Best Nursing Schools in New York

What defines a nursing program to receive the title of being one of “The Best”?

Depending on what’s important to you, there are many different factors that can determine a school as having one of the best nursing programs. For the purpose of this blog article, it will be determined solely on the NCLEX-RN passing results for 2023. The NCLEX-RN stands for the National Council Licensure Examination (for) Registered Nurses which is a computer adaptive test that is required for nursing graduates to become licensed registered nurses. There are 100+ nursing schools in New York that offer various nursing degrees, certificates, and diplomas. New York is home to some of the top nursing schools in the country. The programs offered vary between schools, however, you can find certificate, associate, baccalaureate, masters, doctoral, and diploma programs.

Choosing which New York nursing school program to attend can be hard considering the quality and quantity of programs you have access to in the state. You can choose to receive a diploma, certificate, or associate degree, but I’m going to focus on traditional baccalaureate nursing programs. There is an option to go through an accelerated baccalaureate degree, dual degree, or second-degree option as well. I list the top 10 traditional baccalaureate nursing school programs in New York in this article.



The most important component of becoming a Registered Nurse is passing the NCLEX and obtaining a nursing license. Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are required to have their license in their practicing state in order to officially enter the nursing field. To curate the list of the best nursing programs in New York, I researched the 2023 NCLEX passing results of all baccalaureate degree programs in the state. The New York State Education Department posts the state’s NCLEX results of all nursing school programs. I took the top 10 highest scoring schools with traditional baccalaureate degree programs and listed them in order below!


Best Nursing Schools in New York


Top 10 Traditional Baccalaureate Nursing Programs in New York

  1. Helene Fuld College of Nursing

Located in Harlem, New York, Helene Fuld College of Nursing’s graduating class of 2023 had an NCLEX passing score of 94.1%. The generic Bachelor of Science in Nursing program provides a solid background in nursing, science, and liberal arts education while incorporating a focus on community and environmental issues that impact health. The school’s mission is to “be nationally recognized for excellence in nursing education, and noted for its comprehensive, innovative academic programs that are responsive to the healthcare challenges of the future”.


  1. St. John Fisher College

For the year of 2023 St. John Fisher College’s traditional bachelor’s degree in nursing program had a NCLEX passing score of 94.4%. St. Johns Fisher College is located in Rochester, New York and composes the Wegmans School of Nursing. The nursing program has a ratio of 1:5 – 1:8 for faculty to clinical students. Fisher students are provided with exceptional patient and family-centered care with clinical experiences to gain hands-on experience. Wegmans School of Nursing’s mission is to “prepare exceptional healthcare leaders through inclusive and innovative education to advance the health and wellness of local, national, and global communities”.


  1. SUNY Stony Brook University

Our first SUNY college to appear on the list is Stony Brook University. SUNY stands for the State University of New York which is the largest, comprehensive university system in the United States. SUNY’s Stony Brook University had a NCLEX passing score of 94.7% for 2023. Stony Brook University’s mission is to “prepare nurse leaders at all levels of practice through the use of creative pedagogies, cutting-edge research and innovative practice models to deliver socially just care and improve the health of local and global communities”. The university is located in Stony Brook, NY.


  1. Mount Saint Mary College

Mount Saint Mary College is located in Newburgh, New York. The college’s baccalaureate nursing program had a passing NCLEX score of 95.5% in 2023. Mount’s school of nursing is dedicated to training future nurses by instilling important values and skills. The program’s mission is to “prepare nurses in congruent with the Dominican values of spirituality, study, community, and service”.


  1. SUNY Plattsburgh

Located in Plattsburgh, New York, SUNY Plattsburgh College baccalaureate nursing students had a passing score of 96.6% for the NCLEX in 2023. The school offers clinical experiences and exclusive opportunities to partner with agencies locally and throughout New York State. The school’s mission is to “provide outstanding liberal arts and pre- professional programs along with a college experience that prepares students for their professional and civic futures”.


  1. SUNY Farmingdale State College

Farmingdale State College is located in Farmingdale, NY. The nursing curriculum prepares students with the necessary professional nursing skills to provide to individuals, families, and groups in a variety of structured and unstructured healthcare settings. The school had an NCLEX passing score of 97.4%. Their mission is to “advance nursing education in a student-centered learning environment to empower graduates to be exemplary citizens, scholars, professionals, and leaders in an increasingly diverse and interdependent world”.


  1. SUNY University at Buffalo

The University at Buffalo had a NCLEX passing score of 98.5% for 2023. UB School of Nursing’s traditional baccalaureate program consists of general education, clinical nursing, biomedical, and social science courses. Their mission is to “foster an environment of academic and scholarly excellence that develops nurse leaders who will improve the health and wellness of local, national and global communities”.


  1. Utica University

Located in Utica, New York, Utica University had an NCLEX passing score of 100%. Utica University prepares nurses to excel in clinical competency, critical reflection, collaboration, caring, and leadership though evidenced based nursing science. The nursing program’s mission is to “provide high quality, innovative, and transformational education to diverse learners and professionals to promote equitable healthcare”.


  1. Hartwick College

Hartwick College is located in Oneonta, New York and has been training nurses since World War II. Their NCLEX passing rate for 2023 was 100%. Hartwick College takes pride in preparing their nurses to be highly qualified, self-directed individuals that are able to thrive in both the present and the rapidly changing future of healthcare. The program’s vision is to “excel at integrating the liberal arts with a nursing education”.


  1. Excelsior University

Excelsior University’s Bachelor of Science in nursing degree is an online program. The graduating nursing class of 2023 had an NCLEX passing score of 100%. Excelsior University’s nursing program emphasizes the integration of nursing, related arts and sciences knowledge in complex situations that related to nursing care of individuals, families, aggregates, and communities. The University’s mission is to “prepare nurses at the associate, baccalaureate, and master’s level to achieve professional goals through a seamless transition along the educational continuum”.


That completes our list of the top 10 baccalaureate nursing programs in New York! Excelsior University was #1 in the list of best nursing schools in NY. All the nursing programs on our list had over 94% of their 2023 graduating class pass the NCLEX on their first try! The NCLEX is a rigorous licensing test that is by no means easy to pass on the first try. The most important part of going to nursing school is to become licensed in order to work in the field as an RN or LPN. For these schools to have most or all of their graduating class pass on the first try is a huge indicator of the education these schools provide to their students. Once you have passed the NCLEX and receive your license, you are now able to take on all the amazing New York nursing job opportunities!