Last Updated: February 1, 2017

Nursing is arguably one of the most important professions, at least in regards to a country’s health.

With an expected job growth figure of 16% between 2014-2024 in the United States for registered nurses, there is obviously a great demand for these skills. This data is courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it exceeds the average expected growth percentage of all types of jobs in the country.

According to BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) data, New York state is third in terms of the number of employed registered nurses (171,880). The hourly mean wage for registered nurses working in the state is $37.96, which translates to an annual mean wage of $78,950. (Based on data released in May 2015.)

If you are already a registered nurse (RN) or have an interest in becoming one, know that the Institute of Medicine has set a goal of having 80% of American RNs complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Many nursing schools are aligning their curriculum towards that goal, and colleges/ universities in New York state are no different.

To help students in their search for a suitable college, this rankings list looks at the most affordable bachelor’s degrees in nursing in New York state. Both full four-year programs and degree completion programs are represented. The former is for anyone without an RN license and who will be first-time undergrads. The latter is for former licensed RNs who hold either a diploma in nursing or an associate’s degree in nursing, thus needing approximately 1-2 years to finish coursework to obtain a BSN degree.

This article narrows search efforts to the 10 most affordable nursing schools in the state. According to recent NCES CollegeNavigator data, there are 54 colleges/ universities offering some sort of bachelor’s of nursing program, minus merged or defunct schools, or programs that are temporarily not accepting applications. Colleges are ranked on the basis of increasing value of in-state tuition.

 

1

CUNY New York City College of Technology

In-State Tuition: $6,669

Website

cuny_city_college_tech

Nursing programs are offered at CUNY New York City College of Technology (City Tech) through the Department of Nursing, which is part of the School of Professional Studies. City Tech has institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The college maintains a range of partnerships with various agencies and organizations, which benefits not only City Tech and their students but also the region.

City Tech offers one Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree completion program, which is designed for students who have completed an associate’s degree in nursing (or equivalent) and are currently licensed. Students who are new to nursing can first take City Tech’s AAS (Associate of Applied Science) in Nursing, or complete an equivalent nursing degree/ diploma at another institution before enrolling in the BSN. Graduates of the AAS have consistently exceeded NCLEX-RN exam pass rates of the New York state average.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nursing (RN to BSN program)

The BSN program prepares students to be generalist nurses who will become leaders and managers in various health care environments. This is accomplished through a combination of didactic and clinical courses. Partnerships with local agencies mean that students participate in experiences that augment their understanding of community and urban health issues. Due to the popularity of the City Tech undergrad nursing programs, the college recommends that interested students apply early for a given cohort.

The BSN degree requires 126-7 credits. Students will receive 60-61 credits for a combination of their nursing license and previous relevant coursework (such as an associate’s degree in nursing). Students with a diploma or coming from a program without credit gained might be admitted by taking and passing the relevant NACE (Nursing Acceleration Challenge Exams) test. Courses in this program are delivered as a mix of on-campus and partially online. The remaining 66 credits worth of program-specific and elective courses can be completed in two years on a full-time basis.

Sample courses include:

  • Interprofessional Communication, Collaboration, and Quality Care in Health and Human Services
  • Management of Patient Care
  • Nursing Research
  • Community Health
  • Women’s Health and Wellness

Graduates of the BSN program are prepared both for advanced degrees, as well as nursing roles in community healthcare, including in management positions.

Campus or HQ: Brooklyn, New York.

2

CUNY Medgar Evers College

In-State Tuition: $6,680

Website

cuny_medgar_evers_college

CUNY Medgar Evers College (MEC) offers nursing programs through their Department of Nursing, which is housed within the School of Science, Health and Technology (SSH&T). MEC is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Institutional accreditation is provided by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The college’s nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Students in some SSH&T programs have the possibility of participating in research projects that may lead to conferences and Dean’s Honor List prizes.

MEC offers one Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree completion program, designed for students with current RN licensure and who hold an associate’s degree or hospital diploma in nursing. Students new to nursing can first take MEC’s AAS (Associate in Applied Science) in Nursing, write and pass the NCLEX-RN exam for licensure, and then apply to the BSN program. Finally, there is a Certificate in Practical Nursing (program) that runs 18 months and prepares students for the NCLEX-PN Practical Nurse exam, which can be upgraded to RN status at a later date through a combination of experience and coursework (AAS LPN to RN Transition Track) — at which point they will qualify for the BSN completion program.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The BSN program has amongst its goals that students gain the skills of a generalist professional nurse, and that they be qualified in nursing leadership and management roles. As well, students will have, with the completion of graduate studies, the basis for advanced nursing roles, including clinical specialist, nurse practitioner, nurse educator, nurse administrator, nursing researcher and others.

Total credits required for completion of this BSN is 120. As admitted students will be RNs with previously completed non-nursing coursework, they receive 60 credits towards the 120. Major requirements and electives take up 42 credits, with the remainder in Flexible Core and other requirements.

Sample courses include:

  • Perspectives on Professional Nursing: Past and Present
  • Health Assessment of the Adult Client
  • Community Health in Diverse Populations
  • Introduction to Nursing Research

Campus or HQ: Brooklyn, New York.

3

CUNY York College

In-State Tuition: $6,748

Website

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CUNY York College (York) offers nursing programs through their Department of Nursing, which is part of the School of Health Sciences and Professional Programs (SHSPP). York is a senior college member of the City University of New York system. Institutional accreditation is through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Nursing program accreditation is through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The college has had several successful alumni, including in various aspects of healthcare.

York offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program with two tracks. The first is a generic track for new nursing students (4-year plan). The second is degree completion track intended for currently licensed registered nurses who hold an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • BS in Nursing (BSN) – Generic
  • BS in Nursing – RN to BSN

The BSN program’s objective is to produce generalist professional nurses who will deliver nursing care in various health care environments, with an emphasis on primary level intervention (illness prevention and health maintenance). Students in the generic track will be eligible to write the NCLEX-RN registered nursing licensing exam following graduation.

The BSN requires a total of 120 credits for completion. Students in the RN to BSN track are granted at least 31 credits for holding an associate’s degree or a diploma. Nursing Major requirements make up 60 credits, with courses earning 2-7 credits each.

Sample courses include:

  • Nursing Process and Pharmacology
  • Health Assessment and Wellness Promotion
  • Values in Transitions: Perspectives of Professional Nursing
  • Pharmacology for Nurses
  • Nursing Process: Nursing Care in the Child-bearing Client/Family System

Campus or HQ: Jamaica, New York.

4

CUNY Lehman College

In-State Tuition: $6,760

Website

cuny_lehman_college

CUNY Lehman College (LC) offers nursing programs through their Department of Nursing, which is part of the School of Health Sciences, Human Services, and Nursing (SHSHSN). LC is a senior liberal arts college in the City University of New York (CUNY) system, with institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Additional accreditation for undergraduate nursing programs is given by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). LC ranked in U.S. News World Report as a “Tier 1” institution (North), and as a Top 40 public college, for four straight years. It also earned the #3 spot in Washington Monthly’s “Best Bang for the Buck in the Northeast” 2015 listing, amongst several other publishers’ rankings.

The Nursing department offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program with four completion paths. The first is a “Generic” 4-year plan for new students. The second is an “Accelerated” version of track #1. The third track is a degree completion program for currently licensed registered nurses. The fourth is an online version of track #3.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science Program in Nursing (Generic)
  • Accelerated (Generic) Nursing Program (BSN)
  • BS for Registered Nurses (BSN)
  • Online Nursing RN to BS

The Nursing department is aligning all of their nursing programs to match the (2010) recommendations of the Institute of Medicine in terms of nursing initiatives, including the goal to increase the percentage of American nurses holding BSN degrees to 80%. Program goals include producing nurses with more than just practice skills, adding research, teaching/ educating, ongoing self-education and more to each graduate’s knowledge base.

The BSN program requires 120 credits for completion. Students taking a track who hold a current RN license and an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing will receive credits towards the total. New nursing students will complete a BSN program after which they are eligible to write the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Please see website or contact Lehman College for specific track requirements, as well as details as to which courses are available online or on-campus.

Sample courses include:

  • Nursing as a Human Science
  • Therapeutic Intervention
  • Ways of Knowing
  • Pharmacologic Basis of Nursing Practice
  • Altered Health States

Campus or HQ: Bronx, New York.

5

College of Staten Island CUNY

In-State Tuition: $6,890

Website

College of Staten Island, main walkway, lamp posts, fountain

Nursing programs are offered by the Department of Nursing, which is part of the School of Health Sciences (SHS) at the College of Staten Island CUNY (CSI). CSI is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Institutional accreditation is granted by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Additional accreditation for CSI nursing programs is provided by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The campus — reputedly the largest for a New York City college — offers a “park-like landscape.”

CSI offers one Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BS) degree as a completion program for currently licensed RNs. Students must hold either an associate’s degree or a diploma in nursing. For students new to nursing who wish to study at CSI, they can first take CSI’s Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Nursing, write and pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam to become a registered nurse, and then apply for the BSN completion program. Course work in the AAS will be applied towards the BSN degree.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • RN to BS in Nursing

CSI’s BSN aims to prepare nurses to meet health care needs for individuals, families and communities, and to contribute towards improving the profession as well as society. Skills gained in the program include health promotion, research, understanding the cyclical nature of the nursing process, and others. Students can take the coursework on either a full- or part-time basis, as fits their work/ life schedule.

This BSN requires 120 credits in total. Incoming students 64 credits in pre-major requirements, typically as part of their completed associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. The RN to BSN portion has a Major requirement of 40 credits, primarily in nursing courses. A number of upper-division courses in the program are being developed for online delivery in the future.

Sample courses include:

  • Pharmacotherapeutics
  • Interpersonal Dynamics for Professional Nurses
  • Health Assessment and Physical Examination
  • Introduction to Research in Nursing
  • Community Health Nursing

Potential career areas for graduates of the BSN include leadership and management roles, as well independent nursing roles. Subsequent advanced studies in nursing (master, DNP, PhD) increases the available opportunities.

Campus or HQ: Staten Island, New York.

6

SUNY Empire State College

In-State Tuition: $6,985

Website

SUNY Empire State College

Nursing programs are offered at SUNY Empire State College (ESC) through its School of Nursing. ESC is a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. It receives institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and nursing program accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). ESC caters to a significant number of working adults pursuing degrees at all levels.

ESC offers one Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, which is an online completion program. Students must have an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and be currently licensed as a registered nurse. ESC has no associate’s nursing program. However, it does offer a Nursing Nondegree Study program that allows students to explore nursing options through select courses. Credits earned will apply towards the BSN program.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN
  • online)

ESC’s BSN program has a number of expected outcomes for graduates. This includes: integration of multidisciplinary knowledge; and understanding of cultural care for individuals, families and communities; ability to promote health-mindedness; use of both evidence and information technology for optimum care; leadership skills; understanding of professional development; legal and ethical aspects of nursing practice, etc.

This program requires 124 credits in total, with 41 credits for upper-division nursing courses. Most courses are worth four credits. Students will receive credit for relevant coursework obtained in pursuit of RN licensing, and can choose either a full- or part-time study option to fit their scheduling needs. Typically, ESC students take course work over 24-36 months on a part-time basis. Nursing courses are online (8- or 15-week sessions), while General Education courses can be taken either online or on-campus (at select New York state locations).

Sample courses include:

  • Educational Planning: Transition to Baccalaureate Nursing
  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Pharmacology
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Health Care Delivery Systems and Policy

Campus or HQ: Saratoga Springs, New York.

7

SUNY Downstate Medical Center

In-State Tuition: $7,074

Website

suny_downstate_medical_center

SUNY Downstate Medical Center (DMC) offers nursing programs through the College of Nursing (CON). DMC is a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Institutional accreditation is granted by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. CON’s nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). DMC has the advantage of a teaching hospital, the University Hospital of SUNY Downstate, where nursing students gain clinical experience in a convenient setting. SUNY Downstate also claims it graduates more physicians than any medical school in the country, and the medical center has a Nobel Prize winner on staff.

DMC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with two completion paths. One track is an accelerated 15-month program for students seeking a BSN and holding a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. The other track is a degree completion program for licensed or nearly-licensed registered nurses who have either an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. DMC does not offer an associate’s nursing program.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Accelerated BS in Nursing (BSN)
  • RN to BS in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The accelerated track’s curriculum moves from professional nursing theory to knowledge acquisition to application in practice. Completion of the program makes graduates eligible to write the NCLEX-RN registered nursing licensing exam. (DMC pass rates for first-time NCLEX test takers have been between about 92% to 100% for the years 2012-2015, exceeding both New York state and national averages in each year.) DMC also has a state-of-the-art Simulation Lab, and nursing faculty with clinical specializations. Students graduating from either track are qualified to apply for any of DMC’s four master’s nursing programs.

The accelerated track has summer start dates only and is a full-time program. Students can transfer up to 65 credits of prerequisites and need to complete 60 credits of nursing courses to obtain the BSN degree. The RN to BSN track is a full-time, one-year/ three-semester program with 16-week semesters and Fall (late August) start dates. Students gain credit from their associate’s degree or diploma, and RN license, towards the BSN degree.

Sample courses include:

  • Professional Nursing Practice in Health Promotion
  • Introduction to Health Assessment
  • Professional Nursing Development
  • Introduction to Pharmacology, Drug Calculation and Prep
  • Principles of Teaching and Learning

Campus or HQ: Brooklyn, New York.

8

SUNY Upstate Medical University

In-State Tuition: $7,279

Website

suny_upstate_medical_university

Nursing programs for Upstate Medical University (UMU) are offered through its College of Nursing. UMU is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system and receives institutional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The university is only one of just over 130 in the U.S. that have nursing programs attached to an academic medical hospital. It is also the only such program in its region.

UMU offers one Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree as a completion program. Students require an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and a current registered nurse license.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

This degree completion program allows current RNs to become familiar with other areas of nursing practice. Students can take advantage of a choice of course delivery modes (face-to-face, blended, Web-enhanced and some online), as well as satisfy their schedule with a choice of full- or part-time study.

The total required credits for this BSN is 121. Students typically have 60 credits completed through their associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. The remaining credits to be completed totals 61, of which 31 are nursing credits and 30 are Arts & Science. A maximum of 12cr of lower-division credits are allowed. Full-time study takes about two years, while part-time takes 4-5 years.

Sample courses include:

  • Comprehensive Health Assessment
  • Conceptual Bases/ Professional Nursing
  • Health Care Policy and Politics
  • Healthy Aging
  • Management in Nursing

Campus or HQ: Syracuse, New York.

9

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

In-State Tuition: $7,759

Website

SUNY Polytechnic

SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) offers nursing programs through the Nursing and Health Professions (NHP) department. The institute is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, with institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The undergrad nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). SUNY Poly has a “high-tech educational” environment and claims to have the most advanced, university-driven research enterprise in the world, with 300+ corporate partners and over $20B in high-tech investment.

SUNY Poly offers a Bachelor of Science degree program with two paths to completion. One track is a degree completion program for current registered nurses holding an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. The other is a special partnership program whereby new nursing students study for four years between two SUNY Poly and another institution and receive two degrees: an AAS (Associate’s in Applied Science) in Nursing and a BSN. (Two additional accelerated BS/MS nursing programs are currently not accepting applications.)

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • BS Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • 1+2+1 Nursing Partnership (combined AAS in Nursing/ BS with Major in Nursing)

Students in the 1+2+1 track start learning hands-on in the second year, at St. Elizabeth College of Nursing (SECON), where they stay through until the end of their 3rd year, before returning to SUNY Poly for the 4th year. While at SECON, students gain 590+ hours of clinical experience. (Students can live on campus at SUNY Poly throughout all four years, but tuition costs will vary depending on where instruction is being taken.) Students in the RN to BSN track have the flexibility of choosing either full-time or part-time studies, as suits their scheduling needs. Courses in this track are available online, although the curriculum follows a hybrid format, allowing for attendance of synchronous classes at the Utica campus.

The BSN degree requires 124 credits in total. For the students in the RN to BSN track, they will need to satisfy 62 credits of General Education/ Arts and Sciences, some of which will have been completed in their associate’s degree (or diploma). In addition, 32 credits of upper division nursing courses are required. See website or contact SUNY Poly for full requirement details for either track.

Sample courses include:

  • Theoretical Bases for Professional Nursing Practice
  • Comprehensive Health Assessment
  • Nursing Theory for Professional Nursing Practice
  • Epidemiology in Nursing
  • Nursing Leadership

Campus or HQ: Utica, New York.

10

Farmingdale State College

In-State Tuition: $7,808

Website

Farmingdale State College

Farmingdale State College (FSC) is home to the School of Health Sciences (SHS), which includes the college’s Nursing Department. FSC is a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides institutional accreditation, while the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) provides additional accreditation for the undergrad nursing programs. Farmingdale claims the title of the largest technology college in the SUNY system (by population), and is considered a top safe campus. It has been listed in a number of publishers’ college rankings, including US News and World Report (Best Colleges in the North 2013-2016), and is in the top 150 public colleges in the U.S. in terms of graduate earning power (2012 Payscale.com).

SHS offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with three tracks. One is a generic track for new nursing students (4-year plan). The second is an advanced-standing track (minimum 3-year plan; Spring start date). The third is a degree-completion track for licensed RNs who hold an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing (minimum 2-year plan; Fall start date).

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Generic)
  • Bachelor of Science Nursing (Advanced Standing/Transfer)
  • RN to BS (for licensed registered nurses)

Graduates of the BSN program learn how to: provide patient-centered, culturally-sensitive, evidence-based care; contribute research and service to society/ communities; use ethical and legal approaches; make clinical decisions; promote health maintenance and more. Students taking either the Generic or Advanced Standing tracks will be eligible to write the NCLEX-RN licensing exam upon graduation — the success of which will designate them as registered nurses. (FSC’s NCLEX-RN pass rates for first-time takers has been 90%, 90% and 94% in the years 2013-15.) Graduates of the RN track will additionally be prepared for advanced nursing roles, including in leadership and management.

FSC’s BSN degree requires a total of 122-126 credits. Students in the Generic track will need to complete a full complement of course requirements. Students in the Advanced Standing track must complete 62-66 credits of Nursing courses, as well as any outstanding requirements to reach at least 122 credits – after transfer/ earned credits are considered. For the RN track, students will complete 32 credits of Nursing courses, and 30-36 credits of Liberal Arts and Science courses. The remaining requirements are likely covered by credits awarded for previous coursework from the associate’s degree or diploma. See FSC website for specific requirement details, depending on the track to which you are interested in applying.

Sample courses include:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Clinical Pharmacology
  • Nursing Care of Children and the Child Bearing Family
  • Modes of Inquiry
  • Care of Individuals Experiencing Chronic Health Challenges
  • Health Promotion and Patient Education

Campus or HQ: Farmingdale, New York.

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