The Best RN-to-MSN Programs in New York

May 28, 2021 , Modified on May 26, 2022 · 0 Min Read

Learn about the advantages of earning an MSN and how to select the best RN-to-MSN in programs NY. Find out about the application process and more.

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The Best RN-to-MSN Programs in New York
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Registered nurses (RNs) looking to increase their income and expand their career options to advanced practice, education, or leadership roles can consider RN-to-MSN programs in New York.

This guide discusses career options, admission requirements, program expectations, and other vital information for finding your ideal nursing master's program in New York.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best RN-to-MSN programs in NY, making it easier to find a program that works for you. Our methodology focuses on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Keep reading to learn more about the best nursing bridge programs in the Empire State, or go straight to our list of the best RN-to-MSN programs in New York.

What Can You Do With an MSN?

Earning an MSN can open many doors in the healthcare field for RNs. When nurses pursue MSN degrees, they often choose specializations. These concentrations typically relate to your preferred client population, the field of care you most enjoy, and subsets like primary or acute care.

Many nurses who pursue MSNs earn advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensure in a specific area of practice. There are many RN-to-MSN programs in New York that offer APRN programs, such as:

  • Nurse anesthetists
  • Nurse practitioners (includes several specialty areas)
  • Nurse midwives

Non-APRN concentrations available for RNs who are pursuing an MSN include:

  • Nurse educator
  • Nursing leadership and management
msn Required

Advanced Nurse Practitioner

The nurse practitioner (NP) track is one of several APRN options available for those with master's-level nursing education. Most programs require 36-60 credits and can be completed in approximately 2-3 years.

The program length and number of required credits vary among concentrations. Examples of roles for NPs include clinical research nurse practitioner, mental health nurse practitioner, and family nurse practitioner.

msn Required

Nurse Educator

Nurse educators teach the ‌skills that nurses need to learn to provide quality patient care. Nurse educators with MSN degrees can work in many settings beyond the classroom, such as hospitals, public health centers, and nursing homes.

These educators also work in the research field to establish standards for evidence-based practice. Examples of careers for nurse educators include staff development nurse educator, infection control coordinator, and diabetic nurse educator.

bsn Required

Nurse Administrator

Nurse administrators apply their education and experience to operational management and leadership roles in the healthcare field. They may manage budget planning, supervise nursing staff, and oversee medical practices. Examples of jobs that nurse administrators may hold include clinical nurse managers, nursing home administrators, or chief nursing officers.
*SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Featured Online RN-to-MSN Programs

What To Look For in an RN-to-MSN Program

There are several factors to consider when searching for the right RN-to-MSN program in NY. Prospective students should research admission requirements, curriculum, percentage of first-time NCLEX pass rates for graduates, and more.

Viewing the admission requirements/prerequisites for each program can help applicants know whether they qualify for admission to particular schools. For example, an active, unencumbered RN license is often part of the admission requirements for nursing master's programs in New York.

Examination of the program curriculum can drive a student's decisions about which program best fits their scheduling needs. The program curriculum can also provide information on how many hours are required for on-campus or in-person attendance, such as clinical practicums.

Researching clinical requirements can inform students whether they can complete practicums in their home state or if they must travel to campus for local clinical placements. Online students should also check if institutions help with setting up clinical placements.

The accrediting bodies for nursing programs in the U.S. are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Accreditation indicates that a program meets quality standards and demonstrates that the school delivers a curriculum that covers knowledge areas needed to pass the nursing licensure exam.

This aspect informs prospective enrollees about how many credits, semesters, and/or months it will take to complete the program. Working students who need to schedule their education around work hours should research program length.

This figure provides information on how successfully the program teaches the information needed to pass the RN board for licensure. Although the NCLEX test for RN licensure is taken at the undergraduate level, graduate students can use the NCLEX pass rate to gauge the school's overall ability to prepare students for nursing practice.

The graduation rate provides prospective students with information on what percentage of students meet all the course requirements for graduation; this statistic can provide an estimate of a person's chances of successfully completing the program.

Applying to an RN-to-MSN Program

When applying to a nursing master's program in New York, you'll want to gather all of the necessary admission materials and make sure you meet any other requirements.

Each candidate must provide proof of current, unencumbered RN licensure in the state of New York, 2-3 references, resume/CV, application with essay or personal statement, and undergraduate transcripts.

Most schools require a 3.0 GPA or higher. However, if you don't quite meet this requirement, other qualifications, such as an exemplary work record or fluency in a second language, can be beneficial. Discuss your case with the admissions staff.

Programs typically require or strongly prefer at least one year of RN experience.

Why Is RN-to-MSN Program Accreditation Important?

Accreditation refers to the third-party review of a program's instructors, curriculum, and percentage of NCLEX-RN pass rates for graduates. When a school or university passes the review process, it becomes accredited. The two most common types of accreditation for nursing programs come from CCNE and ACEN. There are many reasons accreditation of a master's program in New York is important, including:

  • Accreditation demonstrates a high-quality education.
  • Non-accredited school credits may not be transferable.
  • Federal student financial aid may not be granted for non-accredited programs.
  • Students are more likely to receive the knowledge required to pass licensure and certification courses with accredited programs.
  • Higher job prospects may be available after graduating from accredited programs.

Paying for RN-to-MSN Programs in New York

There are several factors that may affect your ability to pay for an RN-to-MSN program in New York, including:

  • The cost of the program
  • Whether out-of-state tuition is required
  • Income and/or ability to work during the program
  • Whether you receive financial support (such as from a parent or relative)

Financial aid programs that may be available for nurses continuing their education to the master's level include:

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Work-study programs
  • Loans (including private loans and federal aid)

Learn More About the Best RN-to-MSN Programs & Schools in New York

  1. Adelphi University

    Garden City, NY

    At the College of Nursing and Public Health, MSN students will learn how to become advance practice professionals, with a particular focus on the nurse practitioner, nurse educator or nurse administrator. specializations. The school has a strong focus on ensuring students achieve all the necessary professional development so that they can become strong leaders in the health care industry. Additionally, the school is committed to helping those students who want to continue on towards a doctoral degree. Nursing education in particular focuses on the theoretical foundations required in nursing to create the better workforce of tomorrow. The school expects all of their graduates to be pivotal in the improvement of health care services, for instance, by evaluating existing nursing practice and implementing new policies. Students must complete a capstone project in order complete the project.

    • Campus: Garden City, NY
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation: CCNE
    • Tuition: $1,055 per credit hour
    • Minimum time commitment: 40 credits for Nursing Administration, 45 credits for AGNP, 46 credits for Nursing Education
    • Online availability: No
    • Degree requirements: RN license, BSN, GPA of 2.75 minimum, undergraduate statistics course, personal statement, two letters of recommendation
    • Programs: MSN Nursing Administration, MSN Adult/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN Nursing Education
    • School Site:  Tuition and Financial Aid
  2. College of Mount Saint Vincent

    Riverdale, NY

    At the College of Mount Saint Vincent, the curriculum of the MSN degree program focuses both on nursing research and nursing theory, as well as various related disciplines. It has been designed to ensure all graduates are able to show they are competent in the role they have selected, that they are able to use theories into practice, that they can take part in research projects, that they are able to influence the overall practice of nursing, that they advance the nursing profession as a whole and, most importantly, that they are able to improve the existing standards of health care.

    Graduates can study towards becoming a nurse practitioner, nurse educator or nurse administrator. Students will learn how to refine their skills in critical thinking, as well as having exemplary scholarly behavior. Graduates are therefore also encouraged to continue their education and achieve a doctorate degree in nursing. The school understands just how high the demand for cost effective, high quality health care nursing for families, individuals and entire communities actually is.

    • Campus: Riverdale, NY
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation: CCNE
    • Tuition: $370 per credit hour
    • Minimum time commitment: 12 core credit hours, plus further credit hours depending on chosen specialization
    • Online availability: No
    • Degree requirements: BSN (although if students do not possess this, they are encouraged to speak to an admissions adviser), GPA of 3.0 minimum, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, RN license, interview, English essay exam
    • Programs: MSN Nursing Administration, Nursing of the Adult and Aged, Adult Nurse Practitioner & Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator
    • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid
  3. Columbia University

    New York, NY

    At Columbia University, MSN students will learn to become advanced clinical nurses, focusing on a certain specialty. They will learn to properly evaluate the health of families and individuals, build relationships in the health care system, take part in research and improve outcomes, and analyze influential issues in nursing as a whole.

    • Campus: New York, NY
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation: CCNE
    • Tuition: $1364 per credit
    • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen program
    • Online availability: No
    • Degree requirements: BSN, GRE, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, resume, prerequisite courses, RN license, interview, TOEFL if applicable
    • Programs: MSN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP), Nurse Anesthesia (ANES), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (PNP), Nurse Midwifery (NM), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMH)
    • School Site:  Tuition and Financial Aid
  4. College of Staten Island - CUNY

    Staten Island, NY

    College of Staten Island has an MSN degree program designed for registered nurses who already hold a bachelor’s degree. Students learn how to become clinical nurse specialists or clinical nurse specialists with a nurse practitioner specialization. The program focuses on the fact that populations are diverse, which is why cultural competency is emphasized. Students will study the foundations found in the science of nursing, advanced pathophysiology, clinical concepts and health policy. The focus is particularly on adults and the elderly and students must then choose a certain direction of study. Here, they will used evidence-based practices and research concepts to become competent, clinical experts. Students are expected to become leaders, educators or consultants.

    The program is offered both part-time and full-time. However, only the full-time students are able to receive grant-funded assistance. Those who complete the program are able to really make a difference to the profession of nursing and, thereby, the health outcomes of patients. Finally, students are encouraged to continue on towards a doctoral degree.

    • Campus: Staten Island, NY
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation: NLNAC
    • Tuition: $405 per quarter credit for residents and $745 for non residents
    • Minimum time commitment: 12 to 21 credits
    • Online availability: No
    • Degree requirements: Transcripts, TOEFL if applicable, immunizations, BSN, RN license
    • Programs: Clinical Nurse Specialist, Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse Practitioner, both with Adult-Gerontological specialization
    • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid
  5. D'Youville College

    Buffalo, NY

    D’Youville College focuses on those nurses who want to make a true difference in clinical practice through leadership and research. Case management, primary care and home health nursing are all areas where new opportunities are emerging. The MSN programs offered by the college have been designed to ensure students’ personal learning needs are met completely. On completion, they will be the best professional nurses in the field, focusing on delivering better health care outcomes for the populations they serve.

    • Campus: Buffalo, NY
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation: CCNE
    • Tuition: $850 per credit hour
    • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen specialization and track
    • Online availability: Some hybrid classes
    • Degree requirements: BSN, statistics course, GPA of 3.0 minimum, RN license, two letters of recommendation, CPR, personal statement, prerequisite courses, one year’s work experience
    • Programs: MSN Community Health (advanced clinical track, education track, management track), MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
    • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid
  6. Daemen College

    Amherst, NY

    Consistent with the stated mission of Daemen College, its nursing philosophy embodies compassion, personal and professional commitment, and lifelong learning. The complexity of healthcare necessitates the presence of registered nurses (RNs) in different levels of practice with a variety of educational backgrounds as crucial members of the health care team. Baccalaureate education is viewed as the foundation for professional practice. Graduate education builds on baccalaureate education through the acquisition of advanced knowledge, skill, and technology proficiency that would facilitate complex decision-making to prepare nurses for independent advanced practice in clinical, education, research, and leadership roles.

    • Campus: Amherst, NY
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation: ACEN
    • Tuition: $930 per credit hour
    • Minimum time commitment: 36 to 38 credits for AGPCNP, 30 credits for NE, 34-36 credits for NEL
    • Online availability: No
    • Degree requirements: BSN, one year’s work experience, statistics course, GPA of 3.25 minimum, RN license, three letters of recommendation, interview
    • Programs: MSN Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, MSN Nursing Education, MSN Nursing Executive Leadership, RN to MSN
    • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid
  7. Dominican College

    Orangeburg, NY

    With expert clinical faculty and a myriad of clinical sites, Dominican College prepares MSN students to fill roles as advanced practice nurses poised to meet the challenges of provision of quality health care in the 21st century.

    The program offers BSN graduates a convenient format in which to obtain their advanced practice degree. Classes are held 1-2 evenings per week and allow nurses to continue their employment while attending school. Some courses are offered in hybrid online format. All students must complete 750 clinical hours in addition to course work. Students have up to 5 years to complete the program. All clinical courses are taught by advanced practice nurses. After successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take a certification exam provided by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

    • Campus: Orangeburg, NY
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation: CCNE
    • Tuition: $25,702 per year
    • Minimum time commitment: 42 credits
    • Online availability: Some hybrid courses
    • Degree requirements: BSN, nursing research and statistics course, RN license, GPA of 3.0 minimum, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, personal statement, interview, liability insurance, health and immunization records
    • Programs: MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
    • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions About RN-to-MSN Programs

Is RN-to-MSN worth it?

For RNs planning to continue their education and pursue master's degrees, it can be a worthwhile pursuit. The additional education can deliver higher wages and many more job opportunities. Nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives can make substantially more income than BSN-level nurses while offering nurses an opportunity to follow their passion.

How long does it take to bridge from RN to MSN?

Bridge programs can vary in the amount of time it takes for program completion, but on average, most enrollees can complete programs within three years of full-time enrollment and up to five years for individuals in part-time programs. Interested nurses can research additional information about RN-to-MSN bridge programs.

What's the highest paid type of nurse in New York?

Nurse anesthetists have the highest earning potential in New York; according to, nurse anesthetists can earn around $258,940. The national average is $239,470.

Can I get my MSN Right after my BSN?

Most RN-to-BSN programs require students to complete specific steps before beginning the MSN portion of the program, including:

  1. Earning a diploma or associate degree in nursing
  2. Passing the NCLEX-RN exam for an RN license
  3. Completing RN-to-MSN admission requirements (which include a current unencumbered RN license and 1-2 years of clinical practice)

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