The State of New York offers virtually countless opportunities for registered nurses, especially those with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree or higher. All nurses must be passionate about healthcare and helping others. Nurses play a critical role in healthcare settings. If you want to become a registered nurse in New York, you must complete years of education and training to obtain your license to practice.
Becoming a registered nurse does not require as many years of professional training as several other medical professions, allowing you to enter the healthcare industry sooner with this career path. However, qualifying for a license demands earning a pre-licensure nursing education degree before you can apply for the state license and start practicing as a registered nurse.
If you want to know how to become a registered nurse in New York, Fast CE For Less has created this helpful guide to give you an overview of the process. From earning a relevant pre-licensure nursing education degree to renewing your credentials to continue practicing, this guide on nursing requirements through New Yorks State’s Department of Education (NYSED) will tell you everything you should know about how to become a registered nurse in New York.
How to Become a Registered Nurse in New York
As with any state, New York requires you to complete years of specialized education and training to become a registered nurse. Once you earn a pre-licensure degree, you must pass a professional exam and obtain a license to start your career as a nurse. The process of becoming a registered nurse in New York can be simplified into three basic steps:
- Completing a four-year BSN degree, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), or a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) approved by the New York State Education Department Office of the Professions for Nursing (NYSED-OPN).
- Preparing for and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and obtaining your license in New York.
- Renewing your credentials every three years by answering questions regarding your professional and criminal records to prove good morality and specific nursing continuing education coursework every four years.
While earning an ADN is the minimum requirement to become a registered nurse in New York, the NYSED-OPN recommends obtaining at least a BSN or higher. There is a nurse shortage throughout the country, however, most positions offering better career prospects demand a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Obtaining A BSN or Associate’s Degree in New York
If you want to become a registered nurse in New York, completing a BSN is highly recommended, but you can obtain an ADN to apply for state licensure as well.
While all pre-licensure nursing education programs involve classroom instruction and supervised clinical experience, a BSN program consists of more in-depth training on the hard and soft skills necessary to lead a successful nursing career. BSN programs also offer more clinical experience outside hospital settings, opening up opportunities for other careers in the healthcare industry, including teaching, consulting, research, and administrative positions.
Remember, you can still have a fulfilling career as a nurse after completing a relevant two-year ADN degree. However, when seeking work as a new graduate, most employers prefer to hire registered nurses who have completed at least a BSN. You must complete an MSN or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree for more advanced nursing jobs.
Applying for Licensure as a Registered Nurse in New York
To practice as a registered nurse in New York, you must hold a nursing license. To apply for the state license, you must prepare for and pass the NCLEX-RN examination. You also must have the nursing school where you completed your pre-licensure nursing education program submit the Certification of Professional Education form on your behalf.
Once you pass the exam, you can apply for a registered nurse license with the NYSED. After you qualify for your nursing license by passing the NCLEX-RN and applying for licensure, the NYSED will issue a registration certificate and license parchment. When you receive the license and registration, you can apply for nursing jobs in the state of New York and begin practicing your career as a registered nurse.
Here is a quick overview of the requirements to get the license and registration to practice as a registered nurse in New York:
- You must be at least 18 years old,
- You must show good moral character,
- You must complete a pre-licensure nursing education program approved by the NYSED-OPN,
- You must prepare for and pass the NCLEX-RN.
The registered nurse license you will receive will be valid for life. However, you must prove good moral standing when renewing your credentials to maintain the license.
Maintaining Licensure as a Registered Nurse in New York via Nursing Continuing Education Courses
After obtaining a license to practice, registered nurses must renew their license to continue practicing as a nurse. Many states require registered nurses to renew their credentials every two years. However, the New York State Education Department Office of the Professions for Nursing requires nurses to renew their licenses after three years.
Unlike in most states, registered nurses in New York do not need to complete a required number of contact hours through nursing continuing education courses to renew their licenses. Instead, when there are five months left to renew their credentials, registered nurses receive an email informing them of the renewal process. While they do not need to complete contact hours through nursing continuing education courses, registered nurses must answer questions related to their professional and criminal records, demonstrating adequate moral character.
Additionally, nurses at all levels must complete at least four hours of nursing continuing education courses on infection control every four years. Registered nurses must also complete two hours of nursing continuing education on child abuse at least once. You can learn more about the requirements to renew your license to practice as a registered nurse at www.fastceforless.com/nursing-ce-new-york/.
Because the NYSEDOP for nursing allows completing your continuing education courses online, it is easier to handle the mandatory nursing continuing education courses on child abuse and infection control. Online nursing CEUs like those available by Fast CE For Less at www.fastceforless.com make it easier to complete the contact hours necessary to renew your license.