20 Best Nursing Schools in New York – 2024 Rankings

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

In 2017, New York passed a law that requires all nurses to obtain a baccalaureate degree in nursing within 10 years of receiving their initial RN license. (Currently licensed nurses are exempt from this requirement and will be grandfathered into the system at their existing level of education.) Nurse retainment is a big problem in the Empire State; New York nurses have strong unions, which have lobbied successfully for the creation of additional nursing positions that will lower hospital patient-to-nurse staffing levels. Presently, New York is looking at approximately 37,000 nursing vacancies; most of these vacancies are in primary care. Graduates of accredited nursing schools in New York are so sought after that recruiters in New York City are offering perks like apartments and performance bonuses to attract them.



(After closely assessing all nursing schools approved by the New York State Board of Nursing, based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the best accredited nursing schools in New York offering BSN programs.)

1. University of Rochester, Rochester

About University of Rochester School of Nursing: The School of Nursing at the University of Rochester prepares students for health care leadership roles both in professional practice and in research. The School was founded in 1925, making it one of the first nursing education programs offered under the auspices of a major American university. Today, “U.S. News and World Reports” consistently ranks the School among the top nursing degrees in NY. The School is also widely recognized for the effort it puts into recruiting a diverse student body that seeks to include individuals from many backgrounds that have been largely underrepresented in the traditional nursing workforce.

Students spend most of their time in the Helen Wood Hall, which is right across the way from Strong Memorial Hospital and the University of Rochester Medical Center. In addition to classrooms, and faculty and administrative offices, this building boasts a simulated hospital environment where students get to learn and practice the clinical skills that are so essential to a successful nursing career. Students have the chance to perfect their skills at the nursing school’s School-Based Health Centers, which provide comprehensive health services to Rochester schoolchildren in grades 6 through 12, as well as at acute care hospitals and community clinics throughout the region.

Financial Aid: The Financial Aid office works one-on-one with every student admitted into its nursing programs to secure grants, scholarships and other types of support that will minimize student debt upon graduation. The school offers a number of merit scholarships as well as grants for University of Rochester Medical Center employees. Students may also be eligible for federal and state grants upon completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

2. Stony Brook University, Stony Brook

About Stony Brook School of Nursing: Are you passionate about health justice? The School of Nursing at the State University of New York at Stony Brook is known for its activism in the field of social welfare. As one of six professional schools associated with the university’s Health Sciences Center, the School’s high-quality nursing education programs are designed to train aspiring nurses to take the lead in health issues that impact both the local community and the world beyond. The nursing school is located on the East Campus, close to the Stony Brook Cancer Center and Ambulatory Surgery Center, the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital and Stony Brook University Hospital, which is Suffolk County’s only Level 1 Trauma Center.

Students acquire patient skills in a state-of-the-art simulation environment, and they must pass performance tests before they are allowed to participate in hospital and community health center practicums. To keep up with the dynamic pace at which new course materials are presented, every student is encouraged to have access to his or her own personal computer.

Financial Aid: Stony Brook’s nursing school is the recipient of a $2.3-million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services that’s allocated toward need-based scholarships. Additionally, the university offers a number of merit-based scholarships for which nursing students are eligible. Students can also apply for grants and loans by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

3. St John Fisher College, Rochester

About Wegmans School of Nursing: In 1943, three colleges in New York’s Finger Lakes district banded together to offer nursing training for prospective members of the Army Cadet Nurse Corps. That program was the genesis of the nursing education now offered by the Wegmans School of Nursing at St. John Fisher College. Though today St. John Fisher is an independent college, its nursing school still reflects the educational philosophy of its founding Basilian Fathers: “Teach me goodness, discipline and knowledge.”

The School is located in a 41,000-square-foot facility that contains classrooms, video-conferencing-equipped seminar rooms and computer labs. The facility’s showpiece is the 10,400-square-foot Glover-Crask Simulation Center, which contains practice hospital rooms with simulated obstetrics and pediatric units. The School’s Learning Resource Center is another innovative laboratory designed to aid students in improving nursing skills. Students go on to clinical rotations at hospitals, community clinics, elementary schools and other health care providers throughout Rochester and the Finger Lakes district.

Financial Aid: All first-time college students entering St. John Fisher College are automatically considered for merit scholarships. Additionally, scholarships are available for transfer students so long as they have maintained grade point averages of 2.75 or higher at the institution they previously attended. The Nursing School also sponsors a one-time White Coat Award that can be applied toward tuition the first year a student begins the nursing curriculum. Pell Grants, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants and TEACH Grants may be available, too, upon completion of the FAFSA form.

4. New York University, New York

About NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing: If you’re looking for a nursing school in NY that can help you become a high achiever, Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University may well be it. Nursing graduates of this private research university hold leadership positions throughout the nursing profession and make the highest median salaries of all undergraduates who matriculate from NYU. The School is a respected research institution, ranked #11 in funding by the National Institutes of Health; its Global Initiatives team studies nursing practice and outcomes in locations like Ecuador, Rwanda, Tanzania and Lithuania. The School even has its own publication: “NYU Nursing Magazine.”

The College’s nursing education programs regularly earn high marks from “U.S. New and World Report.” More than 1,000 students attend more than 100 learning session each week at the new, 10,000-square-foot Clinical Simulation Center, which was designed to mirror hospital and outpatient environments that students will encounter frequently once they become practicing nurses. Off-campus clinical rotations take place at acute care hospitals, community health care agencies and extended care nursing facilities throughout the metropolitan New York City area.

Financial Aid: Rory Meyers College of Nursing offers 30 endowed scholarships as well as Global fellowships through the NYU Office of Global Awards. Students must complete both the FAFSA and the College Scholarship Service (CSS) PROFILE before they can be considered for these types of financial awards. Students may also be eligible for Pell Grants and other types of federal- and state-funded financial aid.

5. Columbia University, New York

About Columbia University School of Nursing: As part of the Columbia University Medical Center, students at Columbia University’s School of Nursing learn side by side with colleagues in the affiliated medical and dentistry colleges. Founded in 1892, the School is home to the oldest midwifery program in the U.S. It was also the first nursing school to be chosen by the United Nations as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborative Center.

The average age of students accepted into the School is 27 and more than half are ethnic or racial minorities. The School’s new, seven-story building features a 16,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art simulation learning laboratory that’s designed to help students acquire clinical skills in a variety of simulated settings that mirror hospital rooms, exam rooms, patient rooms and a high-tech labor and delivery suite. Students will have the opportunity to hone those skills further through clinical rotations at more than 200 sites around New York City, including major medical centers like New York Presbyterian. The nursing school’s ambitious research agenda is funded through grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and other prestigious agencies and foundations.

Financial Aid: Ninety percent of students admitted into the School of Nursing in 2017 received some sort of institutional financial assistance in the form of scholarships, grants or both. MDE and MDE/DNP scholarships are both merit-based.; needs-based aid is awarded on the basis of information contained in the FAFSA. Eligible student veterans may also qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is funded conjointly by Columbia University and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

6. SUNY Buffalo, Buffalo

About University at Buffalo School of Nursing: When the School of Nursing at the State University of New York at Buffalo first opened in 1936, it was a tiny division squeezed into the School of Medicine. Since then, the School has grown into a nationally lauded program that “U.S. News and World Report” ranks among the best nursing programs in New York and among the top 20 percent of nursing schools in the U.S. With a relatively small enrollment of 430 students, the School is able to offer aspiring nurses personal attention as well as access to the resources of a large, research-focused university.

The School of Nursing is located on South Campus, which is a cluster of classic, ivy-covered buildings interspersed with cutting-edge research facilities. Students practice basic bedside skills in a high-tech simulation lab before pursuing clinical rotations at Buffalo General Hospital, the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), Millard Fillmore Hospital, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University’s other teaching hospitals. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the University’s innovative Remote Area Medical (RAM) program, which brings free health care services to underinsured and underserved individuals in impoverished areas across the U.S.

Financial Aid: The School of Nursing makes more than $180,000 in scholarships available to nursing students through the Helene Fuld Trust Fellowship. Nursing students may apply for funding through the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program, too. Qualified students may also be eligible for merit-based scholarships through the University itself as well as for needs-based financial support from state and federal sources awarded on the basis of FAFSA submissions.

7. Hunter College, New York

About Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing: As befits a nursing school that’s located in the heart of New York City, the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing at Hunter College focuses on educating nurses who will thrive in urban settings with diverse populations. Clinical rotations take place at the NYU Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital, Manhattan campus of the VA NY Harbor Health Care System and a variety of other healthcare settings throughout NYC after students have perfected their skills in the Nursing Simulation Lab on the Brookdale Campus. The School also sponsors The Nurses Writing Project, which is a unique program designed to teach nurses how to use narrative and story-telling to enrich their professional lives.

The School was formed in 1969 when the Bellevue Hospital diploma program merged with Hunter College’s baccalaureate program. The Bellevue Hospital program was founded in 1873 as the first nurse training program in the U.S. to base its educational offerings on Florence Nightingale’s principles. Hunter-Bellevue also operates the Center for Nursing Research, which aims to help nurse scientists through every stage of the research process from study design to publication.

Financial Aid: The Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing offers a number of institutional scholarships that can be based on merit, need or the declaration of a nursing major. Scholarship eligibility can only be established once a valid FAFSA has been submitted, and additional documentation, including the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) form and the Excelsior Scholarship application, may be required. Additionally, students enrolled at Hunter College may qualify for Pell grants and other types of federal and state support.

8. SUNY Binghamton, Binghamton

About Decker School of Nursing @ Binghamton University: In 2020, the Decker School of Nursing at the State University of New York in Binghamton will be moving to the University’s new 8-acre Health Science Campus. Decker, which has been ranked the 7th best nursing school in New York State by Niche.com, is in the early stages of transforming itself into a college of nursing and related health sciences. Decker is committed to preparing skilled nurse clinicians and leaders who promote health and wellness across diverse communities.

Students learn the basics of bedside care in an innovative Practice Center that’s equipped with manikins and clinical decision-making software; they develop their skills further in two simulated hospital rooms that can be configured as an ER, an ICU, a med/surg ward, or a labor and delivery suite. From there, students pursue a variety of clinical experiences, interacting with patients of all ages and cultural backgrounds, at acute care hospitals, community clinics and other health care settings throughout Binghamton and surrounding communities.

Financial Aid: Twenty-six nursing-specific scholarship opportunities are available to students enrolled at the Decker School of Nursing. Students are also eligible for merit-based and donor-preference scholarships awarded by Binghamton University as well as for need-based aid such as Pell grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants determined by their responses to Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.

9. Adelphi University, Garden City

About Adelphi College of Nursing and Public Health: With day, evening and weekend classes throughout the year, Adelphi University’s College of Nursing and Public Health is designed to meet the needs of aspiring nurses who are looking for a way to integrate their nursing education with the other aspects of their busy lives. The College was founded in 1943 to help train nurses for the U.S. war effort. A new, 100,000-square-foot building is under construction that will include classrooms, seminar rooms and high-tech simulation labs when complete. In the meantime, students have access to CESil Clinical Education and Simulation Lab, which is equipped with a 22-bed lab, seven clinical exam rooms, high-fidelity and low-fidelity manikins, and two classrooms fully set up for web conferencing.

The College believes that experiential learning is the best model for imparting new skills. Nursing students learn by participating in clinical rotations at local hospitals such as Winthrop-University Hospital and by one-one-one mentoring with experienced nurses at facilities such as North Shore University Hospital and St. Francis Hospital. The College has also formed strong, collaborative partnerships with leading health care organizations.

Financial Aid: Merit-based scholarships are available to graduate and undergraduate students who attend Adelphi College of Nursing and Public Health. New students are automatically considered for these scholarships upon acceptance to the University. Need-based University grants may be made available as well upon completion of the FAFSA form. Additionally, students may also be eligible to receive Pell grants and other forms of state and federal financial aid.

10. Molloy College, Rockville Centre

About Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing @ Molloy College: The Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing at Malloy College is another one of several nursing colleges in NY that’s located on Long Island. Students who attend this school are taught that nursing is both a science and an art. Malloy College was founded by the Dominican Sisters of Amityville in 1955, and its nursing school was first accredited in 1969. Though the School accepts students from all religious backgrounds, its humanistic approach to nursing practice is grounded in Catholic tradition and principles. The School maintains a low 8:1 student/faculty ratio so that students can benefit from mentoring and personalized instruction.

Instruction takes place in an ultramodern, 50,000-square-foot building that holds classrooms, meeting areas, nursing simulation laboratories, a computer laboratory, a telepresence room, a healing garden and a second-floor roof garden. This new Barbara H. Hagan Center has been designed and constructed with a focus on environmentally sound building principles. Nursing labs provide students with the opportunity to participate in actual scenarios that enable them to develop critical thinking skills and confidence. Once they’ve acquired basic clinical skills, students pursue clinical rotations in a variety of inpatient settings throughout Long Island.

Financial Aid: Nursing students are eligible for support through the nursing school’s multi-million dollar endowment for nursing scholarships. Entering students who will be attending the School fulltime may be eligible for full- or partial-tuition scholarships upon completion and submission of FAFSA and TAP applications. Scholarships in combination with need-based aid from New York state cannot exceed tuition charges. Additionally, nursing students may qualify for needs-based aid through institutional Malloy College grants as well as through federal and state funding sources.


(After closely assessing all nursing schools approved by the New York State Board of Nursing, based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the best accredited nursing schools in New York offering ADN programs.)

1) Hudson Valley Community College - Troy

Hudson Valley Community College’s nursing education plays a vital role in serving the health needs of New York by ably training graduates to provide efficient nursing care. Rigorous didactic and clinical training in a variety of settings prepares students to work in any kind of clinical setting. The two-year ADN program is offered as a part-time and full-time option. While you can join the nursing workforce in just two years with the full-time option, the part-time schedule stretches to four years, allowing a more comfortable pace. You can complete this 64-credit curriculum either as a non-nursing student or enter directly into the second year of the coursework if you are a licensed LPN.

2) Rockland Community College – Suffern

If entering the healthcare field as a nurse is your calling, then completing an RN program in New York can be a good idea. The student-centric learning environment of Rockland Community College caters to the professional as well as the personal goals of its students. Its ADN program requires completing 68 credits in four semesters. The program ends with an NCLEX review course, which is a five-day course that reviews the nursing curriculum, thereby thoroughly preparing you for the RN licensure exam. To further your professional skills each nursing course is suitably complemented by simulation learning and clinical experiences.

3) Cayuga Community College – Auburn

If you are interested in becoming an entry-level nurse, then completing an ADN program at Cayuga Community College will prepare you with the required skills and knowledge to work in a variety of healthcare settings. The college offers the program in fall every year and allows a maximum of three years to complete the 64-credit coursework. To earn your degree, you must maintain a minimum grade of “C” in all the nursing courses. If you wish to progress to a four- year college, Cayuga has articulation agreements with a-number-of colleges that will smoothen the transfer process.

4) Jefferson Community College – Watertown

A career as a registered nurse can be rewarding in terms of salary and personal fulfillment. Jefferson Community College’s two-year nursing education is known for its excellent pass rates on the NCLEX-RN and successful job placements in clinical facilities across the state. Its ADN program is designed to kick start a career in nursing by honing essential professional skills in patient care, teamwork, and communication. Depending on your life schedule, you can choose from either a part-time or full-time option. With the college being well-equipped with a clinical simulation laboratory, didactic sessions aptly go with hands-on practice experiences, thereby preparing you for employment, soon after you graduate.

5) Clinton Community College – Plattsburgh

Clinton Community College’s nursing education is a blend of the science and art of nursing care. This two-year nursing program aims at preparing graduates to practice evidence-based nursing in an interdisciplinary healthcare environment. The 64-credit coursework takes you through courses in nursing, social and behavioral sciences, and science. Also, the program requires you to complete a one-credit elective course, either in any HPE activity course or in Spanish for healthcare. Upon graduation, you will be eligible to take the licensure exam and work as a registered nurse in a variety of community health agencies.

6) Queensborough Community College – Bayside

Queensborough Community College combines extensive clinical experiences with well designed didactic nursing courses. An offering since 1967, the program has a track record of training competent nurses who are proficient in providing patient care. The college is highly selective in its admission process, and to enhance your chances of admission, you must successfully complete the pre-nursing coursework. LPNs can directly enter into the second year of the program by passing two examinations that will test their past nursing knowledge. If you are seeking baccalaureate education, the college offers three dual programs with Hunter/Bellevue School of Nursing, CUNY School of Professional Studies, and York College, allowing you to earn a BSN along with an ADN.

7) Maria College – Albany

If you aspire to become an RN in New York, then completing Maria College’s ADN program that comes with flexible scheduling options can be given a thought. With extensive clinical experiences at some of the prominent healthcare facilities in New York, students are exposed to an array of clinical settings that prepares them for the real-time challenges a nurse faces. You can either enroll for the day or evening program and complete the 66-credit curriculum as per your convenience. The program is open to both students coming from a non-nursing background as well as LPNs. Once enrolled, the small-sized classes that facilitate close interaction with faculty make learning at the college a rather enriching experience.

8) LaGuardia Community College - Long Island City

A registered nurse serves patients in a variety of settings, from ambulatory facilities to schools and from hospitals to industry and community agencies. LaGuardia Community College’s ADN program prepares you for a promising career as a registered nurse with its 66-credit curriculum that comprises both general education and nursing courses. The nursing courses mainly cover the fundamentals of nursing, psychiatric mental health nursing, medical-surgical nursing, parent-child health nursing, medical-surgical nursing, and nursing leadership. The program is also open to licensed PN’s who can directly enter into the second year of the program. The LPN to RN track begins with a bridge course that prepares the base for the nursing courses.

9) Onondaga Community College - Syracuse

If you are planning to earn an associate degree and, at the same time, seeking a smooth transition into a bachelor’s program, then OCC’s nursing program can be given a thought. This two-year program in New York offers an option of dual admission, where students can easily transfer their credits to SUNY Upstate Medical University and further their education by pursuing the BSN. The 64-credit curriculum is designed to ensure students develop excellent clinical skills by laying a strong emphasis on scientific know-how and nursing theory. You can complete this course at your own pace either full-time or part-time, but a maximum of three-years is allowed to complete your entire coursework.

10) New York City College of Technology – Brooklyn

New York City College of Technology's associate in applied science degree trains students to provide patient-centric nursing care by applying the latest techniques and technology. The curriculum is designed based on Watson’s philosophy and theory of human caring in nursing. Along with rigorous classroom learning, you will get the opportunity to practice your clinical skills at City Tech’s state of the art laboratory and other healthcare facilities. What’s more, your clinical sections are taught by adjunct faculty who currentl


Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.

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