The Best Nursing Programs in New Jersey

Daniel BalNurseJournal Rankings Team
Updated November 30, 2023
Accredited bachelor of science in nursing programs in New Jersey prepare students to become licensed registered nurses.
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Because of its centralized location between two major metropolitan areas — Philadelphia and New York City — and its ranking as one of the highest-paying states for registered nurses (RN), New Jersey is an ideal location for prospective nurses to start their educational journey.

New Jersey is home to various undergraduate programs that allow prospective nurses to earn their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and become licensed RNs. This page explores the best nursing programs New Jersey has to offer.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best New Jersey nursing programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

At a Glance: The Top New Jersey Nursing Programs

  1. The College of New Jersey
  2. Stockton University
  3. Rutgers University-New Brunswick
  4. Montclair State University
  5. Rowan University

How Do New Jersey Nursing Programs Work?

Nursing programs in New Jersey are similar to those in other states. To become a licensed RN, you must either earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a BSN. These programs take two and four years to complete, respectively. ADN programs focus on teaching clinical skills, while BSN programs have a more in-depth nursing curriculum and longer clinical experiences.

RNs with an ADN in New Jersey can enroll in an RN-to-BSN program, which allows them to earn their BSN in two years rather than four. Completing this accelerated program increases earning potential and opens the door to more employment opportunities. New Jersey schools also offer an accelerated program for licensed practical nurses (LPNs), — LPN-to-BSN — allowing them to earn their BSN in 2-3 years.

Explore Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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Applying to a New Jersey Nursing Program

New Jersey provides several options for earning a BSN. The most common pathway involves enrolling in an undergraduate program directly after high school. Nursing schools look for their undergraduate applicants to possess many of the same qualities, including strong academic and social skills. Job shadowing or volunteer experience related to the field of medicine can also bolster an application.

Although specific requirements may differ from one school to the next, most ask for some of the same general information.

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    Admission Materials

    Transcripts from previous academic programs; ACT and/or SAT scores; resume; personal statement; letters of recommendation
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    GPA Requirement

    2.75 GPA or higher

Why Is New Jersey Nursing Program Accreditation Important?

Attending an institution that offers an accredited program provides students with various benefits. All of the programs in our rankings are accredited and offer the following advantages:

  • Accreditation highlights the program’s high standards and indicates that its curriculum effectively prepares nurses.
  • Organizations, such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, only accredit programs that provide their students with the highest quality preparation.
  • Students in programs without accreditation may not be eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Accredited programs may not accept transfer credits from unaccredited programs.
  • Doctoral programs only accept applicants with a degree from an accredited institution.
  • Employers prefer to hire graduates with a degree from an accredited program.

Learn More About the Best New Jersey Nursing Programs and Schools

See our methodology to learn more about how we create our rankings.
#1 The Best Nursing Programs in New Jersey

The College of New Jersey

  • Location-markerEwing, NJ
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$13,239
  • Out-of-state$25,217
  • Retention Rate94%
  • Acceptance Rate51%
  • Students Enrolled7,783
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment100%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 The Best Nursing Programs in New Jersey

Stockton University

  • Location-markerGalloway, NJ
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$12,245
  • Out-of-state$19,679
  • Retention Rate85%
  • Acceptance Rate77%
  • Students Enrolled9,893
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment97%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 The Best Nursing Programs in New Jersey

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

  • Location-markerNew Brunswick, NJ
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$12,230
  • Out-of-state$29,012
  • Retention Rate93%
  • Acceptance Rate67%
  • Students Enrolled50,411
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment33%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 The Best Nursing Programs in New Jersey

Montclair State University

  • Location-markerMontclair, NJ
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$12,082
  • Out-of-state$20,042
  • Retention Rate83%
  • Acceptance Rate83%
  • Students Enrolled21,005
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment95%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 The Best Nursing Programs in New Jersey

Rowan University

  • Location-markerGlassboro, NJ
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,573
  • Out-of-state$18,605
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate78%
  • Students Enrolled19,678
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment59%
  • AccreditationYes

Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Nursing Programs

How do I become a BSN in New Jersey?

To earn a BSN and become an RN in New Jersey, you must first attend an undergraduate nursing program. Upon completion of the program, you must take the NCLEX-RN to be eligible for state licensure. After passing the exam and completing a background check, you then submit your application to the New Jersey Board of Nursing for approval.

How long is nursing school in New Jersey?

There are two degree options available for those looking to become an RN in New Jersey: an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree. An ADN takes two years to complete, whereas a BSN program takes four years. Both degrees make graduates eligible to take the NCLEX and apply for RN licensure.

What is the fastest you can get a BSN?

The fastest way to earn a BSN without prior college education is to complete a four-year program. Those with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree can enroll in an accelerated BSN program, which they can finish in 16-24 months. RNs with an ADN can enroll in an RN-to-BSN program, which takes as little as 12-16 months to complete.

Is earning a BSN worth it in New Jersey?

Earning a BSN and working in New Jersey can be beneficial. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, RNs in New Jersey earn $89,690 per year, placing them within the top 10 of all states. New Jersey is also in the top 15 states concerning employment levels, with Newark and Camden being two of the largest metropolitan areas in the country to employ RNs.

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