Best Nursing Schools in NYC

Updated on January 12, 2024

At a Glance

  • Top nursing schools in New York City based on academics, affordability, and career support
  • Columbia University School of Nursing, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, Hunter College School of Nursing, and more

New York City is home to some of the top nursing schools in the country. With a vibrant healthcare industry and access to world-class hospitals, NYC offers unparalleled opportunities for aspiring nurses. Choosing the right nursing program in a city with so many options can be challenging. This guide profiles the 10 best nursing schools in New York City based on academics, affordability, and career support.

Columbia University School of Nursing

Location: New York, NY

Rating: 9.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 3%

Tuition: $59,500 per year

Avg Salary: $80,000

Website: https://nursing.columbia.edu/

The Columbia University School of Nursing is consistently ranked among the top nursing schools in the United States. Its world-renowned faculty pioneers nursing research and leads students to the forefront of healthcare innovation. Columbia Nursing offers MSN, DNP, and PhD programs. With an acceptance rate of just 3%, Columbia maintains exceptionally high academic standards. Graduates earn an average starting salary of $80,000.

New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing

Location: New York, NY

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 3.8%

Tuition: $49,618 per year

Avg Salary: $75,000

Website: https://nursing.nyu.edu/

The Rory Meyers College of Nursing at NYU prepares nurses to be leaders in practice, education, research, and policy. Rory Meyers is the #1 nursing school in the US for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The school offers direct entry MSN, DNP, and PhD options. With a highly selective acceptance rate of 3.8%, Rory Meyers students average starting salaries of $75,000 after graduating.

Hunter College School of Nursing

Location: New York, NY

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 29%

Avg SAT Score: 1250

Tuition: $7,500 per year (in-state)

Avg Salary: $70,000

Website: https://nursing.hunter.cuny.edu/

Located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Hunter College School of Nursing leverages partnerships with world-class hospitals and medical facilities. Hunter Nursing is extremely affordable compared to other top nursing schools in NYC, offering in-state tuition of just $7,500 per year. The school reports average starting salaries of $70,000 for graduates. Hunter School of Nursing offers direct entry MSN and DNP options.

Pace University College of Health Professions

Rating: 8.5/10

Location: New York, NY

Acceptance Rate: 69%

Avg SAT Score: 1200

Tuition: $44,572 per year

Avg Salary: $72,000

Website: https://www.pace.edu/college-health-professions/school-nursing

Pace University in Lower Manhattan provides nursing students with high-tech simulation training through the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce. Graduates have an excellent first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate. Pace School of Nursing reports average starting salaries of $72,000. The school offers competitive tuition rates compared to other private universities in NYC.

Wagner College Evelyn L. Spiro School of Nursing

Location: Staten Island, NY

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 49%

Avg SAT Score: 1200

Tuition: $48,694 per year

Avg Salary: $68,000

Website: https://wagner.edu/academics/programs/nursing/

Located on a scenic hilltop campus on Staten Island, Wagner College maintains rigorous academic and clinical nursing programs. Wagner students train at hospitals across the NYC area. Graduates benefit from the school’s reputation, with average starting salaries of $68,000 reported. Wagner School of Nursing offers an accelerated BSN program and direct-entry MSN specializing as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

The College of New Rochelle School of Nursing

Location: New Rochelle, NY

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 84%

Avg SAT Score: 1000

Tuition: $32,325 per year

Avg Salary: $66,000

Website: https://cnr.edu/school-of-nursing

The College of New Rochelle School of Nursing is transitioning to become part of Mercy College as CNR completes a teach-out process. This small Catholic college offers an accelerated year-round BSN program. Before its planned closure, CNR School of Nursing graduates had excellent NCLEX-RN pass rates and starting salaries around $66,000.

Adelphi University College of Nursing and Public Health

Location: Garden City, NY

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 76%

Avg SAT Score: 1100

Tuition: $39,500 per year

Avg Salary: $65,000

Website: https://nursing.adelphi.edu/

Located in suburban Long Island, Adelphi University College of Nursing and Public Health partners with major NYC hospitals for clinical placements. Adelphi offers direct admission for qualified high school seniors interested in an accelerated nursing program. The school emphasizes hands-on practice through high-tech simulation labs and diverse clinical opportunities. Graduates earn around $65,000 to start their nursing careers.

St. Francis College Nursing Program

Location: Brooklyn Heights, NY

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 68%

Avg SAT Score: 1000

Tuition: $21,500 per year

Avg Salary: $63,000

Website: https://sfc.edu/academics/school-of-health-and-natural-sciences/nursing/undergraduate-nursing-programs

Located in Brooklyn Heights with views of the iconic NYC skyline, St. Francis College provides an affordable path to start a nursing career. Average graduates salaries are $63,000. St Francis maintains an impressive 8:1 student-faculty ratio and smaller class sizes. The school is focused on service learning, training nurses dedicated to community healthcare and advocacy.

CUNY Lehman College Nursing Program

Location: Bronx, NY

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 67%

Tuition: $7,500 per year (in-state)

Avg Salary: $61,000

Website: https://www.lehman.edu/academics/nursing/

Among CUNY colleges, Lehman consistently maintains one of the top-ranked nursing programs in NYC. Nursing students learn through state-of-the-art simulation labs and develop vital skills needed for clinical rotations at Bronx-area hospitals. As a CUNY school, Lehman offers affordable in-state tuition rates under $7,500 per year for New York residents. Graduates earn an average starting salary of $61,000.

Long Island University Nursing Program

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 80%

Avg SAT Score: 1000

Tuition: $40,780 per year

Avg Salary: $58,000

Website: https://www.liu.edu/-!/nursing

Located in downtown Brooklyn, LIU Nursing prepares students for exciting career opportunities in the NYC metro area. LIU offers direct admission to high school seniors interested in nursing. All students complete NYC-based clinical rotations, becoming comfortable working with diverse urban populations. Graduates earn an average starting salary around $58,000.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best nursing schools in NYC?

The top 3 nursing schools in NYC are Columbia University School of Nursing, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, and Hunter College School of Nursing. These schools score highest across academics, admissions selectivity, affordability for in-state students, career outcomes, and reputation.

How much does nursing school cost in New York City?

Nursing school tuition varies widely by program type and school. Top private universities like Columbia and NYU cost over $49,000 per year. Public options like Hunter College and CUNY schools offer much lower in-state rates around $7,500 per year. Accelerated BSN programs also cost more than traditional 2-year ADN degrees.

What is the easiest nursing school to get into in NYC?

The easiest nursing schools to get into in NYC based on high acceptance rates include the College of New Rochelle (84%), Adelphi University (76%), St. Francis College (68%), and CUNY Lehman College (67%). All of these schools admit over 65% of applicants on average.

Which NYC nursing school has the highest NCLEX pass rate?

Columbia University and NYU nursing graduates achieve exceptional NCLEX-RN first-time pass rates over 95%. Hunter (91%) and Pace (88%) also report strong NCLEX pass rates consistently higher than state and national averages. High scores reflect the academic rigor of these top nursing programs.

Which CUNY has the best nursing program?

Among CUNY colleges, Lehman College and Hunter College offer the top-ranked nursing programs in New York City. Both schools leverage partnerships with NYC Health + Hospitals for clinical rotations. Hunter and Lehman maintain strong graduation + NCLEX pass rates for nursing students.

Can I get into nursing school with low SAT scores?

Yes, several quality NYC nursing schools accept students with average or below-average SAT scores. The College of New Rochelle, St. Francis, and LIU Brooklyn have mid-range reported SAT averages near 1000. With strong grades in prerequisite courses, you can offset lower SAT scores during the admissions process.

Is an ADN or BSN better for nursing in New York?

A BSN degree offers more career advancement and higher pay potential than an ADN in nursing. However, many NYC hospitals hire ADN nurses as well. An ADN provides a quicker, cheaper path to RN licensure and bedside nursing jobs initially. You can enroll in an RN-to-BSN program later while working.

How much do NYC nurses earn?

The average NYC registered nurse earns around $82,000 annually as of 2023. Those working in specialized settings or with advanced degrees can earn over $100k. Even at entry-level, new nurses in NYC earn starting salaries averaging $63k-80k depending on experience.

What types of nursing jobs are in demand in New York City?

Hospitals and home health agencies in NYC urgently need nurses with backgrounds in emergency, critical care, oncology, geriatrics, community health, mental health, pediatric care, and women’s health. Opportunities serving diverse, underserved populations are also plentiful.

What are the best hospitals to work at as a nurse in New York City?

Top hospitals for nursing careers in NYC include New York-Presbyterian, Mount Sinai, Montefiore, NYU Langone, Northwell Health, MSKCC, Hospital for Special Surgery, Weill Cornell, and Memorial Sloan Kettering. These nationally-ranked hospitals offer top pay, benefits, training programs, and career advancement.

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Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.