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Nursing Programs in NJ with Course Descriptions

New Jersey has over 50 schools that offer nursing programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for the 10 largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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  • Public Health Nurse or Community Nurse
  • Registered Nurse

Essential Information

Associate degree programs in nursing are common in New Jersey and train new students or licensed practical nurses (LPNs) for work as registered nurses (RNs). Bachelor's and master's degree programs are also available and are typically designed for existing registered nurses; however, students with a bachelor's degree in an unrelated field may be able to pursue an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Additionally, there are clinical Doctor of Nursing programs as well as research-centric Ph.D. programs. Undergraduate certificate programs in practical nursing as well as advanced-practice graduate certificate programs are also available. Graduate program applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree in nursing and should be licensed RNs.

Bergen Community College

Bergen Community College is a 2-year school in Paramus with other campuses in Hackensack and Lyndhurst. The Associate in Applied Science in Nursing takes 4 semesters to complete. In addition to general education courses in communication, humanities and mathematics, students are required to take major area coursework, including pharmacology, adult health nursing, mother-child nursing and mental health nursing. Adult health nursing, for example, is designed to teach students how to care for adults who suffer from a lack of mobility.

Brookdale Community College

Located in Lindcroft, Brookdale Communtiy College's nursing program is designated as a Center of Excellence (COE) by the National League for Nursing. Students are prepared for entry-level careers as RNs while they work toward the Associate in Applied Science degree. Nursing coursework includes two sections that teach students how to care for individuals who cannot care for themselves, such as surgical patients.

Camden County College

This college in Camden has 3 additional campuses throughout New Jersey. The Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing works in conjunction with Camden County College. Thus, students simultaneously earn a diploma from the School of Nursing and an Associate in Science in Nursing from the college. This program takes 2.5 years to complete. The liberal arts courses are taught by the Camden County College faculty, while all nursing courses are taught by the School of Nursing faculty. Clinical experiences are included in this curriculum and take place in many different settings. The capstone course in this program is meant to transition students into practice, helping them apply their classroom learning to health environments while learning how laws and administration affect the practice of nursing.

Essex County College

Essex County College is a 2-year school with a main campus in Newark, which is sprawled over 3 city blocks. Individuals who are interested in pursuing careers as LPNs may enter the certificate program, which trains them for the NCLEX-PN examination. This program can be completed in 2 years and covers the fundamentals of practical nursing and adult health. An Associate in Applied Science in Nursing is also available, which trains students to become RNs. Students are required to take courses in medical mathematics and a nursing seminar. Current LPNs may enter the articulation option, which allows them to use previously earned credit toward the AAS degree.

Kean University

Located in Union, Kean University is the third largest public school in the state. Through the College of Natural, Applied and Health Sciences, the School of Nursing offers both bachelor's and master's degrees for individuals who already have RN licensure. The RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program requires 125 credits and includes coursework in health assessment and research in nursing. Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) students may focus on school nursing, community health nursing or clinical administration.

Middlesex County College

Middlesex County College in Edison offers an Associate in Science in Nursing degree. Students must take 4 nursing courses in a certain order, which means that regardless of previously taken liberal arts courses, this degree requires 4 semesters. In 2011, 92.75% of graduates passed the NCLEX-RN examination.

Rowan University

Rowan University in Glassboro offers a BSN for RNs through the School of Nursing. RNs must complete 121 credits, but any pre-licensure coursework may count towards their degree, as well. Nursing classes cover nursing informatics, healthcare finance, healthcare policy, nursing delivery systems and pharmacology.

Rutgers University - Newark

The Newark, New Brunswick and Camden campuses at Rutgers University offer a number of nursing programs. The Newark campus was ranked the most diverse college in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. BSN students can expect to learn about risk reduction, illness, disease management and healthcare technologies.

A number of graduate programs are available for practicing RNs who already hold a BSN. The full-time MSN program is 15 months long, and students may take most classes online. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) allows students to focus on clinical practice or leadership practice, while the PhD is for aspiring researchers and nurse scientists.

Thomas Edison State College

Thomas Edison State College in Trenton is a school specifically designed for adults and is the first of its kind in the nation. There are two BSN programs available: one for current RNs and one for adults who have previously earned a bachelor's degree in a different discipline. The RN to BSN program is available entirely online and includes courses such as public health nursing, which teaches students to evaluate healthcare on a community-wide scale. MSN students can focus on nurse educator, nursing informatics or nursing administration. Graduate certificates are also available in those emphases.

Union County College

Located in Cranford, Union County College is a 2-year school offering a Certificate in Practical Nursing. This 4-semester program covers topics such as adult health and nursing concepts, in addition to liberal arts classes. Students must also gain clinical experience at affiliated settings.

Career Requirements

The New Jersey Board of Nursing dictates that all aspiring nurses complete an approved educational program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). After completing the appropriate exam, individuals become licensed practical nurses or registered nurses. The Board of Nursing explains that LPNs typically work under the supervision of a RN or doctor, while RNs perform more complex nursing duties. All 10 of the largest colleges and universities in this state offer undergraduate programs that train students for the NCLEX examination.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Nursing Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)
Bergen Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate in Applied Science in Nursing $4,278 in-district,
$7,686 in-state,
$8,046 out-of-state*
Brookdale Community College 2-year, public; fringe rural Associate in Applied Science in Nursing $3,653 in-district,
$6,599 in-state,
$7,199 out-of-state*
Camden County College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate in Science in Nursing $4,320 in-district,
$4,440 in-state,
$4,440 out-of-state*
Essex County College 2-year, public; large city Certificate in Licensed Practical Nursing
Associate in Applied Science in Nursing
$4,213 in-district,
$7,358 in-state,
$7,358 out-of-state*
Kean University 4-year, public; large suburb RN to BSN,
Master of Science in Nursing
$11,581 in-state,
$18,183 out-of-state*
Middlesex County College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate in Science in Nursing $3,372 in-district,
$6,744 in-state,
$6,744 out-of-state*
Rowan University 4-year, public; large suburb RN to BSN $12,864 in-state,
$20,978 out-of-state*
Rutgers University-Newark 4-year, public; large city School Nurse Certificate,
Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
RN to BSN,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice,
PhD in Nursing
$13,597 in-state,
$28,987 out-of-state*
Thomas Edison State College 4-year, public; small city RN to BSN,
Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Graduate Certificate
$6,135 in-state,
$9,036 out-of-state*
Union County College 2-year, public; large suburb Certificate in Practical Nursing $4,450 in-district,
$8,900 in-state,
$8,900 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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