State-approved certification programs for aspiring school nurses in New Jersey include certificates and master's degree programs. Many schools offer both instructional and non-instructional certificate options. Students in instructional programs can expect to complete teaching and nursing practicums or internships. To enroll in certificate programs, students need bachelor's degrees and RN licenses. Other admissions requirements can include completion of counseling or health assessment courses or nursing experience. Master's degree programs also require practicums, and students need to be RNs with bachelor's degrees to enroll. Flexible learning options, including evening and online courses, are available in both programs.
School nurses in this state need to have a New Jersey registered nursing license, at least a bachelor's degree and a minimum of 30 credit hours from an approved school nursing program. School nurses are certified in two ways by the New Jersey Department of Education: a school nurse certificate qualifies nurses to perform nursing duties and also to teach health education in preschool through grade 12, while a school nurse non-instructional certificate allows the school nurse to only perform nursing duties. Below are brief overviews of programs at the ten largest schools that offer school nursing programs. All of these programs are approved by the state for school nurse education.
Felician College in Lodi has a master's degree and a graduate certificate program that can lead to either type of state school nurse certification. The master's program is a two-year, 37-credit program that includes courses in health assessment, health education, curriculum and policy. Students who are seeking only a non-instructional certificate do not have to participate in the student teaching requirement. After four prerequisite courses are completed, the 19 credits in the certificate program will require a year of full-time study or two years of part-time work.
At Kean University's main campus in Union, RNs with bachelor's degrees in any subject can earn school nursing certificates; a master's degree in school nursing is offered in Union and at the Kean Ocean Campus in Toms River. The certificate program qualifies graduates for instructional certification as a school nurse. This 30-credit program includes a course in mental health and courses and practicums in school nursing and health teaching. Before enrolling in the certificate program, students must have completed courses in counseling and human development as well as a course and practicum in health assessment. The 39-credit master's program includes courses in leadership, computer use and research. All students take courses in educational theory, and students who do not currently hold instructional certificates must complete school nurse and teaching practicums.
Monmouth University in West Long Branch offers a master's degree with a school nursing specialization. The degree program has a track for students seeking initial certification and a track for certified school nurses. The curriculum in both tracks calls for courses in data management, health informatics, pharmacology and health assessment. The program for initial certification totals 41 credits and includes two practicums in school nursing. The master's degree program for already-certified school nurses requires 30 hours of study.
New Jersey City University
New Jersey City University in Jersey City offers a 30-credit graduate certificate program for instructional certification. Students must be RNs, hold a bachelor's degree and have at least three years of nursing experience. Courses include the role of the school nurse in health education and public health immigration issues. After earning the certificate, nurses can complete three additional courses and a thesis or a department project for a master's degree in school health education.
Students at Glassboro's Rowan University complete the school nurse certificate program in a hybrid format that combines online classes with field placements. Students must be experienced RNs with bachelor's degrees. After taking courses in health assessment, adolescent development, community health nursing and intercultural relations, students can enter the 18-credit school nursing program, which can be completed in three consecutive semesters. Students get a practicum in school nursing and an internship in health teaching as well as courses including student exceptionality and school nursing for children with ongoing health needs.
The School of Nursing at Rutgers - Camden offers a school nurse certificate program. During the summer, students take three courses that cover the principles of school nursing and contemporary issues in school nursing and health education. The faculty consists of experienced school nurses, and students learn through presentations, readings and class discussions. The students complete 150 hours of school nursing practicum, divided over two courses. Students in this program must be RNs with bachelor's degrees and meet requirements for foundation and general education courses.
Rutgers University - Newark
Rutgers University - Newark offers a school nurse certificate program for RNs with bachelor's degrees or as a minor for nursing majors. Three courses are online and cover teaching methods, educational psychology and the role of a school health nurse. Students also complete practicums in the schools and participate in weekly seminars. Applicants must have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 and meet requirements for general education courses; admission is competitive, and program participants are selected based on GPA.
Seton Hall University
In South Orange, Seton Hall University offers a master's degree with a school nursing option as well as a school nurse certificate. The certificate program is open to New Jersey RNs with bachelor's degrees. It calls for 30 credits of state-required courses in school nursing and education; classes are offered in the evenings. Practicums in school nursing and teaching are required as well. RNs with bachelor's degrees in nursing can enroll in the master's degree program. Those with a certificate in school nursing can use those credits towards the degree; those who don't hold a school nursing certificate will earn one as part of the degree program. Courses are offered in a hybrid format, both online and on-campus. On-campus courses are offered in the late afternoon and evenings.
The College of New Jersey
The College of New Jersey in Ewing, offers non-instructional and instructional certificate programs in school nursing and a master's degree with a school nursing specialization. Students in both the certificate and master's programs must be RNs with bachelor's degrees in nursing. Before entering the certificate program, they must have completed courses in psychology, mental health nursing, community health nursing, human development and health assessment. The non-instructional certificate program calls for courses in school nursing foundations, assessment of school-age children and teens, education foundations and a school nursing practicum and seminar. The instructional certificate program includes the non-instructional curriculum plus courses in health education, family and community systems. It requires an additional practicum and seminar. The master's degree in school nursing calls for 40 credits and includes the curriculum for both types of certificates in addition to advanced courses in pharmacology, pathophysiology and health assessment as well as research, theoretical foundations for advanced nursing and capstone seminars.
William Paterson University of New Jersey
William Paterson University of New Jersey in Wayne offers instructional and non-instructional school nursing certificate programs to RNs with bachelor's degrees in nursing, public health, health education or related fields. The non-instructional program calls for 26 credits, while the instructional certificate program requires 35. Courses include legal issues, community systems and counseling skills. Students spend time observing in a school, and instructional certification students complete teaching and school nurse internships. Through a program offered through the Department of Kinesiology, students can seek certification to teach physical education in addition to health education.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||School Nurse Degree Programs and Certificates Offered||Undergraduate/Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-19)*|
|Felician College||Four-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb|| School Nursing or School Nursing and Teacher of Health Education Graduate Certificate,
Master of Arts in Education: School Nursing or School Nursing and Health Education
| Undergraduate: $34,320
|Kean University||Four-year; public; small city|| School Nurse Certificate,
Master of Science in Nursing, School Nursing
|Monmouth University||Four-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb||Master of Science in Nursing, School Nursing||Graduate: $26,814|
|New Jersey City University||Four-year; public; large suburb|| Graduate Certificate in School Nursing,
Master of Science, Specialization in School Health Education
|Rowan University||Four-year; public; large suburb||Post-Baccalaureate Certification: School Nursing||Graduate: $16,360|
|Rutgers University - Camden||Four-year; public; small city||School Nurse Certificate|| Undergraduate:
|Rutgers University - Newark||Four-year; public; large city||School Nurse Certificate|| Undergraduate:
|Seton Hall University||Four-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb|| School Nurse Certificate,
Master of Science in Nursing, School Nursing
| Undergraduate: $42,170
|The College of New Jersey||Four-year; public; large suburb|| School Nurse Certificate,
Master of Science in Nursing, School Nursing
|William Paterson University of New Jersey||Four-year; public; large suburb||School Nurse Certificate|| Undergraduate:
Source: *NCES College Navigator.