According to the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing, the majority of nurses in the state are employed by hospitals, though many nursing professionals instead find employment at hospices, home health agencies, nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities. No matter where nurses in New Jersey decide to work, however, they need postsecondary education and hands-on training so they can learn how to deliver the care that employers expect and patients deserve. To learn more about the schools that train nurses — as well as how nurses can earn their state credentials and stay active in the nursing community — continue reading this page.

Best Nursing Schools in New Jersey

Whether students want to earn an entry-level nursing job or to advance in their existing nursing career, they need to find a school that can help them meet their educational and professional goals. In order to help prospective nursing students choose from the 43 schools in the state, we have ranked the best undergraduate schools, as well as the best graduate nursing schools, in New Jersey. Our rankings, which were built using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), can be found below; for more information on our methodology for creating these lists, see the bottom of this page.

01
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$11,408
Undergraduate graduation rate
80%
Undergraduate retention rate
92%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
69%
02
New Jersey City University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$8,114
Undergraduate graduation rate
31%
Undergraduate retention rate
78%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
94%
03
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$8,998
Undergraduate graduation rate
73%
Undergraduate retention rate
86%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
81%
04
Stockton University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$8,435
Undergraduate graduation rate
70%
Undergraduate retention rate
86%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
91%
05
Rutgers University-Camden
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$11,408
Undergraduate graduation rate
59%
Undergraduate retention rate
87%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
91%
06
The College of New Jersey
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$11,124
Undergraduate graduation rate
87%
Undergraduate retention rate
94%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
79%
07
Salem Community College
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$3,750
Undergraduate graduation rate
37%
Undergraduate retention rate
72%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
62%
08
Rowan University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$9,434
Undergraduate graduation rate
71%
Undergraduate retention rate
85%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
86%
09
Felician University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$30,680
Undergraduate graduation rate
41%
Undergraduate retention rate
84%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
99%
10
Mercer County Community College
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$4,080
Undergraduate graduation rate
16%
Undergraduate retention rate
68%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
57%
01
Seton Hall University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
8
Graduate Tuition
$21,078
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
8
02
The College of New Jersey
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$12,798
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
03
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
5
Graduate Tuition
$16,536
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
04
Stockton University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$10,686
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
05
Felician University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
5
Graduate Tuition
$18,000
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
2
06
William Paterson University of New Jerse...
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$10,998
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
07
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$14,545
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
08
Rutgers University-Camden
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$16,536
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
09
Kean University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$13,156
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
10
Saint Peter's University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$19,476
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0

Nursing Accreditation in New Jersey

Accreditation is one of the most important qualities that nursing students should look for in a school. When a school is accredited, it means that this school has been reviewed by a quality-assurance educational agency and found to meet certain important standards based on the skills employers are looking for. When searching for a school, students should only consider those that have been approved by accrediting bodies such as the ones below:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
  • Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education
  • New Jersey Board of Nursing

New Jersey Nursing Licensure

In order to earn a license to work as a registered nurse or a practical nurse, people must first complete a state-approved degree program and then pass the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) or NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses). In addition, license candidates must demonstrate that they have a clean criminal record by undergoing a background check. Finally, a licensing fee of $200 must be paid to the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

Similarly, those who want to pursue a career as an advanced practice nurse or a nurse practitioner are required to receive certification from the state. In order to do this, people must complete an approved graduate degree program and six pharmacology contact hours, as well as pay a $100 fee to the nursing board.

More information about specific New Jersey nursing licenses can be found at www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/nur/Pages/default.aspx.

New Jersey Nursing organizations

Professional nursing organizations can help New Jersey nurses to keep abreast of what’s going on in the field, as well as give them an opportunity to commiserate with their peers. The following are some examples of the associations that nurses in the Garden State can join.

  • This organization is dedicated to advancing the nursing profession through education, workplace advocacy, leadership training and policy development. Nurses who join can network with other professionals and participate in continuing education classes. In addition, the association supports future nurses by offering college scholarships and research grants.

  • The NJSSNA promotes positive health and educational outcomes of New Jersey children by meeting the needs of the state’s school nurses. Members of the organization can receive resources to help them deliver healthcare, participate in networking events, and take continuing education classes through the group.

  • This association works to meet the needs of emergency nurses around the state. Some of the benefits of membership include access to industry news, resources and conferences.

  • The NJSAOHN supports occupational health nurses by creating opportunities to receive education and mentoring services, as well as opportunities to network with other professionals. In addition, the organization encourages members to participate in lobbying to help improve workplace conditions.

New Jersey-Specific Continuing Education

Nurses in New Jersey are expected to renew their license every two years. In order to do this, professionals are required to complete at least 30 hours of continuing education coursework. Some of the topics that continuing education classes are intended to cover include geriatrics, infection control, pharmacology, and community health.

Hospitals in New Jersey

Statistics from the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing show that, as of 2017, hospitals are by far the largest employers of nurses in New Jersey. Prospective nurses who are considering working for hospitals should keep in mind that each one is different, so they should look for a facility that specializes in the type of care they want to deliver. The following are a few examples of prominent New Jersey hospitals and what they offer the community.

  • New Bridge Medical Center (Paramus) New Bridge Medical Center, which is affiliated with Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, has been treating patients in Bergen County since 1916. This facility provides a wide range of services, from acute care to addiction treatment to behavioral health care. In addition, New Bridge Medical Center helps people in the community by providing charity care to those who are unable to pay for their medical treatments.
  • Hackensack University Medical Center (Hackensack)When Hackensack University Medical Center — Bergen County’s first hospital — was founded in 1888, it only had the capacity to treat 12 patients at a time. As of 2018, the center is the largest health care facility for both inpatient and outpatient care in the entire state. In addition to providing services from ambulatory surgery to wound care, Hackensack UMC conducts research to improve treatment in areas such as cancer care, geriatric medicine and pediatrics.
  • Saint Joseph’s University Medical Center (Paterson)When other hospitals have difficult and unusual cases that they can’t handle, Saint Joseph’s University Medical Center steps in to provide the complex care these patients need. In addition to working with challenging cases, the facility also handles routine care for patients who need orthopedic rehabilitation, women’s health treatments, and internal medicine services. Also, Saint Joseph’s has two foundations that raise money for poor and underserved communities that cannot afford health care.
Sources & Methodology

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we ranked 6,758 United States institutions with two different methodologies, in order to create two different lists: our undergraduate list and our graduate list. Final data for the 2016-17 school year was used for these rankings. (Schools that did not provide data for all 11 criteria were disqualified from the ranking.)

The 11 criteria for the undergraduate school ranking were as follows:

  1. Number of associate-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of associate-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of associate-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Average amount of federal grant aid awarded to full-time first-time undergraduates
  8. Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
  9. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  10. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  11. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

The graduate school ranking scored schools based on 9 criteria, different from the undergraduate list. These 9 criteria were as follows:

  1. Number of master’s-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of master’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of master’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  8. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  9. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools’ tuition amounts are based on 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

 

Sources

  1. American Hospital Directory, Accessed July 2018, https://www.ahd.com/
  2. Supply and Demand Projections of the Nursing Workforce: 2014-2030, HRSA, Accessed July 2018, https://bhw.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/bhw/nchwa/projections/NCHWA_HRSA_Nursing_Report.pdf
  3. Supply and Demand Report, New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing, Accessed July 2018, http://www.njccn.org/combined-report/
  4. Key Trends, New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing, Accessed July 2018, http://www.njccn.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Chapter-5-Key-Findings.pdf
  5. Workforce Supply Data, New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing, Accessed July 2018, http://www.njccn.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Chapter-3-Workforce-Supply-Data.pdf
  6. Demand Data Report, New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing, Accessed July 2018, http://www.njccn.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Chapter-4-Demand-Data.pdf
  7. Environmental Scan, New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing, Accessed July 2018, http://www.njccn.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Chapter-1-Environmental-Scan.pdf
  8. Chamberlain College of Nursing & Health Professions, Accessed July 2018, https://www.chamberlain.edu/nursing-school/new-jersey/north-brunswick
  9. Rutgers School of Nursing, Accessed July 2018, http://nursing.rutgers.edu/
  10. Nursing, New Jersey City University, Accessed July 2018, https://www.njcu.edu/nursing
  11. National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Accessed July 2018, www.ncsbn.org
  12. New Jersey Nurses CE Requirements, NetCE, Accessed July 2018, https://www.netce.com/ce-requirements/nursing/NJ/
  13. New Jersey State Nurses Association, Accessed July 2018, https://njsna.org/
  14. New Jersey State School Nurses Association, Accessed July 2018, http://www.njssna.org/home
  15. New Jersey Emergency Nurses Association, Accessed July 2018, https://njena.org/
  16. New Jersey State Association of Occupational Health Nurses Association, Accessed July 2018, https://njsaohn.nursingnetwork.com/
  17. New Bridge Medical Center, Accessed July 2018, https://www.newbridgehealth.org/
  18. Hackensack University Medical Center, Accessed July 2018, https://www.hackensackumc.org/
  19. Saint Joseph’s University Medical Center, Accessed July 2018, https://www.stjosephshealth.org/sjrmc
  20. Nursing Endorsement, New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Accessed July 2018, https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/nur/Applications/RN-and-LPN-Licensure-by-Endorsement.pdf
  21. Continuing Education FAQ, New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Accessed July 2018, https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/nur/Pages/Continuing-Education-FAQ.aspx
  22. New Jersey: Board of Nursing CE Requirements, Nurse.com, Accessed July 2018, https://www.nurse.com/state-nurse-ce-requirements/new-jersey
  23. Application for Advanced Practice Nurse Certification, New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Accessed July 2018, https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/nur/Applications/Application-for-Advanced-Practice-Nurse-Certification.pdf

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