Students have no shortage of schools for nursing in New Jersey to pick from. Universities and colleges are trying to attract students to train as nurses and position them to find employment in New Jersey healthcare facilities of all types. Like many states, New Jersey has a nursing shortage that makes trained, experienced nurses highly in-demand. That’s why the best nursing schools in New Jersey are working overtime to turn out exceptional nurses for one of the nation’s most densely-populated states.
The field of nursing enables students to get their careers started sooner than other professions. It takes about a year to become an LPN and 15 months to two years for an RN. Students learn in various settings that include classroom, labs and clinical trials. Schools in New Jersey for nursing provide these settings to give students a well-rounded education that prepares them for working in live healthcare settings. Nursing programs in New Jersey also teach students to take the NCLEX exam in order to gain the appropriate nursing license from the state of New Jersey.
How We Ranked the Best Nursing Schools in New Jersey
Nursing School Hub editors feature accredited, trusted schools known for their quality and their positive influence on graduates’ careers. Programs are ranked according to factors like cost, student satisfaction, and the breadth of offerings.
1. Rutgers University
The School of Nursing at Rutgers University is a nationally recognized center of excellence (NLN) offering nursing programs. Among the best nursing schools in New Jersey, Rutgers University offers nursing programs that include bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate level degree programs, plus various certificate programs and continuing education options. Rutger’s Nursing school offers more than 100 nursing specialties across the academic continuum. Nursing students have the opportunity and access to more than 190 clinical sites throughout the state.
Rutgers University is the state university of New Jersey and considered one of the nation’s oldest school and a public ivy university. Established as Queens College in 1766, Rutgers University is now a public, land-grant higher learning institution with approximately 68,750 students. The School of Nursing was established in 1955 and is considered one of the largest in the country.
Programs: BSN, MSN, DNP, certifications
2. College of New Jersey
The College of New Jersey’s Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science School offers several nationally recognized nursing programs and degrees. NursingProcess.org ranked the College of New Jersey’s RN to BSN degree program among the best available in the Northeast region’s marketplace. Both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs available from one of the best nursing schools in New Jersey have received CCNE accreditation. TCNJ offers four Nurse Practitioner tracks, plus post-masters programs with a variety of nursing specialties.
The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) was founded as a normal school for teachers in 1855 and holds the distinction of being created as the first teacher’s college in the Garden State. More than 7,250 students attend classes offered by the College of New Jersey’s seven academic schools/divisions. The College of New Jersey was originally established in nearby Trenton but moved locations in the 1930s.
Programs: BSN, MSN, DNP
3. Seton Hall University
Among the best nursing schools in New Jersey, Seton Hall University’s College of Nursing offers a wide variety of nursing degree programs and certificates, including continuing education options. Seton Hall University’s signature program is their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, which includes an intensive clinical practicum. In addition to its RN to MSN degree, Seton Hall University offers several MSN academic specialty tracks – some of which are entirely online. SHU’s doctoral programs include an online Doctor of Nursing Practice and an on-campus Ph.D. in nursing program.
Seton Hall University was established as a Catholic university in 1856 and is also a space-grant institution of higher education. Seton Hall University’s north New Jersey campus is less than one-half hour from Manhattan and home to approximately 10,350 students. Seton Hall University holds the distinction of being the holds diocesan higher learning institution in the nation.
Programs: BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD
4. Thomas Edison State University
Thomas Edison State University’s Edwards Nursing School is recognized among the best nursing schools in New Jersey. Among the many nursing programs offered by Thomas Edison State are an accelerated BSN degree, an RN to BSN/MSN degree program, an MS in Nursing degree, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. All levels of nursing programs offered by Thomas Edison State have received accreditation from CCNE and the State of NJ Board of Nursing.
Thomas Edison State University was established in 1972 as a public college to serve the greater Trenton vicinity’s adult population. The school’s urban campus and distance learning platform is home to approximately 17,050 students. Thomas Edison State is named to honor the inventor who spent much of his adult and professional life in the state of New Jersey.
Programs: BSN, MSN, DNP
5. New Jersey City University
The Nursing Department at New Jersey City University is recognized among the best nursing schools in New Jersey, offering a variety of levels of nursing programs. NJCU offers a one-year accelerated RN to BSN program in Jersey City and downtown Manhattan near Wall Street. Additionally, the nursing school offers graduate nursing degrees in nursing education and school nursing. For students interested in graduate-level nursing certificates, New Jersey City University offers two programs, which can typically be completed in only three semesters.
New Jersey City University was established in 1927 as a teacher’s normal training school. In addition, NJ City University is a sea-grant and space-grant higher learning institution that serves approximately 8,850 students online and on the school’s Jersey City campus. The nursing, education, and psychology programs are the most popular degree programs offered by NJCU.
6. William Paterson University
William Paterson University’s Nursing Department offers a variety of nursing degree programs from its North Jersey campus. The nursing programs offered by WPU – one of the best nursing schools in New Jersey includes CCNE-accredited programs at the baccalaureate level, plus a variety of MSN degree programs, some of which may be completed entirely online. Additionally, William Paterson University’s Nursing Department offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and a school nurse certification program, among others. Of the eighteen available nursing programs, five of the available programs are 100% online.
William Paterson University is a public university that was established in 1855 to train teachers. In addition, William Paterson University is a space-grant school that serves approximately 10,150 students each year. The school’s present campus is situated on land that was once owned by the family of the 24th VP of the United States, Garret Hobart.
Programs: BSN, MSN, DNP
7. Monmouth University
Monmouth University’s Nursing & Health Sciences School is considered among the best nursing schools in New Jersey. The school offers three baccalaureate level nursing degrees, one in which an RN to BSN program. Additionally, Monmouth University offers several graduate certificates, a Master of Science in Nursing program (with five specializations), and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as well. Each of these nursing degree programs offered by Monmouth University has received accreditation from the CCNE. Students graduating from MU’s nursing programs have the added benefit of the school’s full-time placement coordinator.
Monmouth University was established as a junior college in 1933. This private university’s campus in West Long Branch (NJ Shore area) covers more than 150 suburban acres and is home to approximately 6,050 students. Monmouth University is home to the Guggenheim Library, which was once the summer residence of Meyer Guggenheim.
Programs: BSN, MSN, DNP
8. Georgian Court University
The Meridian School of Nursing at Georgian Court University offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree program from one of the best nursing schools in New Jersey plus an RN to BSN degree program that offers state of the art nursing facilities. These nursing degrees offered by the Georgian Court University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. GCU’s nursing school is affiliated and partners with the Hackensack Meridian Health Center. Classes for these degrees include pharmacotherapeutics, nursing care for childbearing families, health assessment, and chemistry for the health sciences.
Georgian Court University is a Roman Catholic higher learning institution that was established in 1908 as an all-women’s college. GCU is a space-grant and sea-grant school with approximately 2,150 students. Georgian Court University was an all-women’s school for more than 100 years but began admitting men in 2004.
9. Saint Peter’s University
Saint Peter’s University School of Nursing is recognized among the best nursing schools in New Jersey. Saint Peter’s University offers nursing degree options at the baccalaureate and master’s levels that have received accreditation from the CCNE. At the bachelor’s level, SPU offers a basic or accelerated BSN program, plus an RN to BSN or RN to MSN transition program option. The RN to BSN program offers two tracks (leadership and generalist) that can both be completed in only 21 months.
Saint Peter’s University was established by the Society of Jesus in 1872. The school’s campus is only a few minutes from downtown Manhattan and is home to approximately 3,450 students. Saint Peter’s University holds the distinction of being the only Division 1 school with a school mascot that is a peacock, a reference to the name of a Dutch settler who once owned much of Hudson County, New Jersey.
Programs: BSN, MSN
10. Stockton University
Stockton University is ranked among the best nursing schools in New Jersey, offering a four-year CCNE-accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing for students who want to earn their baccalaureate degree and Registered Nurse’s license. US News recognizes Stockton University among the top ten northern regional universities. Classes for this bachelors of nursing degree include chemistry, anatomy, health assessment, microbiology, and ethics and professionalism, to name a few.
Stockton University is a public higher learning institution that was established in 1969 as a sea-grant and space-grant school. Stockton University is a member of the NJ public higher education. The school’s campus near the Jersey Shore is home to approximately 8,750 students. Stockton University is named to honor one of the signers of NJ’s declaration of independence, Richard Stockton.
How Do I Choose a Nursing School in New Jersey?
It can be daunting to find a school among all the schools of nursing in New Jersey that are accepting students. Narrowing down personal criteria will help a hopeful student pick from one of the many nursing programs in New Jersey and get the education they’re looking for to start their nursing career. Schools in New Jersey for nursing offer education to become an LPN, RN, BSN, APRN, MSN and NP. Students who want to get a feel for the nursing career before dedicating themselves to further education can also learn how to become a CNA and gain licensure in New Jersey.
All of these criteria should be present when looking at schools for nursing in New Jersey. You, as a potential applicant, need to determine if the program offers convenience, in-person and online classes, has a high percentage of graduates that pass the NCLEX exam, and uses up-to-date technology that’s in common use in healthcare settings. If time is of the essence, an accelerated nursing program can be another criteria for selecting a nursing school in New Jersey. Accelerated programs give nursing students the opportunity to start their career sooner and many schools of nursing in New Jersey offer accelerated degree programs.
How is the Nursing Job Market in New Jersey?
Nursing jobs in New Jersey are plentiful and are predicted to remain so for the near and far future. Prior to COVID-19, there was a shortage of qualified nurses due to more demand for healthcare and fewer qualified individuals. COVID-19 has changed the field of nursing and will continue to do so for some time as the population is adversely affected by the virus. The long-term damage done by COVID-19 on the body also has the potential to increase the amount of people who require ongoing healthcare. Now the healthcare industry is facing the combined pressure from an aging population, people infected by COVID-19, and the yet-as-unknown need for ongoing healthcare after a coronavirus infection. It will be easy to find nurse jobs in New Jersey for some time to come.
People who are skilled at higher levels of nursing are predicted to be in demand as well. Jobs for registered nurses in New Jersey are most likely to have the most demand due to their intermediary role between a physician and a patient. There’s also a projected shortage of qualified physicians which means nurse practitioner jobs in New Jersey are also in demand for the foreseeable future. Nursing jobs in New Jersey are plentiful and finding employment won’t be an issue for some time to come. The nursing shortage is such that a large influx of nursing students in the near future won’t be sufficient to alleviate the demand for qualified nurses.
How Much Do Nurses Make in New Jersey?
The average nurse’s salary in New Jersey depends on the amount of education and experience a nurse brings to the role. A new nursing graduate salary for New Jersey averages around $71,761 per year and can be as low as $57,688 or as high as $92,992. The average nursing salary in New Jersey for an RN II staff nurse is $85,240 a year with the low end starting at $68,924 and going as high as $103,750 per year. In comparison, the average nurse practitioner salary in New Jersey is $127,812 with a range from $110,214 on the low end and $148,897 on the high end.
It should be noted that the average nursing salary in New Jersey depends on geographical location and population. The higher the population a region has, the better the nurses salary in New Jersey. The fact that there are fewer nurses entering the field, along with the amount of qualified nurses who are leaving the field, means that the average registered nurse salary in New Jersey will remain competitive for quite some time. Salaries may be lower in areas that have smaller population, but the salary may still be much higher than the average professional salary in that area. Areas with higher costs of living in New Jersey also tend to have higher nursing salaries on average in order to attract talent.