Nursing Schools in New Jersey

Like many states in the United States, New Jersey (NJ) faces a shortage of qualified nurses. Medical attention and excellent healthcare cannot be ensured without a qualified and committed nursing staff. The state of New Jersey aims to promote nursing as a career choice. With the demand for qualified nurses increasing, this profession promises a career which is financially rewarding as well as meaningful. Whether you are fresh out of high school or looking to start a second career, nursing may be an ideal career choice.

When applying to a nursing school in NJ, you can choose from several colleges, universities, and technical schools. Many schools offer a range of nursing degrees beginning from entry level degrees to advanced and graduate degrees. There are many routes to begin your nursing education. One route is entering a BSN program, which is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. A bachelor's degree in nursing usually takes four years during which you will take courses in nursing theory, the practice of nursing, biological, and behavioral sciences as well as humanities classes. Clinical experience at hospitals or healthcare facilities is also part of the curriculum in these programs. A bachelor's degree in nursing not only equips a student to become a registered nurse, but forms the basis to continue your education towards a graduate degree in nursing.

A shorter path to completing the minimum requirements of becoming a nurse and gaining your license is earning an associate's degree in nursing (ADN). Most associate's degrees are offered by community colleges and technical schools. An associate's degree in nursing offers a mix of general studies and nursing education as well as clinical experiences. However, an ADN is not the equivalent to having a BSN. Should you want to pursue further education in nursing, you may have to cover some baccalaureate material. Some institutions offer bridge programs which allow you to do just that. Others incorporate it within a master's degree program.

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree can be attained at most nursing schools in New Jersey. Earning this degree usually takes three years to complete; depending on the specific requirements of the university or college, as well as the previous qualifications of the candidate. If you have a high GPA, you are likely to have an advantage when applying. A MSN allows you to become a specialized nurse in areas like:

  • Clinical Nurse Leader or Specialist
  • Nurse Educator, Ambulatory Care
  • Community Health
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner

Becoming a specialized nurse allows you take on greater responsibility at work, explore more opportunities, and increase your pay scale. In 2009, the New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) was launched. It is a multi-year, $30 million project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation; the project seeks to transform nursing education in the New Jersey. This initiative encourages nurses to pursue post-graduate and doctoral degrees in nursing in order to take teaching positions by awarding scholarships to students. So whether you want to work in a healthcare facility or as a professor in a college, there are many nursing schools in NJ to choose from that will match your needs.

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