Get the real facts on New York DNPs. This practical guide & directory contains rankings of the best and most affordable DNP programs in New York, details on online & hybrid New York doctorates, info on NYSED approval, and tips for comparing BSN to DNP options. Already have a school or two in mind? Skip ahead to our listings.
Top New York DNP Programs
For this list of the best DNP programs in NY, we evaluated independent rankings for nursing graduate degrees, prioritizing any New York school with a high DNP placement in U.S. News & World Report. However, we also considered many other factors, including national reputation, research opportunities, clinical connections, and NP certification pass rates.
1. Columbia University
Columbia’s full-time DNP program is an Ivy League qualification. The Columbia School of Nursing usually achieves top 10 national rankings for the DNP and NP specialties (e.g. FNP, PMHNP, etc.). It has excellent facilities (e.g. Helene Fuld Health Trust Simulation Center). It’s part of the Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC). And it’s a powerhouse in research. Here you’ll find research centers & programs in diverse disciplines (e.g. health policy, symptom self-management, LGBTQ health, etc.) and faculty strengths in many areas of focus. There are training programs for pre- and postdoctoral nurse scientists interested in 21st century fields (e.g. informatics) and global health opportunities for DNP students. Columbia Nursing is also a Pan American Health Organization/WHO Collaborating Center.
The other major bonus with Columbia Nursing? Clinical connections. The School runs a faculty-led practice called the ColumbiaDoctors Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Group, with locations in Midtown Manhattan and Washington Heights. It sponsors additional practice components such as house calls and telehealth. It has clinical partnerships with 200+ practice sites and CUIMC-affiliated hospitals. And it looks like it takes care of all clinical placements (see the list of clinical sites under each DNP specialty). When we examined independent reviews, we found glowing testimonials about the clinical rotations, committed faculty, and name recognition. But we also noticed some negatives around disorganization and NP lecturers. So take some time with your decision—talk to recent DNP alumni, visit the campus, ask for the latest NP certification pass rates, and draw up a complete budget.
2. New York University
NYU’s part-time DNP program is often mentioned in the same breath as Columbia’s doctorate, with the added advantage of its flexible format. The Rory Meyers College of Nursing is an NLN Center of Excellence with great national rankings (e.g. top 25 for DNP; top 10 for NP specialties) and an international reputation. It has well-funded training facilities (e.g. Clinical Simulation Learning Center), solid job placement rates, strengths in global initiatives, and some fascinating research centers. If you’re interested in adult & geriatric care or HIV, it’s worth a serious look. The College runs programs like Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) and the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing (HIGN), and it’s a WHO Collaborating Center in Gerontologic Nursing Education.
Plus there’s the clinical aspect. According to the College’s website, the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs is responsible for managing all aspects of the clinical placement process, including securing and maintaining affiliation agreements with healthcare agencies. That means DNP students have opportunities for clinical placements in a large number of hospitals & healthcare agencies throughout the New York Tristate area. Like Columbia, NYU receives mixed feedback on independent review sites and messageboards. Many NYU nursing alumni had high praise for the supportive feel of the programs, and the knowledgeable professors who are invested in their students’ careers. Others had quibbles with communication failures, unprofessionalism, and disorganization. Attend an Info Session, chat to recent DNP alumni, and request to see NP certification pass rates before you fill out the application.
3. University of Rochester
UR’s part-time DNP program has much to recommend it. It comes from a School of Nursing with strong national rankings (e.g. top 40 for DNP), excellent employment rates for graduate students (e.g. 100%), and solid NP certification pass rates (with the possible exception of the AGPCNP). The School receives plenty of NIH funding for its interdisciplinary research and Biomolecular Laboratory, and it’s investing a great deal of effort into geriatric issues. For example, it runs the Center for Nursing Research on Aging and the Roybal Center for Social Ties and Aging Research (STAR), a joint initiative between the School and the Department of Psychiatry.
The School is also part of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), which is good news for anyone who’s interested in placements at UR hospitals. The School works with a network of nearly 600 preceptors at clinical sites across New York State and it encourages clinical expertise. More than 80% of its nursing faculty continue to actively practice in a clinical setting. Like Columbia and NYU, UR is a private research university with big-ticket DNP tuition rates. However, employees at the University of Rochester may be eligible to receive a substantial tuition benefit (up to a 95% tuition waiver).
Alternative Ranking of Public DNP Programs in New York
Here’s the thing with New York—the top 3 are private & pricey research universities. They offer plenty of choice in specialties, but they may not be the best pick for your needs. Because of this, we’ve included an alternative ranking of top New York DNP programs from public universities. These will be more affordable for residents.
- University at Buffalo SUNY: A top 50 national ranking for the DNP. Multiple BSN to DNP tracks and a Nurse Anesthesia program. And a well-known name in New York. That’s why Buffalo’s DNP program is our #1 for public schools.
- CUNY Hunter College: We give Hunter’s DNP program full credit for being affordable, more intimate than big schools, and well-regarded by its students—independent reviews of its nursing graduate programs were universally positive.
- SUNY at Binghamton: SUNY at Binghamton’s DNP program is only available to MSN-holders. However, aspiring NPs and CNSs can apply to the Post-Graduate Nurse Practitioner Certificate and then proceed to the DNP.
Most Affordable DNP Programs in New York
For this list of the cheapest DNP programs in New York, we ranked each school by the lowest per credit tuition rate for the doctorate. In the case of public universities, this was often the in-state rate for NY residents (out-of-state rates will be higher).
Unfortunately, New York is one of the most expensive states in the country for the DNP. Even public SUNY universities are charging over $1,000 per credit and some of the private university rates are extraordinarily high.
1. CUNY College of Staten Island (Tied)
CUNY College of Staten Island’s DNP tuition rate is remarkably reasonable for New York residents. However, the out-of-state rate is similar to big private universities. You’ll also be responsible for paying additional fees (e.g. technology, student activity, Senate, etc.). An Academic Excellence Fee is applicable to all graduate nursing programs.
1. CUNY Hunter College (Tied)
All CUNY schools have the same baseline DNP tuition rate, so Hunter’s rates for in-state and out-of-state students are the same as Staten Island. Mandatory fees will add around $90 to the per credit cost.
3. Dominican College
Dominican College is a private university, which means the per credit DNP tuition rate & general fees are the same for all students, regardless of residency. Dominican is similar in price to the NY resident rate at SUNY schools, but keep in mind that the doctorate is only available as a post-master’s DNP for current FNPs.
Online DNP Programs in New York
You’ll find online DNP programs flagged with a distance learning marker in our New York listings. Unfortunately, you won’t find many. New York State has always had some interesting restrictions regarding online nursing programs, so many NY schools have opted for a blended approach. For example:
- Hybrid BSN to DNP Programs in NY: Practically every BSN to DNP program in New York is on-campus or heavily hybrid, with campus coursework taking place in the evenings, afternoons, and/or weekends. You’ll be able to take some coursework online, but you’ll need to allow for commutes. Even SUNY Downstate has face-to-face seminars every month.
It gets a little easier at the post-master’s level, where certification is not involved. However, you’ll still see hybrid and on-campus programs being favored. Pay special attention to the admissions section. Some online or blended MSN to DNP programs in New York are only open to folks with certain NP certifications.
- Online Post-Master’s DNP Programs in NY: If you need a 100% online option, check with the University at Buffalo’s DNP program coordinator—MSN to DNP tracks look like they’re delivered in a part-time, asynchronous distance learning format. Upstate Medical’s online post-master’s DNP for current NPs and CNSs will have minimal on-campus time.
- Hybrid Post-Master’s DNP Programs in NY: New York universities love this format. You’ll find blended post-master’s options from big names (e.g. NYU, Pace, and UR), smaller private colleges & universities (e.g. Molloy, St. John Fisher, D’Youville, Dominican, and Adelphi), and public schools (e.g. SUNY Downstate and CUNY College of Staten Island). Schools like Columbia and Hunter will have more of an on-campus feel, but it never hurts to ask about online elements.
Finally, if you’re thinking of APRN certification, be sure to examine the New York State Education Department’s list of NYSED registered nursing education programs (look under “Health Professions” then “Nursing” for DNP programs).
- All out-of-state and online nursing education programs must be registered or approved by NYSED in order to place students in clinical rotations in New York State (except in federal U.S. Armed forces or Veteran’s Administration facilities).
- We noticed a few out-of-state online DNPs that were NYSED-approved, including Frontier Nursing University, Samford University in Birmingham, and University of Connecticut Storrs. Check the list for all possibilities.
Note: Our directory of Online DNP Programs has a full list of online programs (BSN to DNP and post-master’s) in every state.
BSN to DNP Programs in New York
To make your search a little easier, we’ve listed unique BSN to DNP tracks in our listings. Big-name schools often have the most variety, but there are other options out there. We also noticed that New York universities like to play to their strengths. So if a School of Nursing has put a lot of time & money into an MSN specialty, you’re going to see that track reflected in the DNP.
- FNP, PMHNP & Adult NP Specialties: You’ll have plenty of schools to choose from, including private research universities (i.e. Columbia, NYU, and UR), more affordable public alternatives (e.g. University at Buffalo, CUNY College of Staten Island, and CUNY Hunter), and smaller colleges (e.g. St. John Fisher).
- Pediatric Specialties: Have a look at Columbia, UR, and NYU. In addition to the FNP and popular adult tracks, these schools offer rarer PNP options. UR even has a combined PNP/NNP track.
- Nurse Midwifery & Women’s Health: Columbia has a standard track in Nurse Midwifery, but it also offers an NP sub-specialty in Women’s Health. You can match these choices against SUNY Downstate, which has tracks in the FNP, Nurse Midwifery, and the WHNP.
- CNS & CNL Specialties: You may wish to compare St. John Fisher College’s AGCNS program with the CUNY College of Staten Island. UR has a rare CNL track.
- Nurse Anesthesia: As of 2020, the University at Buffalo had an accredited DNP in Nurse Anesthesia. However, Columbia and Albany Medical College were in the process of transitioning into the DNP, pending approval from the COA. So you should have more than one option here.
New York Nursing Organizations
- New York Office of the Professions: Nursing
- Nurse Practitioners of New York (NPNY)
- The Nurse Practitioner Association New York State (NPA)
- New York State Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NYSANA)
- New York League for Nursing (NYLN)
- New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders (NYONEL)
Below you'll find a list of all of the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs available in New York.