A career in nursing allows individuals to make a living while helping others. Online nursing programs prepare students to enter the nursing field and are flexible enough for busy learners. Nursing students complete hands-on training and gain knowledge necessary for entry-level positions in the field.
Nurses are always in demand; employers can't replace nurses with computers or outsource their work. As long as people get sick and injured, hospitals and private practices need to hire nurses. Most nurses choose a specialization to build stable, lasting careers. The information below will help you make an educated decision about where and how to study nursing.
How to Become a Nurse in New York
The process of becoming a nurse is similar in most states, but specific requirements do vary. To be licensed and registered in New York, aspiring nurses must prove they are of good moral character, be at least 18 years old, have met or be completing the education requirements at an accredited school, have passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), and apply for a license with the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
1. Choosing the Right Path for You
Aspiring nurses in New York must complete an RN program and earn at least an associate degree from a NYSED-approved school in New York, another state or U.S. territory, or another country. Candidates must complete coursework in child abuse reporting and infection control. To register as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, candidates must complete at least a master's degree. Students who plan to teach at the college level need a doctorate in nursing.
2. Earn Your Nursing Degree
To meet the education requirements for nursing licensure, students may earn an on-campus or online nursing degree from one of the nursing schools in New York or an out-of-state institution. Generally, students complete an associate degree in about two years, while a bachelor's degree takes 3-4 years. Accelerated nursing programs in New York allow students to complete their degree more quickly. Required clinical courses provide practical experience to prepare aspiring nurses for the licensing exam. Some programs also include fellowships or internships.
3. Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License
To practice nursing in New York, you must pass the NCLEX. Candidates licensed in a different state must pass the State Board Test Pool exam and provide NCLEX results. Candidates must complete the NCLEX within six hours and may take the exam up to eight times per year. Earning a nursing degree and passing the exam do not guarantee a job, but they do qualify candidates for positions.
Nursing Licensure in New York
Candidates must pass the NCLEX to qualify for nursing licensure in New York. Candidates must hold a nursing degree to take the exam, and after passing the NCLEX, candidates may apply for a New York nursing license. Most candidates the NCLEX after earning an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing; professionals generally pursue more advanced degrees later in their careers.
Regulations about practicing outside the state in which you are licensed vary. Professionals should check each state's nursing board to determine whether they qualify to practice there. In New York, nurses licensed in other states must pass the State Board Test Pool Examination and provide their NCLEX results. They may also need to take additional courses. New York requires nurses to have completed coursework in child abuse reporting and infection control. New York nursing schools cover these topics, but programs in other states may not.
Further information on New York's licensing process -- including specific requirements, fees, and dates -- is available on the NYSED website.
Nursing Licensing Costs in New York
State Requirements By Nursing Type
To practice as a registered nurse (RN) in New York State, professionals must hold licensure through NYSED. RN candidates must be of good moral character and must be at least 18 years old. Applicants must provide information about any criminal convictions, pending charges, or professional misconduct. NYSED decides on a case-by-case basis whether criminal charges or other wrongdoing prohibit an applicant from becoming licensed.
Prospective RNs in New York must hold an associate, bachelor's, master's, or nursing diploma from either a NYSED-recognized program or an out-of-state program with approval from that state's licensing board. NYSED also recognizes some nursing programs in other countries. RNs in New York must have completed coursework in child abuse reporting and infection control.
Candidates for licensure must pass the NCLEX-RN exam. To qualify for the exam, applicants must first submit an application for licensure and a $143 fee. Each applicant's school must provide proof of education to NYSED. Applicants can then register for the NCLEX exam through Pearson VUE. Nurses who have passed the exam and obtained licensure in another state must submit an application, a fee, and verification of out-of-state licensure.
In New York, a nursing license is valid for life, unless it is suspended or revoked. However, nurses must renew their registration every three years to continue practicing.
Aspiring certified nurse aides (CNAs) in New York must complete an approved training program and pass an exam, after which they can practice and be listed on the nurse aide registry. Students can review a list of the state's approved CNA training programs on the NYSED Office of the Professions website. RNs, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and graduate nurses -- graduates of postsecondary nursing programs who have not yet obtained a license -- also qualify for CNA certification.
All applicants must pass the New York State Nursing Home Nurse Aide Competency Examination, except LPNs, RNs, and certified nursing assistants licensed in other states. The exam consists of two parts: a clinical skills exam and a written/oral exam. The clinical skills portion is a hands-on assessment of five skills related to caring for nursing home patients, while the written or oral exam includes 60 multiple-choice questions that test overall nursing knowledge. Applicants must pass both exams within two years of completing their training, and candidates can attempt each test up to three times. Prometric handles certification and testing for CNAs in New York.
The fee to take the clinical and written exams is $115, while the fee for the clinical and oral exams is $135. Nursing homes in New York must cover training and exam costs for employees. Nurses who pay their own fees and secure a job in a nursing home within one year of taking the exam can receive partial reimbursement from the state for their training and testing fees. The nursing home nurse aide certificate is valid for 24 months.
In New York State, licensed practical nurses must be 17 or older and of good moral character, and they must meet education and examination requirements. To judge each applicant's integrity, NYSED asks four questions regarding criminal charges, criminal convictions, professional misconduct, and recent terminations. Positive answers to any of these questions do not necessarily preclude an applicant from becoming licensed.
LPNs can satisfy education requirements in several ways. They may complete an LPN or RN program registered by NYSED as license-qualifying. They may complete an NYSED-approved education program offered by the U.S. Armed Forces, so long as the program lasts at least nine months. Applicants may also complete an out-of-state LPN program that is recognized by that state's licensing board, and NYSED recognizes some foreign programs. In addition to basic education requirements, LPNs must complete infection control coursework, which all NYSED-registered programs include. All LPNs must take infection control coursework every four years, unless they qualify for an exemption.
Prospective LPNs in New York must pass the NCLEX-PN, a national exam for practical and vocational nurses. The exam costs $143 and covers four topics: safe effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. Nurses licensed in other states do not have to take the exam, but they must provide proof of professional education and of out-of-state licensure. LPNs must re-register every three years.
NYSED certifies NPs to practice in 16 specializations, including family health, oncology, and holistic care. NPs may become certified in more than one speciality area, but they must apply separately for each certification. NPs in New York State must have an RN license and must meet additional education and experience requirements.
Candidates for NP licensure can satisfy professional study and experience requirements in two ways. They may graduate from an education program recognized by NYSED or may earn NP certification from one of seven national certifying organizations, including the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the National Certification Corporation. All of these certifying organizations require NP candidates to hold a master's degree.
In addition, NPs in New York must complete pharmacology coursework. Programs NYSED approves as NP-qualifying include this coursework. Candidates who graduate from other institutions must complete three semester hours of pharmacology coursework, take an equivalent combination of courses, pass an NYSED-approved pharmacotherapeutics exam, or pass a national certification exam for physician assistants or nurse midwives.
NPs must renew both their NP and RN registrations every three years. Since they practice one of the most advanced types of nursing, practicing certified NPs must enter into a collaborative practice agreement with a physician. To prescribe medications, an NP must obtain authorization from the New York State Department of Health, the U.S. Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Career Outlook for Nurses in New York
New York is home to nearly 20 million people, and nurses are in high demand, especially in dense urban areas such as New York City. Nurses in the state work with patients from unique backgrounds, who have a variety of medical concerns. New York nurses choose from many specialties, career paths, and licenses, including those for practical nurses, registered nurses, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse practitioners. Aspiring and experienced nurses can advance their careers by completing an on-campus nursing program in New York or an online nursing degree.
Employment Data For RNs in New York
According to the BLS, RNs in the U.S. earn a mean annual salary of $73,550. Those in the 10th percentile of earners make about $49,000 per year, while RNs in the 90th percentile earn more than $104,000. Salary potential depends on the professional's experience, industry, and geographic location.
According to the BLS, the average salary for RNs in New York is $83,450 per year, significantly higher than salaries of nurses in most other states. New York boasts the country's third-highest employment rate for registered nurses, with more than 180,000 RNs currently practicing in the state. More than 122,000 of these nurses work in the New York City metropolitan area, making it the metropolitan area with the highest employment for RNs. In addition, RNs in the New York City metropolitan area, which includes White Plains and Jersey City, earn about $91,000 per year, well above the national average.
Most RNs work in hospitals, physicians' offices, home healthcare services, and nursing care facilities. The most lucrative industries for RNs are pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, accounting services, and the federal government, all of which pay RNs average salaries of about $90,000 per year.
Employment Data For CNAs in New York
According to the BLS, the 1.4 million nursing assistants in the U.S. earn a mean annual wage of $28,540. Nursing assistants in the 90th percentile of earners make $38,630 annually, while those in the 10th percentile earn about $21,000 per year. Nursing assistants employed by the federal executive branch, scientific research and development departments, and higher education institutions earn more than those in most other industries. Assistants in these industries earn average salaries of $34,000-$39,000 per year.
New York State has the country's second-highest employment level for nursing assistants, with about 95,000 nursing assistants practicing in the state. Nursing assistants in New York earn the second-highest mean salary in the country, at $35,080 per year.
Many nursing assistants in the state choose to practice in the New York metropolitan area. Due to the area's high population density, nearly 70,000 nursing assistants work there. Aides in the New York City area earn nearly $35,500 per year.
Employment Data For NPs in New York
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are among the top-paid nursing professionals in the country, due to the position's advanced skills and experience requirements. Salaries for nurse practitioners range from $75,000-$145,000, and the average annual salary for NPs is about $107,000. Nurse practitioners working in personal care services and consulting services earn the highest salaries, averaging $139,460 and $132,200 per year, respectively.
About 13,500 nurse practitioners work in New York State, more than any other state except California. In addition, nurse practitioners in New York earn an annual mean salary of more than $117,000, considerably more than NPs in most other states.
Nurse practitioners who work in or near New York City often earn higher salaries and have more job opportunities than NPs in other areas. More nurse practitioners work in the New York City area than in any other metropolitan area in the United States. More than 9,000 nurse practitioners work in the New York metropolitan area, where NPs earn average salaries of more than $125,000 per year. New York City is the most densely populated area in the state and has a high concentration of hospitals, doctors offices, and clinics.
Biggest Hospitals in New York
Hospitals employ the largest number of nurses. With nearly 200 hospitals, New York offers many positions for graduates of nursing programs. Hospitals also provide opportunities for internships and fellowships, which many on-campus and online nursing degrees require. Because of the high pressure and large number of patients in hospital settings, hospital experience helps nurses stand out when applying to positions in private practice or clinics.
- New York-Presbyterian Hospital: Located in New York City's Upper East Side, this is one of the largest and best-rated hospitals in the state. With more than 2,300 beds and more than 108,000 admissions per year, the hospital employs a large number of nurses.
- Mount Sinai Hospital: One of the most famous hospitals in New York, Mount Sinai is located next to Central Park and has more than 1,100 beds. The hospital serves nearly 60,000 patients per year and is highly ranked for its performance and staff. As a teaching hospital, Mount Sinai is a great place to apply for fellowships and internships.
Additional Nursing Resources in New York
- NEW YORK STATE NURSING ASSOCIATION: NYSNA is New York's largest union and professional organization for nurses, representing more than 40,000 New York professionals. The association ensures nurses have access to the salaries and working conditions they need to help patients.
- ANA-NEW YORK: Launched in 2012, the New York branch of the American Nurses Association improves healthcare, promotes best practices in nursing, and provides professional development for registered nurses. The organization offers a reduced membership fee for nursing students and provides early access to publications and policy papers.https://www.nysna.org/
- NURSE PRACTITIONER ASSOCIATION NEW YORK STATE: The NPA of New York promotes healthcare and empowers nurse practitioners. While nurse practitioners must complete more training than RNs, they are often at the forefront of nursing trends. The NPA's advocacy benefits all nurses and patients.
- CENTER FOR NURSING: Part of the Foundation of New York State Nurses, the Center for Nursing curates the history of nursing and works to improve the health of New Yorkers by advancing the profession. CFN relies on donations to pursue its mission.
- NURSING STUDENTS' ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK STATE: Founded in 1951, NSANYS supports nurses in training. The organization helps responsible, motivated, and accountable students become leaders within the nursing profession. NSANYS chapters exist at schools throughout the state.
Accredited Online Nursing Programs in New York