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ADN Programs in NYC: Top Campus & Online

Learn about state-approved nursing associate degree programs that can help you become a licensed RN in NYC quickly and affordably.


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Street signs for fifth avenue and west 33rd street in a bustling city area with buildings and construction in the background, under a hazy sky.

Like the rest of the country, New York City faces its own challenges trying to get enough nurses to meet the rising demand for healthcare. To help illustrate, the latest data anticipates a nearly 25 percent growth for new RN jobs in NYC from 2018 to 2028, making it a good time to enter the field if you are considering nursing as a career.

Traditionally, many new RNs have come from four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs. But it doesn’t require a four-year degree to become a registered nurse in New York City. Prospective nurses can instead complete one of the many approved ADN nursing programs as they provide the education and skills needed to step into an in-demand nursing position in only two years. Read on to learn about top ADN programs in NYC, the advantages these programs have over other degree options, and what you can expect once enrolled.

Best ADN Programs in New York City in 2024

To help you with your nursing school search, we’ve identified some of the top state-approved, accredited ADN nursing programs in New York City. The three schools spotlighted below set the standard for ADN programs in New York City by scoring top marks in areas like curriculum quality, affordability, and study flexibility. See if one has what you’re looking for, or simply use them as a starting point for your NYC nursing program search.

New York City College of Technology

Located in Brooklyn, City Tech provides an associate degree in nursing that prepares graduates to take the NCLEX-RN exam and become RNs. The program consists of 66-67 credits and typically requires two full years of study before graduating. Required coursework includes medication calculations in nursing, caring for clients with complex alterations in survival and functional needs, foundations of caring, and caring for clients with chronic alterations in human needs.

Applicants must submit a passing score on the Kaplan Integrated Testing Program and provide TEAS exam scores. In addition to the class and clinical training requirements, students at City Tech must participate in at least six hours of community service each semester.

LaGuardia Community College

LaGuardia Community College offers an associate in applied science in nursing that meets the requirements for NCLEX-RN and New York nursing license eligibility. In addition to 23 credits of core classes, students admitted to the clinical phase complete an additional 43 credits. Required core courses include medical surgical nursing, concepts in pharmacology and nutrition, psychiatric mental health nursing, and parent-child health nursing. These courses are offered on campus in daytime sessions, with each lasting 12 weeks.

Applicants must provide TEAS scores of 58.7% or higher to be considered for admission. As of 2020, the program achieved a 100% NCLEX-RN exam pass rate. In addition, 88% of graduates found employment and/or engaged in continuing education.

Borough of Manhattan Community College

Students seeking learning flexibility may find that Borough of Manhattan Community College best meets their needs. To meet the needs of busy students, they can choose from full-time and part-time ADN programs as well as those offered on evenings and/or weekends. The program also has articulation agreements with schools in both NYC and New York state for students looking to continue into a four-year nursing program and earn a bachelor’s degree.

MBCC’s ADN program includes coursework in fundamentals of patient care, obstetrical and psychiatric nursing care, pediatric and basic medical-surgical nursing care, and professional issues in contemporary nursing. In addition to externship opportunities, the department also provides a tutoring lab, a nursing skills laboratory, and extensive library resources. Interested students must take the Kaplan Admission Test at BMCC to be considered for admission.

Advantages of ADN Programs in New York City

ADN programs in NYC offer several advantages to nursing students, especially for those deciding between different options like CNA, LPN, or four-year BSN programs. We look at four key advantages below of choosing an ADN program in New York City.

  1. Faster and cheaper than 4-year BSN programs.

Most ADN programs in NYC require just two years of full-time study, yet allow graduates to seek RN licensure. In contrast, BSN programs take twice as long and generally result in the same job opportunities immediately after graduation. Then, there’s the fact that because community colleges routinely offer ADN programs, tuition also tends to be far less than at major four-year universities. For instance, per-credit tuition for NYC residents at LaGuardia Community College is currently $210 for NYC residents (it’s $320 for non-residents), while students at New York University can expect to pay $1,583 per credit.

  1. Higher starting pay and salary ceiling vs. other entry-level healthcare roles.

As the table below demonstrates, registered nurses earn substantially more than other entry-level healthcare occupations, especially those in allied health. While medical assistant and licensed practical nurse training programs typically take a year or less, staying in school for just 12 months longer can more than double your yearly earnings. Registered nurses can also take on more advanced responsibilities, which also adds to salary potential.

Entry-Level Annual Pay Experienced Annual Pay
Registered Nurses $82,520 $117,730
Licensed Practical Nurses $52,240 $67,280
Medical Assistants $37,500 $51,700

New York State Department of Labor; 2022

  1. Strong demand for registered nurses in New York City.

According to the New York State Department of Labor, jobs for registered nurses in NYC are projected to grow by more than 24 percent through 2028, leading to nearly 20,000 new positions. In addition, just more than 6,600 existing jobs will open each year because of current NYC-based registered nurses changing positions or retiring. This makes a career as a registered nurse fantastic for those seeking job stability. They can rest assured that nursing roles will continue to flourish and expand for the foreseeable future.

New Jobs Job Growth Rate Avg. Annual Openings
19,100 24.3% 6,610

Source: New York State Department of Labor; 2018-2028

  1. Opportunity to move into more advanced nursing careers in the future.

After working in the field for several years, some RNs decide to update their credentials. Several schools throughout NYC offer nursing education programs designed to help RNs advance their careers by taking on more responsibility and therefore earning more money. Examples include the RN-to-BS program at Hunter College CUNY and the online RN-to-MS in nursing education at CUNY School of Professional Studies. This latter program is ideal for RNs interested in becoming APRNs, or advanced practice registered nurses.

Inside Look at Online ADN Programs in New York City

Students seeking flexibility may be interested in attending an online ADN program in NYC. While no school currently offers a fully online associate degree in nursing, several have hybrid programs. These allow students to take foundational coursework and theory classes via distance learning. As for the in-person clinicals, they can be completed at an approved healthcare facility close to where the student works or lives.

At Excelsior College, for example, students can enroll in eight-week, fully-online courses. Another option is the ADN program at the Swedish Institute’s College of Health Sciences, which not only has online classes but also provides every student with an iPad to make virtual learning even easier.

FAQs About ADN Programs in New York City

What nursing knowledge and skills do you learn in ADN programs in New York City?

Completing one of the many ADN nursing programs in New York City provides a foundational understanding of nursing principles and practices for nursing licensure and work as a registered nurse. ADN programs, like the one at Saint Paul’s School of Nursing, typically cover topics such as foundations of nursing concepts, professional trends in nursing, microbiology for health-related sciences, and obstetric and neonatal nursing.

Another example, Manhattan Area Technical College, features classes for increasing skills and knowledge in areas like management of patient care, nursing across the lifespan, and bloodborne pathogens. Students also participate in clinical rotations to build real-life experience before graduating.

How much do ADN programs cost in New York City?

The cost of ADN programs in New York City varies based on several factors. Students attending public colleges as in-state or in-city residents will typically enjoy the lowest tuition rates. In contrast, students who are non-residents or attend a private school can expect to pay the highest tuition. In addition to tuition costs, you must also factor in associated fees, textbooks and supplies, exam costs, nursing uniforms, and other related expenses. The tuition rates for three of the top ADN programs in New York City below give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.

New York City College of Technology

AAS in Nursing

Total Credits: 66-67

$305/credit (resident); $620/credit (non-resident)

LaGuardia Community College

AAS in Nursing

Total Credits: 66

$210/credit (NYC resident); $320/credit (non-resident)

Manhattan Area Technical College

AAS in Nursing

Total Credits: 52


Can I get financial aid to help pay for my ADN program in New York City?

Of course, and most students do. After finding a program with affordable tuition, you can start searching for scholarships, grants, and other programs to help lower costs. For instance, the state of New York offers a variety of scholarships open to learners attending a community college, including those within the CUNY system. The state’s Higher Education Services Corporation also provides a NYC loan forgiveness incentive program. Students also should make sure they understand how financial aid works and be sure to access the full array of ADN scholarships available to those enrolled in an NYC educational program. And don’t forget that even if you don’t get a scholarship or other form of gift-based aid, you’ll probably be eligible for one or more student loans.

How long do ADN programs in New York City take to finish?

Most ADN nursing programs in New York City require about two years of full-time study. If enrolled as a part-time student, it usually takes three years to earn an ADN. Students with LPN or CNA training can typically meet the ADN curriculum requirements in 18 to 24 months. Students in an accelerated option may be able to graduate in as few as 12 months. At the New York City College of Technology, for example, students complete a semester-long introduction sequence before launching into the ADN program. They’ll complete five semesters, including one taken during the summer, after their first year.