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In New Jersey, most practical nursing courses and programs are offered at community and county colleges and vocational centers. Most programs take about one year to complete and often award a certificate upon completion. One school listed below offers a diploma program designed to be completed in 44 weeks. Practical nursing students complete a combination of classroom studies with labs and clinical experiences. Applicants should be at least 18 years old and must be high school graduates or possess a GED. All programs listed in this article are approved by the New Jersey Board of Nursing.
Camden County College
The practical nursing certificate program at Camden County College in Blackwood calls for four semesters of study totaling 51 credits. One required course in the LPN program trains students as certified nurse aides (CNAs), and they can qualify for state CNA certification. Practical nursing students also take courses in microbiology, English composition, medical terminology, psychology and pharmacology. Courses in mother/child nursing, adult health nursing and mental health nursing require clinical work at area healthcare facilities. Applicants to the program must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED certificate.
Cumberland County College
It takes approximately one calendar year to complete the practical nursing certificate program at Cumberland County College in Vineland. The 34- credit program includes general education courses in English composition, anatomy and psychology. Students take a course in nutrition as well. Nursing courses include family nursing and medical surgical nursing. These courses include clinical experience with real clients.
Essex County College
Essex County College in Newark offers a 49-credit program that leads to a certificate in practical nursing. General education courses include English composition, physiology and psychology, while nursing courses and clinical placements cover mental health nursing, adult health and pediatric nursing. Students hone their skills in the college's modern simulation laboratory and can utilize a multi-media computer lab. The practical nursing program at Essex meets standards of the state's articulation model, which means graduates can move into an associate's degree program in nursing if they meet admission requirements.
Holy Name Medical Center School of Nursing
At Holy Name Medical Center School of Nursing in Teaneck, the practical nursing program consists of one year of study for a total of 57 credits. Day and evening classes are offered. Students must be high school graduates or have GED certificates, have an acceptable score on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) and provide two letters of reference. Students take classes in anatomy/physiology, development, nutrition and pharmacology. Classroom and clinical courses include mother/child health, psychiatric nursing and medical surgical nursing.
Monmouth County Vocational School District
The Monmouth County Vocation School District offers an 11-month practical nursing program in Long Branch, open only to residents of Monmouth County. Students must be high school graduates or have a GED and be age 18 or older. Classes are on Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Students get classroom and clinical training in anatomy, pharmacology, human development and community health, along with experience in medical/surgical nursing, obstetrics, pediatrics and psychiatric nursing.
Morris County Vocational School District
The practical nursing program offered by Morris County Vocational School District in Denville runs from late August through July. Classes are held in the daytime, but clinical work can be scheduled in the evenings. Students learn about obstetrics, geriatrics, mental health and medical surgical nursing and take courses in pharmacology, microbiology and the fundamentals of nursing. Applicants must be high school graduates or hold a GED certificate and pass an entrance exam. Students from outside Morris, Warren and Sussex counties pay additional tuition.
Ocean County Vocational-Technical School
The practical nursing program at Ocean County Vocational-Technical School in Toms River was established more than 50 years ago. Class sizes are limited, and it may take up to a year to complete the admissions process and enter the program. Applicants must be at least 18 and have a high school diploma or GED certificate. The practical nursing program takes 44 weeks to complete; about 60 percent of the program consists of clinical practice at area healthcare facilities, while the remainder is classroom time and labs.
Salem Community College
Salem Community College in Carneys Point offers a 60-unit practical nursing certificate program. Students complete 19 credits of prerequisite courses that include anatomy/physiology, math for nurses, human development, English composition and introduction to nursing. Two semesters of nursing courses include classes and practicums in nursing fundamentals, medical-surgical nursing and nursing specialties as well as a course in pharmacology. The practical nursing program is designed so students can easily move into the school's associate degree program.
Union County College
Located in Cranford, Union County College allows practical nursing students to take courses in the daytime, evening, on weekends and online, if possible. Scheduling for clinical experiences is also flexible. The practical nursing certificate requires four semesters of study. Courses in English composition, biology and psychology are required, and nursing students also take clinical courses in mental health nursing, pediatrics and adult health.
Practical nurses in New Jersey are licensed by the New Jersey Board of Nursing. To qualify as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), they must graduate from a practical nursing program at an approved school, gain clearance through a criminal history background check and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN).
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||LPN Certificates, Diplomas and Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-16)|
|Camden County College||Two-year; public; large suburb||Practical Nursing Academic Certificate||$4,320, in-district; $4,440, others*|
|Cumberland County College||Two-year; public; rural fringe||Practical Nursing Academic Certificate||$4,290, in-district; $4,590, in-state; $14,460, out-of-state*|
|Essex County College||Two-year; public; large city||Practical Nursing Academic Certificate||$4,213, in-district; $7,358, others*|
|Holy Name Medical Center School of Nursing||Two-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb||Practical Nurse Program||$22,079*|
|Monmouth County Vocational School District||Less than two-year; public; large suburb||Practical Nursing Program||$8,500*|
|Morris County Vocational School District||Less than two-year; public; large suburb||Practical Nurse Program||$10,124*|
|Ocean County Vocational-Technical School||Less than two-year; public; large suburb||Diploma in Practical Nursing||$10,160*|
|Salem Community College||Two-year; public; rural fringe||Practical Nursing Certificate|| $4,104, in-district
|Union County College||Two-year; public; large suburb||Practical Nursing Certificate||$4,450, in-district; $8,900, others*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).