Nursing is one of the few careers that allow individuals to make a living while helping others. The ability to positively impact others’ lives makes nursing a satisfying, rewarding career — it’s no wonder nursing is such a popular field of study.
Online nursing degree programs prepare students to enter the nursing field while allowing the flexibility to fit their studies into their existing schedule. Nursing colleges in New York and other states provide students hands-on experience so they can decide whether nursing is right for them.
Nurses are always in demand; they can’t be replaced with computers or have their work outsourced. As long as people get sick and injured, they will need nurses in hospitals and private practices. A variety of specializations means nurses can choose niches in which they excel to build stable, lasting careers. The information below will help you make an educated decisions on 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 there is some variation. 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 NCLEX, and apply for a license with the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
Choose the Path That's Right for You
To become a nurse in New York, you must complete an RN program and earn at least an associate degree from a school certified by New York, another state or U.S. territory, or a country approved by the NYSED. You must complete child abuse reporting coursework and infection control coursework, both of which are part of RN programs in New York. To register as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, you must complete at least a master’s degree. To teach at the college level, you will need a doctorate in nursing.
Earn Your Nursing Degree
To meet the education requirements for nursing licensure, students may earn an online nursing degree or study on campus at one of the nursing schools in New York or another state. Generally, students complete an associate degree in about two years, while a bachelor’s degree takes three to four years. Accelerated nursing programs in New York allow students to complete their degree sooner. Required clinical courses provide practical experience before aspiring nurses take the licensing exam. Some programs also include fellowships or internships.
Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License
In order to practice nursing in New York, you must pass the NCLEX. If you are already licensed in a different state, you must also pass the State Board Test Pool exam and provide your NCLEX results. The NCLEX must be completed within six hours and may be taken up to eight times per year. Students who complete an RN program in New York should be prepared for the exam. Earning a degree and passing the exam do not guarantee a job, but they do qualify candidates for positions.
Nursing Licensure in New York
To become a licensed nurse in New York, you must pass the NCLEX. This exam is offered to individuals who have completed a nursing degree. Those who have passed NCLEX may apply for a New York nursing license. Most take the NCLEX after earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing; professionals generally pursue more advanced degrees later in their careers.
Regulations regarding practicing outside the state in which you are licensed vary. Check each state’s nursing board to determine whether you qualify to work there. In New York, nurses licensed in other states must pass the State Board Test Pool exam and provide their NCLEX results. They may also be required to take additional courses. New York requires that nurses be educated in child abuse reporting and infection control. New York nursing schools cover these topics, but those in other states may not.
Further information on New York’s licensing process — including specific requirements, fees, and dates — is available at the NYSED website.
Nursing Licensing Costs in New York
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. New York nurses work with patients from unique backgrounds and with a variety of medical concerns. Nurses in the state choose from many specialties, career paths, and licenses, including those for practical nurses, registered nurses, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse practitioners. Completing an on-campus nursing program in New York or an online nursing degree helps aspiring and experienced nurses advance their careers.
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Biggest Hospitals in New York
Hospitals are not the only employers of nurses, but they do employ the most nurses. With nearly 200 hospitals, New York offers a large number of nursing jobs. Hospitals also provide opportunities for internships and fellowships, which are often required during on-campus and online nursing degree programs. 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, competition for nursing positions is fierce.
- 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
This 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 wages and working conditions they need to help their patients.
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. A reduced membership fee is available for nursing students, allowing them early access to publications and policy papers.
Nurse Practitioner Association New York State
The NPA of New York promotes healthcare and empowers nurse practitioners. While nurse practitioners require 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 CFN curates the history of nursing and works to improve the health of New Yorkers by advancing the profession. The CFN relies on donations to pursue its mission.
Nursing Students' Association of New York State
Founded in 1951, NSANYS focuses on nurses in training to help 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
The following database of nursing schools in New York includes all accredited ADN, BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP online programs in the state. Explore New York schools to learn what programs they offer and where they are located to decide which schools best fit your academic goals and personal requirements.