Becoming an RN in New Jersey

In order to become a registered nurse in New Jersey, you must graduate from an New Jersey Board of Nursing approved registered nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN exam and a background check. The program may be at the associate’s, baccalaureate, or diploma level. Diploma programs are offered through hospitals or health centers. Such programs have seen some decline nationwide as colleges and universities have increasingly taken over the job of educating nurses. New Jersey, however, still has ten diploma programs. The state also boasts 18 ADN and 5 BSN options.

Featured Programs:
Sponsored School(s)
Purdue Global Visit School's Website
Selected Program:
  • Graduate and Undergraduate Degrees and Postgraduate Certificates in Nursing
Grand Canyon University Visit School's Website
Selected Program:
  • Online Nursing Degrees
Liberty University Visit School's Website
Selected Program:
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing for the Registered Nurse
Walden University Visit School's Website
Selected Program:
  • Online Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral Nursing Programs and Certificates

RN Educational and Professional Pathways

New Jersey has a statewide articulation plan. This means that if you already have a license in practical nursing, you will find many options for bridging to RN status. Programs go by different names, including LPN mobility or LPN to RN. Expect to receive credit for your first clinical course just for having passed the NCLEX-PN. Individual schools may have different policies regarding the second clinical course as well as general studies courses.

Those who already have a bachelor’s in another field have additional options: With prerequisites and general studies out of the way, they can take a relatively short second degree program. Some second degree students may also opt for a direct entry master’s in nursing program; this is sometimes referred to as a generic master’s in nursing. The New Jersey Board of Nursing notes that while there are currently no generic master’s programs in New Jersey, there are other programs around the nation that a candidate can look into.

Registered Nursing Career Outlook in New Jersey

New Jersey anticipates a shortfall — indeed, a potential crisis. The economic downturn has lessened the need for new graduates in the short term, but it has not alleviated the problem. The New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing published a 2010 report that addressed this situation. 15% of the state’s nursing workforce was expected to retire over the coming five years. 30% would reach retirement age in a decade’s time. At the same time, the population as a whole would be aging, and demanding increased health services.

In order to reach out to potential nurses, including young people just beginning to explore the nursing field, New Jersey has a volunteer corps called I CAN.

The Application Process

The biggest problem isn’t that people don’t want to become nurses. New Jersey’s nursing schools haven’t been able to expand fast enough to meet demand. Some nursing schools place qualified candidates on wait lists for twelve months, others simply turn them away. It can be a good idea to apply to more than one nursing school.

There are some prerequisite courses that you will be expected to complete before admission to nursing school. Your grades on these are an important indicator of your commitment and aptitude. Expect that TEAS scores will also be considered. Ocean County College recommends that students complete their prerequisites before taking the exam, as the work they do in these classes will actually help prepare them for the exam.

Public universities and some private schools have much more involved admission processes. They may ask for references and essays and take into account a number of factors. What can a student do if they want to be competitive, and have a choice of programs? For an answer, one can look to the Mammoth County School District’s Academy of Allied Health and Science. Students take rigorous college prep courses, including anatomy and physiology and four years of mathematics. There are additional experiences designed specifically to give an introduction to health care. Sophomores put in volunteer hours in different departments of a local hospital while juniors complete a more extensive community service project.

Some people have known all their life they wanted to go into health care. For them, a combined college prep/vocational program can be invaluable. Such programs often have very high college acceptance rates. Most people, though, come to the decision later. Even if you haven’t had the opportunity to attend a health academy, you can give yourself similar experiences. Take biology and social science courses. Seek out volunteer and job share experiences to familiarize yourself with the health care field.

New Jersey Board of Nursing Approved ADN Programs

Cumberland County College
P.O. Box 1500, College Dr
Vineland, N.J. 08362-1500
(856) 691-8600

Atlantic Cape Community College
5100 Black Horse Pike
Mays Landing, N.J. 08330
(609) 343-5035

Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Road
Paramus, N.J. 07652
(201) 447-7181

Burlington County College Dept. of Nursing
601 Pemberton-Browns Mill Road
Pemberton, N.J. 08057
(609) 894-9311

Passaic County Community College
One College Boulevard
Paterson, N.J. 07505-1179 (973) 684-5218

Raritan Valley Community College
PO Box 3300
Somerville, N.J. 08876
(908) 218-8877

County College of Morris
214 Center Grove Road
Randolph, N.J. 07869
(973) 328-5351

Mercer County Community College
1200 Old Trenton Road
West Windsor, N.J 08550
(609) 570-3391

Brookdale Community College
765 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, N.J. 07738
(732) 224-2418

Middlesex County College-Raritan Bay Medical Center
2600 Woodbridge Avenue, LH #225
Edison, N.J. 08818
(732) 548-6000

Salem Community College
460 Hollywood Avenue
Carneys Point, N.J. 08069
(856) 935-0285

Essex County College
303 University Avenue
Newark, N.J. 07102
(973) 877-1885

Ocean County College
College Drive
Toms River, N.J. 08753
(732) 255-0395

Warren County College
475 Route 57 West
Washington, N.J. 07882
(908) 835-9222

Gloucester County College
1400 Tanyard Road
Sewell, N.J. 08080
(856) 415-2179


New Jersey Board of Nursing Approved Diploma Programs

Felician College

The Felician College BSN entry to nursing program is Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited and approved by the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

Programs Offered: BSN, BSN Fast Track, RN to BSN

Seton Hall University – College of Nursing

School Branding

Programs Offered: BSN, BSN Second Degree, RN-to-BSN, RN-to-MSN Bridge, Master’s, MSN – (Tracks: Health Systems Administration, Case Management & Health Systems Administration, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, School Nursing, and Master of Arts in Nursing Education, Clinical Nurse Leader), Joint MSN/MBA, Graduate Certificates – (School Nurse, Nursing Case Management, Nursing Administration), PhD in Nursing

400 South Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079

Bayonne Medical Center School of Nursing
69-71 New Hook Road
Bayonne, N.J. 07002
(201) 339-9656

Capital Health Systems, Mercer Campus
446 Bellevue Avenue
Trenton, N.J. 08618
(609) 394-4050

Charles E. Gregory School of Nursing
530 New Brunswick Avenue
Perth Amboy, N.J. 08861
(732) 607-6500

Christ Hospital School of Nursing
176 Palisades Avenue
Jersey City, N.J. 07306
(201) 795-8365

Trinitas School of Nursing
12 West Jersey Street, 5th Floor
Elizabeth, N.J. 07202
(908) 659-5200

Helene Fuld School of Nursing in Camden County
P.O. Box 1669, College Drive #26
Blackwood, N.J. 08012
(856) 481-9100

Holy Name Hospital School of Nursing
690 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, N.J. 07666
(201) 833-3008

Merit LLC – Mountainside Hospital School of Nursing
1 Bay Avenue
Montclair, N.J. 07042
(973) 429-6060

Muhlenberg Reg. Med. Ctr. Harold B & Dorothy A Snyder School
Park Ave. & Randolph Rd.
Plainfield, N.J. 07061
(908) 668-2000

Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing
1600 Haddon Avenue
Camden, N.J. 08103
(856) 757-3730

St. Francis Medical Ctr SON
601 Hamilton Avenue
Trenton, N.J. 08629
(609) 599-5190


New Jersey Board of Nursing Approved BSN Programs

St. Peter’s College
2641 Kennedy Boulevard
Jersey City, N.J. 07306
(201) 761-6272

New Jersey City University
2039 Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, N.J. 07305
(201) 200-3157

New Jersey City University (Wall Township)
2039 Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, N.J. 07305
(201) 200-3157

Richard Stockton College of NJ Division of Professional Studies
PO Box 195
Pomana, N.J. 08240
(609) 652-4496

College of St. Elizabeth
2 Convent Road
Morristown, N.J. 07960
(973) 290-4072

Rutgers, The State University
180 University Avenue, Suite 102 Newark, N.J. 07102
(973) 353-5293

Rutgers, The State University
311 North Fifth Street
Camden, N.J. 08102
(856) 225-6226

William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road, Hunziker Wing 106
Wayne, N.J. 07470
(973) 720-3494

Ramapo College of New Jersey
505 Ramapo Valley Road G-445
Mahwah, N.J. 07430
(201) 684-7737

Marjorie K. Unterberg SON & Health Studies Monmouth University
400 Cedar Avenue
West Long Branch, N.J. 07764
(732) 571-3443

Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing
1314 Edison 130 South 9th St.
Philadelphia, P.A. 19107-5233
(215) 503-8390

Henry P. Becton, School of Nurisng & Allied Health Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Rd. H-DH4-02
Teaneck, N.J. 07666
(201) 692-2890

Kean University
1000 Morris Avenue T-116
Union, N.J. 07083
(908) 737-3390

Felician College
262 South Main Street
Lodi, N.J. 07644

Bloomfield College
467 Franklin Street
Bloomfield, N.J. 07003
(973) 748-9000

Seton Hall University
400 So. Orange Avenue
South Orange, N.J. 07079-2693

The College of New Jersey
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, N.J. 08628-0718
(609) 771-2592

Thomas Edison State College
101 West State Street
Trenton, N.J. 08608-1176
(609) 633-6460

UMDNJ School of Nursing
65 Bergen Street
Newark, N.J. 07101-1709
(973) 972-4322