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. Colleges and universities in New York state are no different.
Related: Most Affordable Online Schools
What kind of Nursing Degree in New York should you get?
To help students in their search for a suitable college, this ranking 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.
How much money can you make with a Nursing Degree in New York?
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.
What are the Most Affordable Nursing degrees in New York?
This article narrows your search efforts to the Most Affordable Nursing Schools in New York. 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. Our data comes from online sites, the National Center for Education Statistics‘ IPEDS database, U.S. News and World Report, and PayScale.
See our rankings methodology page.
CUNY New York City College of Technology
In-State Tuition: $6,669
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).
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. Sample courses for the BSN include:
- Management of Patient Care
- Nursing Research
- Community Health
- Women’s Health and Wellness
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.
CUNY Medgar Evers College
In-State Tuition: $6,680
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. 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. 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
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.
CUNY York College
In-State Tuition: $6,748
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. 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. Sample courses for the 120-credit-hour BSN include:
- Nursing Process and Pharmacology
- Health Assessment and Wellness Promotion
- Values in Transitions: Perspectives of Professional Nursing
- Pharmacology for Nurses
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.
CUNY Lehman College
In-State Tuition: $6,760
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 ranked in U.S. News World Report as a “Tier 1” institution (North), and as a Top 40 public college, for four straight years.
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. Here’s a look at a few sample courses:
- Nursing as a Human Science
- Therapeutic Intervention
- Ways of Knowing
- Pharmacologic Basis of Nursing Practice
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.
College of Staten Island CUNY
In-State Tuition: $6,890
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. Accreditation for CSI nursing programs is provided by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
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. Sample courses include:
- Interpersonal Dynamics for Professional Nurses
- Health Assessment and Physical Examination
- Community Health 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.
SUNY Empire State College
In-State Tuition: $6,985
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. Sample courses include:
- Educational Planning: Transition to Baccalaureate Nursing
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Nursing Informatics
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.
SUNY Downstate Medical Center
In-State Tuition: $7,074
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. 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.
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. Sample courses include:
- Professional Nursing Practice in Health Promotion
- Introduction to Health Assessment
- Introduction to Pharmacology, Drug Calculation and Prep
- Principles of Teaching and Learning
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.
SUNY Upstate Medical University
In-State Tuition: $7,279
Nursing programs for Upstate Medical University (UMU) are offered through its College of Nursing. Nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The university is only one of just over 130 in the United States 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. 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, as well as satisfy their schedule with a choice of full- or part-time study. Sample courses include:
- Comprehensive Health Assessment
- Conceptual Bases/ Professional Nursing
- Health Care Policy and Politics
- Management in Nursing
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 12 credits of lower-division credits are allowed. Full-time study takes about two years, while part-time takes 4-5 years.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
In-State Tuition: $7,759
SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) offers nursing programs through the Nursing and Health Professions (NHP) department. 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. Sample courses include:
- Theoretical Bases for Professional Nursing Practice
- Comprehensive Health Assessment
- Nursing Theory for Professional Nursing Practice
- Epidemiology in Nursing
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.
Farmingdale State College
In-State Tuition: $7,808
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. 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 U.S. News and World Report (Best Colleges in the North 2013-2016).
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). Sample courses include:
- Clinical Pharmacology
- Nursing Care of Children and the Child Bearing Family
- Care of Individuals Experiencing Chronic Health Challenges
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.