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Best Nursing Programs and Schools on Long Island, NY (Campus and Online)

Learn about Long Island’s top accredited nursing schools and find the online or on-campus program that’s right for you.


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With a job growth rate more than double that of the national average, there’s abundant opportunity for registered nurses and other nursing professionals throughout New York State. The Long Island area specifically, with its increase in cancer-related services, new healthcare facilities, and aging population, expects its need for healthcare workers to grow by almost 26% in the next several years.

To help you take advantage of this opportunity, this guide covers the best accredited nursing schools on Long Island that can help you prepare to begin or advance your RN nursing career. You’ll also learn about getting help to pay for your nursing degree and more about the job market for nurses on Long Island. Keep reading to find the online or in-person nursing program on Long Island that can help you achieve your career goals.

Best Nursing Schools and Programs on Long Island for 2024

You’re thinking about enrolling in a Long Island nursing school and understandably, you want to go to the best school possible. But what’s best for you might not be the best for someone else, given your career goals and prior academic and professional experiences. Therefore, we have tried to list the best nursing schools in Long Island for 2024 by examining several relatively objective factors like accreditation, affordability, study options and convenience, and access to quality student support services. Not only do these schools and programs offer a variety of online and in-person programs, but they also show you what to expect from any quality nursing school in the region.

Best Overall Nursing Schools on Long Island

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University is one of four major centers in the State University of New York system and the only one on Long Island. Its School of Nursing hosts one of the most comprehensive nursing programs, both overall and in terms of online offerings.

Pre-RN licensure options include the two-year Basic Baccalaureate Program, a traditional BSN completion program for students with little or no college experience. Students complete two years of general education coursework before starting the program. Applicants with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees are eligible for the 12-month Accelerated Baccalaureate Program that consists entirely of nursing courses. Both BSN programs are campus-based and include all coursework and clinical hours needed to qualify for the NCLEX-RN.

Stony Brook also offers extensive post-licensure nursing options, all featuring hybrid (primarily online with some on-site requirements) formats. These include RN to BSN and RN to MSN programs, traditional MSNs in eight specializations, and post-graduate certificates in seven specializations. Both a hybrid DNP with eight specializations and an on-site PhD are also available.

St. Joseph’s College – Long Island

Private, Catholic-affiliated St. Joseph’s College – Long Island offers several fully-accredited on-campus nursing programs. SJC’s Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing is a full, four-year BSN program for first-time college students. The curriculum includes general education coursework plus one nursing course in the first two years of full-time study followed by two years of nursing courses along with intensive clinical practice experiences at healthcare facilities in the Long Island area.

Current RNs can earn their BSNs through the blended RN to BSN program. All BSN students at SJC can join the school’s BSN Club and enjoy a variety of student support and community service opportunities.

Graduate-level nursing options at SJC-Long Island include MSN programs in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Nursing Education. There’s also an online Advanced Certificate in Nursing Education.

Nassau Community College

Long Island area students looking for a time-saving and cost-effective route to earning both nursing associate and bachelor’s degrees and launching their RN careers can do so through the unique NCC-ESC Multi-Award Nursing Program at Nassau Community College. The entire 124-credit program is designed to be completed with four years of full-time study.

Students first complete 84 credits of general education and nursing courses at NCC, including on-campus labs and clinical placements throughout Nassau County, over the first five semesters of the program. They then are awarded an AAS in Nursing degree. After passing the NCLEX-RN, students complete three semesters of fully-online coursework through SUNY-Empire State College to earn their BSN degrees. NCC remains the student’s home campus throughout the program.

Best Online Nursing Programs on Long Island

Adelphi University

Adelphi University is a private institution offering an associate degree in nursing along with an online RN to BSN. Current RNs can earn their BSN through 33 credit hours of nursing and biology coursework taught over six semesters of part-time study. The degree is entirely online except for 35 clinical practice hours. Students can transfer in up to 34 credits of nursing coursework plus any other applicable non-nursing credits. Additional elective courses needed to reach the 124 total credits required are added to each semester on an individual basis.

Adelphi also offers an online Master of Science in Nursing Education degree open to current RNs with BSNs. The part-time curriculum consists of 32 credits of advanced nursing courses completed over seven semesters.

Molloy College

Molloy College, a private Catholic university, is another major provider of nursing education on Long Island. Distance learning options include a fully-online RN to BSN program that can be completed in a few as two semesters. The curriculum consists of 24 credits of nursing coursework emphasizing public health, population health, and world health issues. The program requires at least 30 credits at Molloy, and students typically transfer 34 credits from their ADN programs. Any additional credit hours needed to reach the 120 must be earned at Molloy.

On the graduate level, Molloy offers several degree programs in blended formats that combine online and on-campus components. These include MSN programs in eight concentrations and a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Farmingdale State College

Long Island registered nurses looking for a convenient and affordable path to earning their nursing bachelor’s degree should consider the RN to BS Completion Program at Farmingdale State College. The program consists of 60 credit hours of general education and nursing coursework. Students transfer in general ed and nursing course credits from their ADN programs. Additional credits needed for the BSN degree may be taken at FSU or another accredited institution. Curriculum requirements are completed through a combination of online courses and a variety of clinical settings.

As a public university, the tuition for FSU’s RN to BSN program is among the most competitive on Long Island. New York residents pay $3,535 per semester if taking 12 credits or more and $295 per credit if taking less.

Types of Nursing Programs Available on Long Island

With an amazing number of nursing schools and programs on Long Island, choosing the right one can be tough. The following descriptions of the most common types of nursing programs on Long Island along with links to program examples of each can help you make the right decision.

Pre-Licensure Nursing Programs on Long Island

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

The ADN offers a quick and affordable path to qualifying for the NCLEX-RN and becoming an RN. ADNs require two years of full-time study and are atypically found at community colleges.

Examples of Long Island Nursing Schools with this Program

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (Traditional BSN)

The traditional BSN qualifies you for the NCLEX-RN and licensure as an RN. It also provides additional general education and nursing coursework beyond the ADN that makes you more attractive to potential employers. Traditional BSN programs are usually offered in a four-year format for students with little or no previous college experience. Alternatively, students can opt for a two-year format that requires two years of general education and other coursework as a prerequisite to admission.

Examples of Long Island Nursing Schools with this Program

Accelerated BSN Programs

Accelerated (Second Degree) BSN programs have been designed for students with bachelor’s degrees in a non-nursing major interested in becoming RNs. Most students complete all the nursing coursework and clinical practice hours needed to sit for the NCLEX-RN in about 12 months of full-time study.

Examples of Long Island Nursing Schools with this Program

Direct-Entry MSN Programs (Master of Science in Nursing)

Students with no previous nursing education but with bachelor’s degrees in other subjects can take a direct-entry MSN program to qualify for the NCLEX-RN in addition to earning their MSNs. Some programs also award BSNs upon completion of the program’s undergraduate requirements.

Examples of Long Island Nursing Schools with this Program

Nursing Bridge Programs on Long Island for Current Nurses

LPN to RN and LPN to BSN Programs

Licensed practical nurses can become registered nurses through either LPN to RN or LPN to BSN programs. LPN to RN programs are available from community colleges, typically require four semesters of coursework, and graduates are awarded nursing associate degrees. LPN to BSN programs are available from four-year colleges and universities, normally require four years to complete, and result in a nursing bachelor’s degree.

Examples of Long Island Nursing Schools with this Program

RN to BSN Programs

Current RNs with nursing diplomas or ADNs can expand their employment opportunities by obtaining a BSN degree. RN to BSN students transfer credits from their previous degrees or diploma programs and earn their BSNs in as little as one year. RN to BSN programs are often 100% online because students will already have the necessary clinical experience from working as an RN prior to enrollment into the RN to BSN program.

Examples of Long Island Nursing Schools with this Program

RN to MSN Programs

RN to MSN programs are for current registered nurses without nursing diplomas or ADNs. RN to MSN programs provide a direct route into advanced nursing specialization and leadership positions without having to first get a separate BSN degree. There is at least one RN to MSN program available on Long Island.

Examples of Long Island Nursing Schools with this Program

Advanced Nursing Programs in Long Island

Traditional MSN Programs (Master of Science in Nursing)

Traditional MSN programs are for registered nurses with BSN degrees seeking to fill advanced nursing practice, educator, administrative, or other leadership roles. Students complete didactic coursework, often online, and clinical rotations corresponding to the chosen area of specialization. Program lengths are typically 18 to 24 months.

Examples of Long Island Nursing Schools with this Program

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PhD Doctoral Programs

Nursing doctoral degrees are for nursing professionals’ intent on filling top-tier positions in the clinical nursing field. The DNP prepares graduates for roles in advanced nursing practice and healthcare administration. The PhD in Nursing is for students seeking career advancement into post-secondary education and medical research.

Examples of Long Island Nursing Schools with this Program

Post-Graduate Nursing Certificates

MSN and nursing doctorate holders can widen the breadth of their professional knowledge by adding a specialized area to their practice through a post-graduate nursing certificate program. These programs are ideal for those who need additional training in a specialized area, but don’t want to spend the time or money getting another nursing degree. As a result, post-graduate nursing certificate concentrations often mirror those offered by a school’s MSN degree programs. Completion times depend on the specialization and its corresponding clinical hour requirements as well as study pace, but 12 to 18 months is common.

Examples of Long Island Nursing Schools with this Program

Financial Aid Opportunities for Long Island Nursing Students

Despite the high earning potential for nurses with advanced degrees, getting a nursing degree can still be prohibitively expensive. Therefore, most nursing students need help with funding their education. Fortunately, there’s a range of financial aid resources available, including loans, scholarships and grants, work study programs, and employer tuition reimbursement programs.

The biggest source of financial aid for most students is the U.S. Government through its federal student loan programs. The federal government also offers loan repayment opportunities for nursing students through the Health Resources & Services Administration. Another great financial aid resource for New York nursing students is the state of New York itself.

To learn more about funding your nursing program on Long Island, check out EduMed’s guides to nursing scholarships, financial aid, and graduating from nursing school debt-free.

How to Become an RN on Long Island: Licensing Requirements

Working as a registered nurse on Long Island or anywhere else in New York State requires that you become licensed and registered through the New York State Education Department (NYSED). If you’re seeking your first RN license, you’ll need to graduate from an RN education program approved by the NYSED or other state or U.S. territory. You must also pass the NCLEX-RN.

Detailed information on New York State RN licensure requirements can be found through NYSED. You can also learn about the steps to obtain New York RN licensure by examination through EduMed’s guide to nursing schools in New York.

Job Market and Earnings for RNs and APRNs on Long Island

Earnings for nurses working on Long Island are strong. With an average hourly wage of $50 and an average annual wage of over $104,860, Long Island RNs make a terrific income. For those with advanced nursing degrees, the wage increases significantly.

The demand for nurses on Long Island is also strong and will remain that way for at least several years. According to this New York State Department of Labor report, demand for registered nurses on Long Island is projected to grow by 22.4% by 2026. The estimates from Projections Central confirm this significant growth and even indicate a growth more than double that of the national average.

How Much You Could Make as an RN or Advanced Practice Nurse on Long Island

Median Hourly WageAvg. Hourly WageAvg. Annual Wage
Registered Nurses$46$46$94,920
Nurse Practitioners$62$64$133,380
Nurse Midwives$58$58$121,050
Nurse Anesthetists$97$105$218,380

Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020, New York-Newark-Jersey City Metro