5 best nursing programs in New Jersey

In New Jersey, an aging population who are living longer and a growing population of people who have chronic illnesses and diseases such as obesity, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease are putting huge amounts of strain on the state’s health system. In fact, recent reports have suggested that it is fast approaching breaking point.

Right now, over 50% of the state’s nursing workforce are aged between 40 to 60, and this means that these people are quickly approaching retirement age. The problem is compounded further by a shortage in nursing talent that has left many hospital nursing jobs unfilled. 

It is a fair assessment, then, that the demand for graduates in New Jersey from accredited nursing schools will quickly rise over the next few years. Whilst figures vary, it is widely accepted that the state will need over 40,000 additional new nurses by 2020—that’s only next year—to keep the healthcare system running. 

If you are considering nursing as a career but don’t know where to start looking for courses, here are 10 of the best nursing programmes and schools not only in New Jersey, but around the country that will set you up for success and get you off to a fantastic start. 

#1: College of New Jersey, Ewing

If you think that nursing is more about promoting health and wellness through good patient care rather than preventing disease and stuffing patients full of medicine, then the School of Nursing, health and Exercise Science at the College of New Jersey will be right for you.

Their nursing programme is well-renowned and will prepare you to look after patients from all walks of live and guide them to the best possible health outcomes. The School of Nursing at Ewing is one of eight QSEN (Quality and Safety Education for Nurses) centers in the entire region. These QSEN centers are tasked with improving the safety, quality, and trustworthiness of healthcare systems throughout not only New Jersey, but the entire country.

The domain of the College of New Jersey School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science stretches all the way from Maine to D.C.

Consistently chosen as one of the region’s best institutions for higher education, not only in New Jersey but the U.S. as a whole, by sources such as Forbes and Kiplinger’s, the College of New Jersey is a solid choice for any pupil and it is why we have given them our top spot. 

So far as financial aid is concerned, there are plenty of scholarships that are available. First years may be considered for a merit-based scholarship upon the submission of an application. Through the Lion’s Pride Needs-Based Awards, the College of New Jersey also offers limited scholarship funds and has links with RaiseMe.com to do this. 

#2: Rutgers University Newark

Rutgers University has a strong history—it was founded an entire decade prior to the American Revolution! It is one of the country’s oldest colleges and the Rutgers School of Nursing, Newark is close to the top of virtually every single nursing top list throughout the U.S.

Often cited for the excellence of its educational programs and its leading research, the nursing school sponsors several high-profile ongoing research projects. An example of one of these is the Center for Community Health Partnership and the Center for Research on HIV Management that helps families and communities deal with HIV diagnoses. 

Rutgers’ Nursing course takes place at their Ackerson Hall building. This building houses cutting-edge classrooms, offices, and a high-tech simulation environment that is called the Center for Clinical Learning. Here, students get practical hands-on experience before reaching their hospitals. Also here is the opportunity to take place in evidence-based patient scenarios. 

After spending time at the Center for Clinical Learning, students who have demonstrated satisfactory clinical skills will get the chance to practice them in healthcare settings throughout the state.

Each year, the School of Nursing at Rutgers offers several scholarships that are awarded for academic performance and excellence. 

#3: Ramapo College, Mahwah

Ramapo College boasts a massive nursing footprint. At 36,000 square feet, the Adler Center for Nursing Excellence houses both Ramapo’s nursing programs—their undergraduate and graduate courses. In addition to plenty of high-tech classrooms and learning environments, the Adler Center has its own Anatomy and Physiology lab for practical-based learning in a clinical setting, three simulation environments, and its own computer lab where students can learn and apply basic clinical skills and take part in roleplays. 

Once students have demonstrated an affinity for being clinicians, they will begin to move on to nursing placements at Ridgewood’s Valley Hospital, an institution that is a long-standing partner of Ramapo College. Students may also move on to rotations at several different acute care facilities, long-term care institutions, community health clinics, homecare settings, and outpatient clinics throughout New Jersey. 

#4: Baylor Online

A little different to your traditional colleges and universities is Baylor Online’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing. As you may have guessed, it is an online Nursing Master’s programme that is designed for people pursuing career changes within the field of nursing. 

Established in 1845, Baylor University is Texas’ oldest continuously operating higher education institution. With a rich history spanning 170 years of educational excellence, the university is recognized nationally and has several programs that have been recognised as the best of the best nationwide, such as the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. 

Baylor’s online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Leadership & Innovation program prepares its students, actively practicing registered nurses, to transform into the leaders of today’s complex healthcare environment. Whilst there is a shortage of registered nurses, there is also a shortage of leaders within the profession and this is something that Baylor’s MSN program aims to solve. 

Baylor Online has been ranked as the 11th best nursing college and the MSN program can be completed in under 16 months. It provides the perfect opportunity for registered RNs with the opportunity to progress. 

To be admitted to the Baylor Online MSN, students must:

  • Already have a degree from an approved nursing school (e.g. a BSN)
  • Hold a suitable GPA, 3.0 cumulative, from your most recent degree in nursing
  • Have an RN license without any negative points
  • Be an employed nurse with 2 years’ experience

There is no GRE or MAT requirement. 

#5: Farleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck

At Farleigh Dickinson University, it is the Henry P. Becton School of Nursing & Allied Health located in Madison, 35 miles shy of Farleigh Dickinson’s main campus, where its nursing programs take place. In particular, the school’s graduate nurse practitioner programs have received high praise from publications such as NurseJournal.com. 

As a truly global institution, the school regularly sends many of its representatives, faculty members, and students to worldwide health conferences that are sponsored by the United Nations. The Henry P. Becton School of Nursing & Allied Health also has educational partnerships with other institutions, such as the University of Nigeria. 

The school’s recently renovated labs for clinical skills now provide virtual environments where students using manikins can learn about and practice a huge variety of clinical skills, problems, and scenarios. For example, the manikins can be programmed to present various acute, chronic, and benign conditions, keeping students on their feet and allowing them to learn about and respond to real problems in a realistic environment. 

Both graduate and undergraduate students at the school regularly undergo clinical rotations with healthcare providers throughout New Jersey. These include the JFK Medical Center, Palisades Medical Center, Children’s Specialized Hospital, and the Valley Hospital. 

New Jersey Students Have Plenty of Choice

There certainly is no shortage of high-quality nursing programs available throughout the Garden State, New Jersey. The five courses listed here are just a few of many nursing degrees available that are open to new students, existing graduates, career changers, and mature students, among others. 

The Baylor Online MSN course in particular is one that should appeal to those who wish to progress as leaders of the healthcare world. 

If you are already out in the nursing workforce, going back to school can be a stressful and complicated process. And, while you need a master’s degree to advance in your career and advance to a leadership role, your work responsibilities, familial obligations, and financial commitments could stand in your way. 

This is the beauty of online study—it is an ideal and convenient way to get the education that you need without having to put your life on hold. In fact, many MSN students continue to work in their nursing role while studying. 

If you study your online nursing master’s degree with an accredited institution, something that Baylor University is many times over, then there are no “cons” or “downsides” to completing online study. You end up with the same degree qualification and career prospects as somebody who went to learn on campus. It is not like a first nursing degree where you need to learn and perfect clinical skills—nursing master’s are more focussed on theory and leadership skills.


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