The 10 Best Nursing Schools in New York

It’s no secret that we’re living in precarious economic times. But one field continues to grow in demand and pay rates. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for nurses will increase by 7% over the next year, with an average salary of $75,300. Nursing remains one of the most important fields of study. More than even doctors, nurses play a frontline role in caring for patients, coordinating with family, and preparing physicians. 

With such an important job, future nurses should take special care in choosing the school in which they’ll learn their trade. Fortunately, the Empire State offers plenty of options. One can learn their trade in the hustle and bustle of downtown New York City, enjoying all of the nightlife, culture, and food that you can get in the greatest city in the world. For those who would prefer to buckle down and focus on their studies, the state features several top-notch schools in more rural areas. 

As one of the most ethnically and economically diverse states in the union, New York gives future nurses access to a wide range of people with whom they can learn their craft.

But which school should they choose? There are lots of factors that go into that decision, including location, faculty, and concentration. To start making the decision, one can look at the Nursing Schools list provided by U.S. News & World Report, one of the most respected higher education lists in the world. 

And, of course, you’re taking another great step by reading this article. We’ve followed the U.S. News rankings (in the case of a tie or an unranked school, the editorial team at College Gazette judges the tiebreaker or the placement of the unranked school), but we’ve fleshed out each description with more information – everything you need to make your first steps toward a personally (and financially!) rewarding career in nursing. 


10. SUNY Polytechnic Institute (Utica, NY)

SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Polytech1, Oriskany Hall, CC BY-SA 4.0

Ranked in the top 15 in Northern Regional Universities, SUNY Polytechnic Institute is best known for its engineering and technology programs. But its nursing program is one of the best in the state. 

The school offers two nursing programs to students, letting them choose the option that best fits their needs. In the “Dual Degree (1+2+1) Nursing Program,” recent high school graduates can earn two degrees in four years. As its name suggests, the “Associates to Bachelors Degree Program” lets nurses who already have an associate’s degree complete the requirements for a BA through an online curriculum. 

These online resources work in tandem with the hands-on experience given to students, both in the classroom and in hospitals. With a combination of first-rate lab resources and instructors working in the field, SUNY Polytechnic Institute trains nurses in value-based care through “innovation, technology, collaboration, and caring.” 


9. CUNY College of Staten Island (New York, NY)

CUNY College of Staten Island
CUNY Academic Commons, College of Staten Island Campus, CC BY 2.0

As its motto declares, the College of Staten Island (CSI) was founded to provide students with “opportunity and challenge.” No academic program within the college better embodies that mission than its nursing department. With tracks for students looking for AA, BA, or MA degrees, CSI prepares nurses ready to face the challenges of modern life. 

CSI’s nursing program strives to help students develop professionally and personally, encouraging their technical knowledge and their ability to care for the whole patient. The approach has earned CSI accolades, including placement among U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of Best Grad Schools. 

But perhaps the best sign of the program’s success can be found in the work of its alumni. In 2021, the Arnold P. Gold foundation selected RN and CSI grad Alexa Zuffante as one of its Champions of Humanistic Care.


8. Adelphi University College of Nursing and Public Health (Garden City, NY)

For over 75 years, Adelphi University has trained nurses to be both knowledgeable practitioners and dedicated community members. Their group-focused teaching keeps students together in cohorts, which builds a team mindset and allows them to learn from one another. This method makes nurses take a holistic approach to medicine, using every tool available to care for patients. 

With such innovative and collaborative techniques, it’s no surprise that AU has earned national recognition. U.S. News & World Report gives the school high rankings, including placing the Nursing Program on its list of Best Grad Schools

Even more importantly, AU’s success can be measured by the actions of the nurses it trains. Just this year, 100% of the cohort of nursing students focusing on mental health passed the board exam. There’s no better proof that AU prepares students for their future careers. 


7. Molloy College Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing and Health Sciences (Rockville Center, NY)

Falling in line with Molloy College’s liberal arts focus, the Hagan School operates according to a philosophy of humanistic clinical practice, which believes that “every person, as a biological, psychological, sociological, spiritual, cultural being, has an innate potential for self-actualization in a dynamic universe.” 

To achieve these goals, students in the nursing program are trained as well-rounded learners in all aspects of liberal education, including the humanities and soft sciences. 

The Hagan School meets these ambitious goals with small class sizes of eight students to each faculty member and 250 clinical partnerships for hands-on training. As a result, the school earned a 2020 first-time pass rate on the NCLEX of 91.65%, and a top departmental rating on CollegeFactual.com. 

The Hagan School’s commitment to caring for the whole student creates nurses committed to caring for the whole patient, physically and emotionally. 

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