Nursing in New York: What You Need to Know

New York City has endless job opportunities for registered nurses. But while the chances of getting an RN job quickly in NYC are quite high, the chances of getting into a nursing school in the city are lower due to the limited space. Thankfully, there are many opportunities to study to become a nurse for those who are willing to travel to attend nursing school or are happy to take their degree online before returning to New York to look for work.

Why Become a Nurse in New York?

Becoming a nurse in NYC is a great career decision because this city has some of the best opportunities for nurses in the country. Manhattan alone has over sixty different hospitals including some of the best in the country. And, nurses in New York City are paid handsomely, with an annual average wage of just over $90,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career outlook for nurses in New York is also looking great, with job positions expected to rise by 20% by 2026; a number that may even be higher in the near future due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, which hit New York quite hard back in March of this year.

What Qualifications Do You Need?

You can apply for an RN license to work as a nurse in New York with an Associate Degree in Nursing. However, New York State has a unique law that was passed in 2018 known as the BSN-in-10. This law requires all newly licensed registered nurses to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing within ten years of getting their license. If you have an associate’s degree in nursing, this can be an ideal way to find work and get your BSN in New York, since nursing schools in the city might often be more willing to accept students who are already working in New York as a nurse, while many employers are offering to cover the cost of obtaining a BSN.

What Are the Opportunities for Progression?

With over sixty hospitals in Manhattan alone, you can be sure of one thing; nurses in New York have got plenty of opportunities for progression. And thanks to online nursing degree programs that you can use to gain advanced degree qualifications, like a master’s or doctorate in nursing, studying alongside working as a nurse in New York has never been easier. Schools like Baylor University even offer online neonatal nurse practitioner programs.

Many New York nurses go online to get their required BSN after obtaining their license to practice in the state and continue their learning even further with the wide range of programs available. Nurses in New York City may continue their education and go on to open their own practices or work in a retail clinic as a nurse practitioner. While New York State does not grant complete independence to nurse practitioners as they must work in collaboration with a physician, they still enjoy more responsibility, authority, and salary compared to registered nurses.

What Nursing Jobs Are Available?

Working as a nurse in New York does not always involve being at the front line of healthcare in a hospital. As one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world, there are plenty of opportunities for nurses who would prefer to work in doctor’s offices, schools, within the community, nursing homes, prisons, jails, research centers, and many more settings. As a huge city with a large population, New York City is considered to be one of the best locations for newly qualified and licensed nurses to find their feet and decide on the best specialty for them with so many options available.

Along with the various work settings to choose from, nurses who work in hospitals can also experience a wide range of departments including the ER, oncology, theater, maternity and labor, pediatric, and many more. If you are newly qualified as a nurse and want to find work quickly, New York City is certainly a great place to look as nurses in every department are always needed here in this busy city.

How to Get Your Nursing License in New York

Every nursing school graduate in the US will need to pass the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) in order to legally work as a nurse. Regardless of where you graduate as a nurse, you can register to take the exam in New York, which will enable you to practice nursing in the city once you pass. You will need to be licensed and registered by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) in order to work as a nurse in New York State. If you’re considering studying nursing elsewhere before moving to New York to find work, be sure to choose a nursing program that is accepted by the NYSED. You will also need to complete additional coursework on infection control and safeguarding children to get your NYSED license and registration.

More Reasons to Be a Nurse in New York

Along with the myriad of work opportunities and chances to progress, there are plenty of reasons to consider working as a nurse in New York. Due to the diversity and sheer size of this city, it is often an ideal place for nurses to start their career as it allows you to gain a wide range of experience in various different situations that you may not get elsewhere. And outside of the career side of things, working in New York as a nurse can be very exciting. As one of the most famous and popular cities in the world, you will have a number of key tourist attractions and national landmarks right on your doorsteps, such as the Statue of Liberty, 9/11 museum, Rockefeller Center, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Getting to and from work as a nurse is easier than ever in the city with an extensive metro system at your disposal.

Whether you are a New Yorker considering becoming a nurse or a newly qualified nurse considering moving to find work, there’s no denying that the Big Apple has some of the best opportunities for employment, progression and more.