Home > Blog > New York: How to become a nurse

New York: How to become a nurse

Nursing is a diverse carer, attracting program applicants from various backgrounds. The thing that connects them all is their passion for healthcare and helping others. Nurses can work independently as well as alongside physicians to treat patients in hospitals, nursing homes, public health facilities and sometimes in people’s homes.

If you’re interested in a career in nursing in New York, there’s certainly enough demand across the state for you to secure a role here. Many of New York’s hospitals are Magnet accredited, attracting nurses from across the states and internationally.

Before you get started, here are three things you need to know:

1. Earn a degree

Nurses must earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) to practice in New York. These programmes typically last between 2 and 4.5 years depending on what degree you wish to obtain.

Associate Degrees usually take no more than 2.5 years to complete and are renowned as being one of the quickest routes into a career in nursing. Associate Degrees are normally offered by smaller colleges and schools but have limited career prospects. You can read more on ADN programs here.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees usually take around 4 years to complete and is the preferred route for many students wishing to pursue advanced nursing opportunities in the future. There are over 50 schools across New York offering BSN programs. You can read more on BSN programs here.

Whatever degree pathway and program you choose, make sure it is registered with the New York State Board of Nursing.

You can read more about the best nursing programs in New York here.

2. Apply for a nursing licence

Once you complete your degree, you’ll need to apply for a New York State nursing licensure. To apply for your license, you’ll need to prove moral character by answering questions about any previous or current criminal charges, convictions disciplinary actions or professional misconduct. The initial license fee is $143, and you’ll need to renew your license every three years for $73. Nurse practitioners will need to pay an additional fee of $35 to renew their practitioner licence.

3. Choose where to work

Three factors will likely affect who you choose as your first nursing employer: location, reputation and salary.


Think about how far you want to travel. Many nurses like to start off working locally or even in hospitals they completed some of their training. You’ll probably feel nervous about your first role so it’s important you pick a location that suits you, perhaps somewhere close to friends and family so you don’t have to move away from your support network. This may also be an important factor if you need to work flexibly around children, for example.


New York is home to many hospitals with the best reputations across the United States, so you’ll likely be spoilt for choice. Research these hospitals, speak to past professors, nursing mentors or fellow graduates to seek their opinion. You can also visit these facilities, walk around, speak to people already working there and get their opinion. It’s a decision you shouldn’t rush into and you should begin thinking about in your final year of studies.


Average graduate salaries are normally around $29 per hour which equates to around $61,000 per year. Average experienced RN salaries are around $41 per hour which equates to around $85,500 per year. These are for full-time roles, but salaries can vary depending on the type of work you choose such as per diem or travel nursing. You should expect higher rates for this type of nursing, but you’ll need to have gained around 2 years of nursing experience before you can apply for these roles.

Nursing is an incredibly rewarding career, which can take you not only across the United States but across the world. If you have already completed your BSN and have at least 1 years’ experience in nursing, feel free to check out our latest temporary assignments.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

You may also like

Nurses: Tips to survive the night shift

24-hour healthcare means working a night shift at some point in your career is inevitable. Whether you’re about to work...

5 must-have apps for agency nurses

Being an agency nurse gives you the freedom to choose when and where you work – all while earning much-deserved...

Medical-Surgical Nursing: A Career Outlook and Guide

We’re in a global labor shortage, and with burnout from nurses working insane hours with COVID, nursing is one of...

Choosing the Right Nursing Placement Agencies: A Guide

In 2022, 500,000 registered nurses in the United States will retire. That’ll bring the total number of RN vacancies in...