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The Top Online MSN Programs in New York for 2024

A master’s in nursing is a popular academic option for nurses seeking advanced skills and increased pay. Read on to learn about online and on-campus MSN programs in New York.


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Whether you hold an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing, a master’s in nursing is a popular option for working RNs who want to develop their skills, expand their earning potential, and enhance their competitiveness in the job market. New York has several quality MSN programs available online or on campus, offering various academic specializations and pathways ideal for working nurses.

New York has a population of more than 19 million, and companies located in the state are one of the biggest employers of nurses while simultaneously offering some of the top wages in the country. Additionally, the workforce for nurses in the Empire State is projected to grow considerably over the next decade, resulting in a nursing job market ideal for working RNs and career changers.

Here we delve into MSN programs in New York, what you can expect as a student, and how an MSN degree can enhance your career options. We also spotlight several top online and on-campus, New York-based MSN programs.

Continue reading to get started by seeing which school has the best online MSN program in New York for the ’23-’24 school year.

About the ranking


Base Methodology for EduMed’s Best Online College Rankings for the ’23-’24 school year.

One: Create list of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on data pulled from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which was self-reported by the schools themselves.

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least 1 online component in a program within the ranking-subject area.

Two: Assign Weighting

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of metrics, which were all self-reported by the schools themselves to the U.S. Department of Education and IPEDS.

The metrics are listed below in order of most- to least-heavily weighted.

Online Programs – Number of online programs in the relevant subject area.

Online Student % – Number of total students who are enrolled in at least 1 distance-learning course in the relevant subject area.

Tuition – The average in-state tuition for undergraduate students studying full-time, as self-reported by the school.

Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Career Placement Services – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Student/Faculty Ratio

About Our DataEduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2023

# School Name Type Tuition Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 SUNY College of Technology at DelhiDelhi, NY Public $ 1

SUNY Technical College of Delhi has a high quality MSN in nursing administration program. This course is designed for licensed nurses who already have their BSN. The curriculum consists of nursing, business and technology courses and prepare students for a nurse leadership position. Because most students are licensed nurses who work full-time, classes are offered online, either in an asynchronous format or at set class times.

Program Highlights:

Master of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 33
  • Length: 2-3 years
  • Cost: $754/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: CCNE
Faculty Ratio
Student %

Accredited MSN Programs in New York

You’ll find numerous quality master’s in nursing programs in New York. These graduate tracks come in various forms, but the high quality schools offer standout academics at an affordable price, vital student services that support you before you enroll, while you complete coursework, and after you earn your MSN diploma. Continue reading to check out several of the most popular MSN programs in New York.

Mercy College

Located outside New York City, Mercy College is a private institution that offers multiple nursing master’s degree programs. Among these MSN programs is a 36-credit nursing administration specialization that students can complete entirely online. Created for working nurses, this program paves the way for advanced career options and increased earning potential.

Throughout this CCNE-accredited online program, students also have the option to complete some coursework in person if that learning style is preferred. Graduate students complete a mix of core classes and specialization courses, tackling essential topics such as health policy, biostatistics and epidemiology, and strategic planning at healthcare organizations. Before graduation, students complete a 120-hour practicum at an approved location.

Interested graduate students must hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing with an active nursing license. Applicants can apply online and must include official transcripts with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Mercy College’s MSN program does not require GRE scores for admission.

Excelsior University

Established in 1971, Albany’s Excelsior University is a private online institution that offers an online nursing master’s with a specialization in nursing informatics. Ideal for RNs who want to build tech skills to enhance patient care, nursing informatics is a growing field that will continue to expand as various technologies continue to transform healthcare.

In this 36-credit online program, graduate students complete a blend of core nursing classes and specialization courses. Core classes include topics such as the theoretical foundations of nursing practice, transformational nursing, research and evidence-based practice, and policy and population health. Before earning their degree, students complete a program-culminating capstone course that involves more than 200 hours of hands-on training.

Prospective nursing students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited nursing program. Applicants can apply online and must include official transcripts and proof of active RN licensure. This online MSN program does not require GRE scores for admission.

Advantages of Earning an MSN from a New York School

Prospective MSN students in New York might note various reasons for pursuing an advanced degree, but career advancement and earning potential inevitably top the list. And while a student’s reasons for enrolling can vary, MSN students gain several key benefits upon graduation. Keep reading to see how you can benefit from earning an MSN degree in New York.

Expanded Earning Potential

Not only does an MSN degree help students hone advanced clinical and leadership skills, but it can also lead to substantially higher wages. Nationally, RNs earn a median salary of about $78,000 annually, while graduate-degree-holding nurse practitioners earn nearly $124,000 each year. Add in the financial compensation that comes with leadership roles, and the benefits of an MSN degree become obvious.

Specialized Skills

Whether prospective MSN students hold an associate or bachelor’s degree, these programs often rely on a generalist curriculum that prepares them with the foundational skills needed for RN licensure. A master’s in nursing allows them to gain specialized skills. Some common areas of specialization include nurse practitioner, anesthetist, midwife, education, or administration. Throughout their degree, students tackle theoretical coursework and gain extensive hands-on training in a clinical environment.

Leadership Roles

When determining how to expand career options and enhance earning potential, many students look toward leadership and administrative skills. A master’s in nursing is often a prerequisite for leadership positions that often come with significantly higher wages. Nursing leaders may work in clinical environments or help navigate the administrative needs of various healthcare institutions.

Program Checklist: Qualities to Look for in an MSN Program in New York

Choosing the MSN program in New York that’s right for you is a big choice with significant financial implications. Therefore, it’s worth considering various factors when deciding which MSN program to attend. From costs and financial aid to accreditation and program format, prospective MSN programs can differ dramatically. Keep reading as we highlight a few qualities you should consider before you enroll.

State-Approved and Nationally Accredited

When searching for the New York-based MSN program that’s right for you, be sure to prioritize programs that hold ACEN or CCNE accreditation. Accreditation ensures that a school offers quality academics, financial aid resources, and vital student services. Without accreditation, you may not be able to transfer earned credits to another school. You can review accredited programs through the New York State Education Department


Earning your MSN degree typically involves a financial commitment. Prestigious private institutions tend to cost the most, while public schools with in-state tuition rates usually cost considerably less. Take the time to consider cost, financial aid options, and whether a school offers scholarships for MSN students. While tuition rates can vary, online programs allow students to save money on travel and various campus-based fees.

Program Format

MSN programs are commonly available online, on campus, and as a hybrid blend of the two. Some students thrive in an in-person environment, while others rely on the flexibility of online coursework. Additionally, not all online programs are created equally. Asynchronous classes are self-paced, while a synchronous delivery requires you to engage with live online classes via video.

Types of MSN Programs in New York

Traditional MSN

A traditional MSN program is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and an active nursing license. Leaning on teaching opportunities in the classroom and clinical environments, this MSN track can expand career options and earning potential. Traditional MSN programs are available as in-person or online options.

Examples of New York Nursing Schools with This Program

SUNY Empire State College

University of Rochester

Direct Entry MSN

Designed in part to address a nationwide shortage of nurses, direct-entry MSN programs allow students with an unrelated undergraduate degree to tackle an accelerated nursing curriculum. Taking about two years for full-time learners, students often earn their RN licensure after the first year and complete MSN coursework during their second year of study.

Examples of New York Nursing Schools with This Program

Columbia University

Utica University

Accelerated MSN

Accelerated MSN programs in New York allow students to complete their coursework more quickly than traditional tracks. A popular online option, students often tackle classes year-round, with some completing requirements in just one year. In addition to completing MSN requirements quickly, students can save money because they spend less time in school.

Examples of New York Nursing Schools with This Program

City University of New York

University of Rochester


For working RNs wanting to expand their career options, an RN to MSN program can be a flexible and affordable option for those holding an associate degree in nursing. While these programs take a few years because students essentially complete two degrees, the trade-off in earning potential can be dramatic. These programs also prepare students for various leadership roles.

Examples of New York Nursing Schools with This Program

Roberts Wesleyan University

University of Rochester

Dual Master’s

For working nurses, an MSN degree can be leveraged into leadership roles, but some students want to take that a step further. Schools have responded to this by creating dual master’s programs. Alongside an MSN curriculum, popular supplementary master’s tracks include business, public health, and urban policy and leadership. This academic track is ideal for students wanting to jump from clinical roles to positions in the board room.

Examples of New York Nursing Schools with This Program

New York University

City University of New York

Online MSN Programs in New York

In addition to the multiple types of MSN programs you’ll encounter, deciding on the type of online program that’s right for you is a worthy consideration. For many working professionals, an online program offers the flexibility they need to complete the requirements of both work and school. In addition to 100% online programs, many schools use a mix of virtual courses and in-person meetings. Prospective students should search for schools that offer a format that meets their needs.

FAQs About New York’s MSN Programs

What Can an RN with an MSN do in New York?

Like other graduate programs, a master’s in nursing allows professionals to expand current skills, develop new competencies, and learn what it takes to take on leadership roles in healthcare. In addition to gaining access to advanced employment opportunities, MSN graduates often earn more than nurses with associate or bachelor’s degrees. Some common careers for MSN grads include nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives.

In addition to clinical skills, other MSN programs focus on nursing administration and leadership, nursing education, and tech-centric nursing informatics. For nurses wanting to be the top clinicians in their field, many students use an MSN degree as part of their pathway toward a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

How Long Does It Take to Earn an MSN in New York?

The time it takes to earn your MSN degree in New York can vary significantly between programs. And while some programs take longer than others, some factors are in your control. Full-time MSN students will graduate more quickly than part-time students, often completing academic requirements in 18-24 months. And while some students may take three years or more to earn their MSN degree, Roberts Wesleyan University’s accelerated RN-to-MSN allows students to complete undergraduate and graduate requirements in 20 months.

In New York, How Much Do MSN Programs Cost?

The cost of your MSN program in New York varies and is impacted by multiple factors. Whether a school is public or private—and whether you’re paying in-state or out-of-state tuition—is one of the most significant cost factors. The type of MSN program can also influence how much you pay. Students enrolling in an accelerated program spend fewer semesters in the classroom, sometimes saving money as a result.

Even though an MSN degree requires a serious financial commitment, financial aid opportunities can help offset the cost of tuition. Student loans, scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and tuition forgiveness initiatives can go a long way in helping students pay for their MSN degree. We spotlight the tuition rates for a few New York-based MSN programs below.

What Requirements Do I Need to Apply for Admission to MSN Programs in N.Y.?

Like other graduate programs, the admission process for MSN programs can be competitive and often vary between schools. It’s vital that you carefully review the admission requirements for prospective schools. Some schools may require a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, while others only require a 2.75.

MSN programs almost universally require applicants to hold an active and unencumbered RN license. While standardized tests like the GRE were commonplace just a few years ago, using the test as an indicator of academic success has fallen out of fashion at some schools. Even elite schools like Columbia University eschew GRE scores, instead focusing on past academic achievement.

Standard admission requirements for MSN programs in New York typically include the following:

  • Associate degree (for RN to MSN programs) or bachelor’s degree for standard MSN programs
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • GRE Scores
  • A résumé outlining academic and professional experience
  • A personal statement outlining goals while telling your story
  • Letters of recommendation

Is There Financial Aid Available to New York MSN Students?

Just because your master’s in a nursing program can involve a significant financial investment doesn’t mean that you don’t have access to numerous financial aid opportunities. In addition to widely available student loans, students can cut costs through scholarships, grants, and work-study programs. Nursing students may also be eligible for the federal government’s Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program. Be sure to check out our nursing scholarship guide to learn more about scholarships and online resources for nursing students. We spotlight a few New York-based scholarships below to get you started in your search for prospective financial awards.

  • Edna A. Lauterbach Scholarship—This scholarship is awarded each spring and is earmarked for RNs and LPNs interested in pursuing another degree. Applicants must be New York residents and must hold an active nursing license.
  • HRSA Nursing Scholarship Program—This annual award covers the cost of tuition and other school-related expenses for students pursuing a nursing degree. Applicants must enroll in an accredited nursing program and document their financial needs.
  • Elizabeth Schmidt Nursing Scholarship—This annual scholarship awards up to $18,000 that students can use to cover costs over their graduate-level degree. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and plan to complete a nurse practitioner program.

Inside Look at Online MSN Programs in New York

Just because you’re reviewing prospective online MSN programs in New York doesn’t mean that all programs are built the same. For the busy working student, self-guided asynchronous programs allow you to complete coursework at your own pace and on your own time. Conversely, synchronous programs require you to log in and attend live classes virtually. Additionally, some programs use a mix of the two.

If you’re a working RN, you might enjoy the maximum flexibility that asynchronous programs offer. Students who need more structure and benefit from learning that simulates the in-person experience might want to prioritize programs that offer synchronous programming. Regardless of the delivery, online programs require a significant amount of self-discipline. When reviewing prospective programs, many schools, like the City University of New York, offer an online readiness tool to help students determine if an online program is right for them.

Even though you plan to enroll in an online program, be sure to note any on-campus requirements. Some programs require an in-person orientation, while others might mandate intensive campus visits throughout the program. Finally, MSN students should anticipate some hands-on learning requirements at a conveniently located, approved clinical site.

Standout Online MSN Programs in New York

Pace University

Pace University is a private, New York-based institution serving more than 13,000 students annually. For RNs interested in expanding their career options and clinical skills, Pace’s MSN offers a hybrid curriculum where students complete both online and on-campus coursework.

Throughout this 42-credit graduate program, students complete coursework preparing them for the family nurse practitioner certification. Core classes include topics such as pathophysiology for advanced practice nursing, underpinnings of advanced nursing, and leadership for advanced nursing. Before graduation, MSN students complete at least 550 hours of family nurse practitioner practicum experiences.

This hybrid MSN program only accepts applications for fall semesters. Prospective students can apply online and must include a professional résumé, a short essay outlining academic and career goals, and two letters of recommendation. Applicants also submit official transcripts and hold an active RN license.

Mercy College

Based in Dobbs Ferry, New York, Mercy College is a private institution that’s home to various MSN programs, including an online MSN with a nursing administration specialization. This online master’s is ideal for working RNs who want to move from clinical settings to leadership roles.

Throughout this 36-credit CCNE-accredited curriculum, online learners complete a blend of core classes and nursing administration coursework. Core classes include topics such as computer technology, health policy, and research fundamentals in nursing. Before graduation, online MSN students tackle a two-part, comprehensive capstone research project.

Interested MSN degree-seekers must hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Applicants must include official transcripts, a personal statement, and proof of active RN licensure.

Do Employers in New York Accept Graduates from Online MSN Programs?

When you earn your MSN diploma, there is typically no indication of whether you completed the degree online. Additionally, most MSN students already hold RN licensure and are already working in clinical settings. Online programs strive to create an academic environment that mimics campus-based programs while offering the flexibility required by working professionals. While online MSN students complete theoretical coursework online, they still gain extensive hands-on training through practicum experiences.

As one of the largest locations of employed nurses in the United States, New York offers a growing workforce of nurses and higher-than-average wages. In the following section, we delve into the job and salary information for New York-based nurses. Continue reading to see if earning an MSN degree in New York is a solid career choice.

Are MSN Nurses in High Demand in New York?

On the national level, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for registered nurses could grow by as much as 6% between 2022-2032. This translates to the addition of more than 193,100 jobs.

New York ranks third in the number of RNs in the U.S., with more than 197,000 nurses working in the state, and that number is projected to grow. Department of Labor data projects that New York-based RN jobs should grow by 17% by 2031, adding more than 33,000 RN jobs to the workforce. Additionally, those growth numbers are even higher for MSN grads with specializations. In New York, nurse practitioner jobs are projected to grow by nearly 56% by 2031.

While the data makes clear that New York will need nurses over the next decade, looking at government initiatives brings this demand for RNs into a clearer perspective. In 2021, New York announced a scholarship program offering free tuition for 1,000 prospective nurses.

How Much Do New York MSN Graduates Earn?

In addition to being home to a growing nursing workforce, New York offers some top wages for various nursing specializations. While RNs make just over $86,000 annually nationally, registered nurses in New York earn an annual mean wage of over $106,000 per year.

This number grows with graduate-level degrees, experience, advanced clinical roles, and leadership responsibilities. Nurse practitioners in New York earn nearly $143,000 annually, and nurse midwives make over $135,000 each year.

Online MSN programs in New York not only prepare students with clinical expertise and leadership skills, but they also often lead to a dramatically expanded earning potential. These flexible and affordable programs train the next generation of healthcare leaders who are ready to offer compassionate care and build a more equitable healthcare system.