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 

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

6. SUNY Binghamton Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences (Binghamton, NY)

Since 1969, the Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences has always had an exceptional faculty to train the nurses of the future. But in 2021, the college enhanced its program by moving into a state-of-the-art facility. Sitting on a 15-acre campus, the new building features classrooms, conference rooms, and the Innovative Simulation and Practice Center (ISPC). The ISPC allows students to run through every scenario they will face in their future careers, all with the guidance of their instructors. 

Although this impressive building will certainly bring students into Binghamton, the Decker College endeavors to send their fully trained nurses out into the world. As the center of the Regional Telehealth Education Consortium, the school strives to increase the number of practitioners in rural areas throughout New York and Pennsylvania. 

5. CUNY Hunter College Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing (New York, NY)

The Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing can trace its origins all the way back to the founder of the field, Florence Nightingale herself. The school began in 1873 as the Training School for Nurses, the first such institution in the U.S. Since then, the Hunter-Bellevue School has not stopped growing or innovating, continuing its history of educational excellence. 

That excellence includes pushing the field forward with its Center for Nursing Research (CNR), which trains nurses in new methodologies. Each year, the CNR holds a Best Practices Conference to help students keep up to date on patient’s needs. A commitment to excellence also drives the school’s yearly Advocacy Day, on which students can join with their teachers and other practitioners to investigate the discipline’s legislative fields. 

As these initiatives demonstrate, the Hunter-Bellevue School remains on the front lines of the profession. 

4. Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies (Hempstead, NY)

Hofstra University
Paul Berendsen, Hofstra University, Student Center, CC BY-SA 3.0

There’s no question that nursing is a challenging field, one that requires students to be at their best at all times. So, it’s quite impressive that the Hofstra Northwell School graduates 97% of its undergrads and 100% of its grad students, with 100% of the class of 2018 finding gainful employment. 

These statistics speak to the power of Hofstra Northwell’s PEARLS pedagogy. PEARLS stands for Patient-centered Explorations in Active Reasoning, Learning, and Synthesis. As this acronym indicates, the school emphasizes hybrid case-based learning, which prepares its students for various issues that they will face in their future careers. 

Combining the educational approach of Hofstra University with the resources of Northwell Health, the Hofstra Northwell School has everything nurses need to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow. 

3. University of Rochester School of Nursing (Rochester, NY)

University of Rochester
Tomwsulcer, Campus view at the University of Rochester, CC0 1.0

When the University of Rochester learned that their nursing school had been ranked 26th in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 list of best graduate schools, they were happy but not surprised. After all, they were ranked just as high the year before. 

The school earned that ranking thanks to a program that combines a commitment to diversity with cutting-edge research. According to the Blue Ridge Institute of Medical Research, the school sits at 29 on a list of research support from the National Institute of Health. UR uses these awards to study disparities in HIV treatment for Black and Hispanic women, explore new diagnosis options for adults with cognitive impairments, and much more. 

With these initiatives at their disposal and a program designed to draw from a wide variety of students, the University of Rochester is poised to go even higher in the rankings over the next years. 

2. NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing (New York, NY)

NYU Langone Medical Center
Ajay Suresh, NYU Langone Medical Center, CC BY 2.0

Anyone who enters the field does so out of a desire to serve humanity. But a nice paycheck doesn’t hurt either. For those who would like that extra perk, NYU’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing may be the best pick, where nursing alumni earn the highest median salary among the university’s graduates

While that’s certainly a nice benefit, Rory Meyers focuses on preparing nurses for the health needs of the next generation. That training includes a global perspective, with partnerships across the world in countries such as Ghana and China. 

These features augment an already first-class nursing program, one that features excellent faculty, state-of-the-art resources, and partnerships with some of the best hospitals in the state. With all this and a healthy salary too, it’s easy to see why so many choose Rory Meyers to start their nursing career. 

1. Columbia University School of Nursing (New York, NY)

Columbia University
JSquish, Butler Library Columbia University, CC BY-SA 4.0

Everybody knows that Columbia University is one of the nation’s best colleges, so it’s no surprise that their nursing school sits at the top of this list. In fact, it sits near the top of every list in the country, with U.S. News & World Report giving it 5th place in Best Nursing Schools with MA and Ph.D. programs. 

Established in 1892, Columbia’s nursing school is one of the oldest in the U.S. and the first to become a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for International Nursing     Development in Advanced Practice.

The school shows no signs of slowing down. Mere weeks ago, CU School of Nursing announced plans to open the Center for Healthcare Delivery Research and Innovations, which will expand access to high-quality and safe health care across the U.S. 

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