The state of New York is home to an impressive population of almost 170,000 registered nurses (RNs). Approximately 10,000 of these RNs live in the Capital District, a region that encompasses Albany, Schenectady, Troy, and the surrounding areas. The Capital District is also home to about 5,000 certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and almost 2,800 licensed practical nurses (LPNs). While the region’s nursing industry offers a number of promising opportunities, the field is still very competitive. To get your foot in the door at the area’s top hospitals, you will need the right education, licensure, and work experience.

Registered nurses perform a variety of healthcare duties, from administering treatment and medications to educating patients and the public about medical conditions. These nursing professionals typically hold a hospital diploma, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree in registered nursing. All RNs must also pass the NCLEX-RN national licensure examination.

Licensed practical nurses care for the sick or injured under the supervision of RNs, surgeons, and physicians. LPNs must complete a state-approved certificate program and successfully pass the NCLEX-PN national licensure examination. Certified nursing assistants provide hands-on patient care and perform basic healthcare tasks. CNAs must complete a brief certificate program and obtain state certification.

Graduates of the Capital District’s accredited nursing schools are prepared to seek positions with top local employers such as Albany Memorial Hospital, Columbia Memorial Hospital, Ellis Hospital, Seton Health System, and Samaritan Hospital. Local salaries are very competitive. Capital District-based RNs earn a median annual salary of $58,890. The area’s LPNs earn $39,540 per year on average, while its CNAs earn $26,790 per year.

To help aspiring nurses in the Capital District find the best education, we’ve compiled below a complete list of the region’s top nursing schools and programs.

Capital District nursing schools by NCLEX score

Maria College
700 New Scotland Avenue | Albany, New York 12208
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 94.7% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
  • Associate Degree in Nursing: 89.9% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing
1300 Massachusetts Avenue | Troy, New York 12180
  • Associate Degree in Nursing: 93.4% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 91.6% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
St. Peter's Hospital College of Nursing
714 New Scotland Avenue, Room 111 | Albany, New York 12208
  • Associate Degree in Nursing: 92.8% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
Hudson Valley Community College
80 Vandenburgh Avenue | Troy, New York 12180
  • Associate Degree in Nursing: 91.9% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
SUNY Adirondack
640 Bay Road | Queensbury, New York 12804
  • Associate Degree in Nursing: 89.5% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
Belanger School of Nursing
650 McClellan Street | Schenectady, New York 12304
  • Associate of Science in Nursing: 86.8% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
  • Dual Degree Nursing Program: 66.7% NCLEX pass rate (2020 through 2020)
Columbia-Greene Community College
4400 Route 23 | Hudson, New York 12534
  • Associate Degree in Nursing: 86.1% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES
1051 Dix Avenue | Hudson Falls, New York 12839
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 83.9% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
Excelsior College
Seven Columbia Circle | Albany, New York 12203
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 82.1% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
  • Associate Degree in Nursing: 78.7% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • MSN: Nursing Informatics
  • MSN: Nursing Leadership and Administration of Health Care Systems
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Russell Sage College
65 First Street | Troy, New York 12180
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 81.8% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Doctor of Nursing Science
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Education
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Capital Region BOCES
900 Watervliet-Shaker Road | Albany, New York 12205
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 68.9% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
Mildred Elley - Albany
855 Central Avenue | Albany, New York 12206
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 67.0% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2020)
Albany Medical College
16 New Scotland Avenue | Albany, New York 12208
  • Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesiology
Siena College
515 Loudon Road | Loudonville, New York 12211
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
SUNY Empire State College
113 West Avenue | Saratoga Springs, New York 12866
  • Advanced Certificate in Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing Education
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Maria College Certificate in Practical Nursing 94.7% 2011 to 2020
Associate Degree in Nursing 89.9% 2011 to 2020
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing Associate Degree in Nursing 93.4% 2011 to 2020
Certificate in Practical Nursing 91.6% 2011 to 2020
St. Peter's Hospital College of Nursing Associate Degree in Nursing 92.8% 2011 to 2020
Hudson Valley Community College Associate Degree in Nursing 91.9% 2011 to 2020
SUNY Adirondack Associate Degree in Nursing 89.5% 2011 to 2020
Belanger School of Nursing Associate of Science in Nursing 86.8% 2011 to 2020
Dual Degree Nursing Program 66.7% 2020 to 2020
Columbia-Greene Community College Associate Degree in Nursing 86.1% 2011 to 2020
Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES Certificate in Practical Nursing 83.9% 2011 to 2020
Excelsior College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 82.1% 2011 to 2020
Associate Degree in Nursing 78.7% 2011 to 2020
MSN: Nursing Education
MSN: Nursing Informatics
MSN: Nursing Leadership and Administration of Health Care Systems
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Russell Sage College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 81.8% 2011 to 2020
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
Doctor of Nursing Science
MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Education
Post-Master's Certificate: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Capital Region BOCES Certificate in Practical Nursing 68.9% 2011 to 2020
Mildred Elley - Albany Certificate in Practical Nursing 67.0% 2011 to 2020
Albany Medical College Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesiology
Siena College RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
SUNY Empire State College Advanced Certificate in Nursing Education
Master of Science in Nursing Administration
Master of Science in Nursing Education
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
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New York