Top New Jersey Nursing Schools and Programs

by Maura Deering

Nursing schools in New Jersey prepare students for careers in the state and beyond. Nurses in New Jersey enjoy ample employment opportunities and nationally competitive salaries. Read on for educational and licensing information.

Top New Jersey Nursing Schools and Programs
RN employment
RN Job Growth
Annual Salary for New Jersey Nurses
Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact State?

Students and graduates of nursing programs in New Jersey enjoy a number of advantages, including top schools and employment opportunities. Projected nursing shortages in the state and robust job growth rates will create even more possibilities.

Why Attend a Nursing Program in New Jersey

New Jersey joins six other U.S. states projected to experience a shortage of registered nurses (RNs) in 2030, with an estimated shortfall of 11,400 RNs. This translates to opportunities for nurses in the state.

Other benefits to becoming a nurse in New Jersey include high employment levels for RNs, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and nursing assistants (CNAs) in the New York-Newark-Jersey City and Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro areas. In addition, New Jersey nurse practitioners (NPs) earn the second-highest average salaries for their occupation in the country. Also, the New Jersey Nurses Union supports its members with advocacy on issues like pay rates, working hours and conditions, and grievances.

Featured Online Programs

Nursing Program Requirements in New Jersey

NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.7%
State Nursing Board: New Jersey Board of Nursing


The New Jersey Department of Health credentials CNAs, while the New Jersey Board of Nursing licenses LPNs, RNs, and advanced practice nurses (APRNs). Refer to the tables below for details about licensing requirements and processes. In 2020, New Jersey's governor signed legislation enabling undocumented immigrants to obtain occupational and professional licenses, including nursing credentials.

New Jersey has partially implemented legislation to join the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and should be fully implemented in 2021. The NLC will allow New Jersey nurses to apply for multistate licenses. Currently, the state allows nurses from other NLC states, who hold multistate licenses, to practice in New Jersey.

Certified Nurse Assistant

CNAs work in nursing care facilities and hospitals, providing basic medical care and assistance to patients under the direction of RNs and LPNs. Typical duties include bathing patients, helping them dress, repositioning them, assisting them with meals, and monitoring vital signs. CNAs also note patients' concerns to report to their supervisors.

CNA Program Requirements:

  • Application Requirements: High school diploma or GED, academic transcripts
  • How Long To Complete: 6-12 months
  • Accrediting Bodies: State of New Jersey

New Jersey Licensure Requirements:

Licensed Practical Nurse

LPNs provide entry-level nursing care under the supervision of nursing staff and physicians. They work in nursing care homes, hospitals, mental health facilities, home healthcare, and physicians' offices. Duties may include checking patients' vital signs, inserting and monitoring IVs, performing first aid, documenting patient histories, and assisting physicians.

LPN Program Requirements:

New Jersey Licensure Requirements:

Registered Nurse

RNs practice on teams of healthcare professionals, providing and coordinating patient care and supervising other RNs, LPNs, and CNAs. They may specialize in areas like critical care, pediatrics, or public health. Most RNs work in hospitals, but others find employment in clinics, physicians' offices, home healthcare services, and schools.

RN Program Requirements:

New Jersey Licensure Requirements:

Nurse Practitioner

NPs rank among the most highly trained nursing professionals and obtain national board certification and state APRN licensure. They specialize in a specific patient population, such as acute care, family practice, neonatal, and women's health. NPs provide primary care to patients in physicians' and health practitioners' offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers, and educational services.

NP Program Requirements:

New Jersey Licensure Requirements:

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in New Jersey

New Jersey's cost of living index of 116.8 exceeds the national average of 100 and has the 11th highest cost of living in the country. Fortunately, employment rate and salary projections remain strong for nurses, particularly for professionals who care for aging patients with chronic and acute conditions and illnesses. APRNs, in particular, should be in demand as they take on more responsibility and perform many of the same responsibilities as physicians.

Nursing Level Median Salary Projected Job Growth
Certified Nurse Assistant $32,070 5.5%
Licensed Vocational Nurse $58,010 7.3%
Registered Nurse $84,990 11.3%
Nurse Practitioner $122,970 28.2%
Source: BLS

Highest Paying Cities for Nurses in New Jersey

Top Paying Metropolitan Areas for Registered Nurses

Top Paying Metropolitan Areas Median Salary for RNs
Atlantic City - Hammonton $84,230
Trenton $82,970
Vineland-Bridgeton $81,040
Ocean City $77,800
Source: BLS

Top Paying Metropolitan Areas for Nurse Practitioners

Top Paying Metropolitan Areas Median Salary for NPs
Vineland - Bridgeton $130,890
Trenton $122,790
Source: BLS

Explore the Best BSN Programs in New Jersey and School Info

The College of New Jersey View School Profile $$$$ Ewing, NJ 86% 52% 4% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Description:

The College of New Jersey, rated as the best nursing program in New Jersey for nurse practitioners (NPs), offers a registered nurse to master of science in nursing (RN-to-MSN) bridge program and a family nurse practitioner (FNP) specialization. The FNP program requires 47 credit hours and 715 practicum hours. The College of New Jersey also offers NP certification programs for family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontological primary care nurse practitioner, and FNP for specialized practitioners.

The MSN-NP program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), while the post-graduate advanced practice registered nurse certificate program is currently seeking accreditation. The program requires all classroom hours to be completed on campus. All students, regardless of where they live, pay the same tuition.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN-NP; RN-to-MSN
    • Campus: Ewing, New Jersey
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): CCNE
    • Tuition: $1,024 per credit hour
    • Admission Requirements: BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA or a non-nursing bachelor's for the bridge program; RN license; transcripts; two recommendation letters; an essay; resume/CV; at least one course in statistics and one in health assessment; GRE or existing master's degree
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97.06%
Monmouth University View School Profile West Long Branch, NJ 69% 67% 13% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Description:

Monmouth University, one of the top nursing schools in New Jersey for nurse practitioners (NPs), boasts a master of science in nursing (MSN) with NP specializations such as family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and adult-gerontological primary care nurse practitioner. For students who already hold an MSN, Monmouth offers a post-master's certificate program.

Monmouth also features a registered nurse (RN)-to-MSN direct entry program for RNs who do not currently hold a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and a bridge option for RNs with a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than nursing.

Students must pass most specialization courses with at least a "B" grade.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN-NP; RN-to-MSN Direct Entry; RN-to-MSN
    • Campus: West Long Branch, New Jersey
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
    • Tuition: $1,267 per credit
    • Admission Requirements: BSN, non-nursing bachelor's for the bridge program, or nursing diploma or associate degree for direct entry; RN license; one year of experience as an RN; one year of experience in a specialty area; college level course in health assessment; transcripts; two recommendations; an essay
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 76%
Felician University View School Profile Lodi, NJ 46% 71% 44% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Description:

Felician University's master of science in nursing (MSN) with a nurse practitioner (NP) track offers a family nurse practitioner (FNP) specialization. The program requires 40 credit hours and 650 hours of fieldwork. Required courses include primary care, advanced health assessment, pharmacology, and clinical pathophysiology. Felician also offers certificate programs for the post-master's adult oncology NP certificate, post-master's FNP in primary care certificate, post-master's adult-gerontology NP in primary care certificate, and post-master's certificate in nursing administration.

One of the top nursing schools in New Jersey for NP programs, Felician is one of the few Franciscan universities in the U.S. and the only one in New Jersey.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN-NP
    • Campus: Rutherford, New Jersey
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
    • Tuition: $1,060 per credit
    • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing with at least a 3.0 GPA; New Jersey registered nurse license; college level courses in health assessment, nursing research, and statistics; transcripts; two recommendations; personal statement
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 80.6%

Frequently Asked Questions


How long does it take to become an RN in New Jersey?

Holders of nursing diplomas, ADNs, and BSNs can apply to take the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain their RN licenses. Nursing programs in New Jersey average 1-4 years to completion, but timelines vary by full- or part-time status, accelerated learning, or online or on-campus instruction.

How do I get a New Jersey nursing license?

CNA-program graduates apply for certification from the New Jersey Department of Health if they plan to work in long-term care facilities. LPNs, RNs, and NPs (APRNs) apply to the New Jersey Board of Nursing and must take and pass the applicable exam to qualify for their licenses.

Can a NY RN work in NJ?

New York RNs with active, unencumbered licenses can apply for licensure by endorsement and complete a background check to practice in New Jersey. New Jersey currently allows RNs from NLC states and hold multistate licenses to practice in the state, but New York has not enacted NLC legislation.

How much is nursing school in New Jersey?

The cost of nursing schools in New Jersey varies by full- or part-time enrollment, in-state or out-of-state tuition, online or on-campus instruction, degree level, accelerated study, and specialty area. Public and private schools may also impose different tuition rates. Visit this page for BSN tuition, and see costs for MSN programs here.

Resources for Nurses in New Jersey

  • Housed in the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, the Board of Nursing licenses LVNs, RNs, and APRNs and posts information about applicable laws and regulations, NLC information, nursing programs, continuing education, and other items relevant to nurses. The board publishes up-to-date-rule changes and handles disciplinary actions.
  • The association supports nurses and their patients with programming and continuing education, an annual conference, networking, scholarship and research grants, and legislative advocacy. NJSNA also posts job listings and offers discounts on car insurance and home loan assistance. American Nurses Association membership is included in NJSNA's dues
  • NNJBNA, an affiliate chapter of the National Black Nurses Association, represents RNs, LPNs, nursing students, and retired nurses. Its goals include addressing healthcare disparities and improving the health of African Americans in New Jersey. Members benefit from education, advocacy, and mentorship. Students can join at a significant discount.
  • NJNS offers membership to students in graduate, LPN, and RN programs in New Jersey and features an annual conference that offers networking with practitioners and hospital recruiters. Members receive career planning advice, a professional magazine, discounted NCLEX study guides, and scholarship opportunities. Dues also cover membership in the National Student Nurses Association.

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