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.
- Grand Canyon University - Accredited Degrees in Nursing
- Capella University - Earn your RN-to-BSN online from Capella University
- Purdue University Global - Graduate and Undergraduate Degrees and Postgraduate Certificates in Nursing
- Liberty University - Bachelor of Science in Nursing for the Registered Nurse
- Walden University - 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
Atlantic Cape Community College
Bergen Community College
Burlington County College Dept. of Nursing
Passaic County Community College
Raritan Valley Community College
County College of Morris
Mercer County Community College
Brookdale Community College
Middlesex County College-Raritan Bay Medical Center
Salem Community College
Essex County College
Ocean County College
Warren County College
Gloucester County College
New Jersey Board of Nursing Approved Diploma Programs
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
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
Capital Health Systems, Mercer Campus
Charles E. Gregory School of Nursing
Christ Hospital School of Nursing
Trinitas School of Nursing
Helene Fuld School of Nursing in Camden County
Holy Name Hospital School of Nursing
Merit LLC – Mountainside Hospital School of Nursing
Muhlenberg Reg. Med. Ctr. Harold B & Dorothy A Snyder School
Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing
St. Francis Medical Ctr SON
New Jersey Board of Nursing Approved BSN Programs
St. Peter’s College
New Jersey City University
New Jersey City University (Wall Township)
Richard Stockton College of NJ Division of Professional Studies
College of St. Elizabeth
Rutgers, The State University
Rutgers, The State University
William Paterson University
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Marjorie K. Unterberg SON & Health Studies Monmouth University
Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing
Henry P. Becton, School of Nurisng & Allied Health Fairleigh Dickinson University
Seton Hall University
The College of New Jersey
Thomas Edison State College
UMDNJ School of Nursing