The Best RN-to-MSN Programs in New York

Updated November 28, 2022

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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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, Salary.com

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.

  1. 1

    Admission Requirements

    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.

  2. 2

    Program Curriculum

    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.

  3. 3

    Clinical Experience

    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.

  4. 4

    Accreditation

    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.

  5. 5

    Program Length

    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.

  6. 6

    School NCLEX Pass Rate

    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.

  7. 7

    School Graduation Rate

    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.

  • Admission Materials

    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.

  • GPA Requirement

    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.

  • Other Requirement

    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 The Best RN-to-MSN Programs in New York

University of Rochester

  • Rochester, NY
  • 4 years
  • Campus

University of Rochester appeals to learners with a bachelor's in nursing who want to earn an affordable master's degree. The school's on-campus RN-to-BS-to-MS program emphasizes high-level academics and practical experience. Many financial assistance offerings are available to help make the degree even more affordable.

The degree costs New York students $51,705 annually. About 81% of degree-seekers at the school use financial aid such as scholarships and grants. School information shows that about 44% of enrollees take out loans to help fund their program.

A master’s degree can open doors to more advanced careers than a bachelor’s alone. Graduates leave the program with a credential that can lead to managerial and leadership jobs. Another option is a Ph.D. or other terminal degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$55,040
Out-of-state
$55,040
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
30%
Students Enrolled
12,233
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#2 The Best RN-to-MSN Programs in New York

New York University

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

New York University is a private college recognized for its graduate degrees. Learners interested in pursuing a master’s can choose from 201 programs. Faculty teach a rigorous and accredited curriculum that ensures enrollees receive advanced career preparation.

The master's in nursing, among the top-ranked degrees available on campus, may especially appeal to students interested in the nursing field. Coursework offers the advanced training that enrollees need to prepare for roles in management and research. Degree-seekers can access numerous campus resources for graduate students, including careers services to help them find a job.

Enrollees pay an annual tuition of $33,408. Degree-seekers can receive monetary awards to help foot their tuition bill. The school awards loans, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid to 52% of learners. The college reports an overall 85% degree-completion rate.

Average Tuition
In-state
$50,684
Out-of-state
$50,684
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
16%
Students Enrolled
52,885
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 The Best RN-to-MSN Programs in New York

Le Moyne College

  • Syracuse, NY
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in nursing may want to explore the master of science in nursing from Le Moyne College. The Syracuse-based school offers a master's in nursing that ranks highly for academic and career preparation. Financial aid helps make this degree accessible to those without the means to pay out of pocket.

Tuition for New York students costs $16,524 per year. An average of 100% of degree-seekers reduce tuition by using scholarships and other financial aid. Financial packages also include loans, received by 59% of enrollees.

A master’s degree builds on bachelor’s-level knowledge, producing highly skilled nursing professionals. Master's graduates can also command higher wages as they pursue management and leadership positions. Degree-holders interested in high-level research positions and jobs in academia may choose to pursue a doctorate.

Average Tuition
In-state
$34,230
Out-of-state
$34,230
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
3,326
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
2% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 The Best RN-to-MSN Programs in New York

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

  • Utica, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

SUNY Polytechnic Institute attracts learners with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, preparing them for enhanced career opportunities. The graduate school is one of the best in the state and offers a catalog of 12 master's degrees in a variety of majors. The master's in nursing education offers enrollees a traditional graduate school experience that includes scholarship, professional development, and networking opportunities.

Degree candidates learn from qualified professors who can serve as mentors. The curriculum’s practical and theoretical instruction gives learners an advantage in the workplace. This education provides the preparation degree-seekers need to advance their  nursing careers and command higher wages.

Tuition costs around $11,310 per year for New York students and $23,100 for out-of-state enrollees. Contact the institution's financial aid department to see what financial aid the school offers to help make tuition more affordable. Learners study on a pleasing campus that offers amenities like a gym and state-of-the-art labs. Students can also access teaching and research spaces.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$16,980
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
3,006
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#5 The Best RN-to-MSN Programs in New York

Upstate Medical University

  • Syracuse, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Upstate Medical University enrolls learners with a bachelor's degree in nursing, offering them an affordable education. The Syracuse-based college offers a master of science in nursing that prepares students for high-level jobs in their field. Financial aid helps make this degree more affordable for those who need assistance funding their education.

New York students pay about $11,310 per year in graduate tuition. About 48% of the school's enrollees use loans.

A master’s degree builds on bachelor’s-level knowledge, producing more advanced professionals in the nursing field. Graduates often pursue jobs in management, research, and other high-level positions. Master's degree-holders can also move on to a Ph.D.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$16,980
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,588
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#6 The Best RN-to-MSN Programs in New York

Pace University

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Nursing bachelor's degree-holders interested in enhancing their education may find Pace University worth a second glance. The school offers 48 master's degrees, many of them top-ranked. The master's in nursing - family nurse practitioner program offers students a traditional graduate school experience marked by scholarship and extracurricular opportunities.

Enrollees learn from qualified faculty with abundant experience in this field. The curriculum covers high-level concepts that give learners deep insight into the field and professional best practices. Graduates leave the program more competitive in the marketplace because of their advanced training.

Annual tuition costs around $31,320. Financial aid opportunities like scholarships, grants, and loans can help learners reduce their tuition bill. Degree-seekers receive additional assistance through tutoring, career services, and access to professional development.

Average Tuition
In-state
$44,714
Out-of-state
$44,714
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
13,395
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#7 The Best RN-to-MSN Programs in New York

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

  • Brooklyn, NY
  • 4 years
  • Campus

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is a Brooklyn-based public college that offers 22 master's degrees. The institution gives bachelor’s degree-holders ample opportunity for upward mobility in various fields. These programs provide instruction from qualified faculty, all of whom dedicate their careers to student success.

Nursing students interested in advancing their careers should consider applying for a master's in nursing. Coursework builds on the undergraduate experience to prepare enrollees for managerial and leadership roles. Learners take courses covering a variety of topics in the field.

In-state tuition costs $11,310 annually, while out-of-state tuition costs $23,100.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$16,980
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,899
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
13% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#8 The Best RN-to-MSN Programs in New York

D'Youville College

  • Buffalo, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Buffalo-based D'Youville College is a private institution with a robust graduate program. The school enrolls learners in 21 master's programs, giving bachelor’s degree-holders the opportunity to enhance their education and skills in various fields. Students receive a rigorous and accredited education from topnotch faculty.

The school’s master's in nursing management and quality leadership attracts enrollees interested in advancing their nursing career. Graduates leave the program with marketable skills that employers value, even during economic downturns. Learners complete required courses and can sometimes choose electives.

Learners pay $17,892 annually in tuition. About 100% of the school’s enrollees use loans, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid to fund their education. Once enrolled, 63% of the school's degree-seekers complete their programs.

Average Tuition
In-state
$27,040
Out-of-state
$27,040
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
3,048
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#9 The Best RN-to-MSN Programs in New York

Long Island University

  • Brookville, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A private college, Long Island University is recognized for top-ranked graduate programs available on the college’s Brookville campus. Degree-seekers can choose from 122 master's programs covering a variety of fields. Students get a rigorous education that holds accreditation and is considered among the nation's best.

Students interested in nursing may want to explore the school's master of science in family nurse practitioner program. Coursework prepares enrollees for roles in management and research. Master's graduates can also go on to pursue a doctorate. Degree-seekers take courses on campus, giving them access to a thorough graduate student experience that includes professional development opportunities.

The school charges $22,482 in tuition annually. Around 95% of students receive loans, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid to help pay for their degree. One of the reasons learners like this program is the 46% school graduation rate.

Average Tuition
In-state
$36,452
Out-of-state
$36,452
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
15,546
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
4% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

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 Salary.com, 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)

Related MSN Resources

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