26,330 $32,530
Home Health Aides $16,200 $17,540 $19,910

Licensing in New York for Nursing

To practice legally in the state of New York all nurses must hold a valid NY license, as well as any required certifications for their particular healthcare role. There are three specific license requirements–one for Licensed Practical Nurses, another for Registered Nurses, and a third license for Nurse Practitioners. In addition, Nurse Practitioners must be certified within their own field of expertise, be it Geriatrics, Gynecology, Community Health, or the like.

Licensing is acquired upon graduation and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Unlike many other states in the US, New York does not comply with the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), so nurses licensed in other state are not permitted to practice in NY.

RNs and LPNs should refer to the New York State Board of Nursing website for the most pertinent information, whereas Nurse Practitioners will find the best information at the New York State government website.

Nursing Programs in New York

New York state offers some of the very best nursing programs in the country, according to the US & World News ranking system. Among the 143 nursing schools to consider, Columbia and New York University both rank #21, and the University of Rochester ranks #32 in the nation for nursing. Also in the top hundred, nationally, are the University of Buffalo and Pace University (both tied for #79).

Among the many programs to pursue, nursing students may seek the following degrees:

  • Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse
  • LPN to RN
  • RN to BSN (and Accelerated RN to BSN)
  • Masters in Nursing (includes specializations such as Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesia, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, and more)
  • Doctor of Nursing and PhD in Nursing