Bachelors of Science in Nursing in New Jersey

The New Jersey Board of Nursing is a strong proponent of baccalaureate-level nursing education, having considered and debated the proposition that all newly licensed RNs receive their BSN degree within 10 years of licensure, at minimum. RNs that hold Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees are the recognized experts when it comes to clinical practice, ethical considerations and communication as it relates to nursing.

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Because the demands of modern nursing call for RNs to be capable of decision making in the critical and acute care settings, New Jersey’s employers are showing preference to BSN-educated RNs – including hospitals, such as Meridian Health in Jackson, Wall Township, and Toms River.

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs – Board of Nursing maintains the standards for pre-licensure BSN programs for RN license candidates in the state.

New Jersey Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs

Full pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs in New Jersey generally require four years of course work. Many schools with BSN programs offer the programs at different university campuses, so applicants may choose the closest location.

Entrance into New Jersey’s pre-licensure BSN programs is highly competitive, and most programs require that applicants meet the following admissions criteria:

  • Have completed four years of high school English
  • Have completed three years of high school Laboratory Science
  • Have completed two years of a foreign language in high school
  • Have completed two years of high school Mathematics
  • Have completed three years of high school History
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (from high school teachers)

Finally, while different BSN programs have different SAT and ACT standards, many choose to accept applicants with SAT scores ranging from 1100-1200 and ACT scores above 26.

New Jersey’s Board-approved baccalaureate degree nursing programs for pre-licensure students may be found in the following cities:

  • Bloomfield
  • Caldwell
  • Morristown
  • Lodi
  • Lakewood
  • Teaneck
  • Union
  • Jersey City
  • South Orange
  • Newark

Program Requirements and Components

BSN programs in New Jersey have three main types of courses: those included in the liberal arts foundational core, those included in nursing prerequisites, and those included in baccalaureate-level nursing courses. Because most New Jersey BSN programs have a total of 124 credits, the credits are divided among the three types in the following way:

  • Liberal Arts – 36 credits
  • Nursing Prerequisites – 25 credits
  • Nursing Courses – 63 credits

Nursing Prerequisites

Generally completed in the first two years of a BSN program, New Jersey BSN nursing prerequisites include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Principles of Chemistry
  • Statistics
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Science in Cultural Perspectives

Nursing Courses

After completing the nursing prerequisites and general education, BSN students will be able to move into the more advanced nursing courses in their third and fourth years. The following list includes, but is not limited to, final nursing courses in New Jersey BSN programs:

  • Foundations Nursing Practice
  • Nursing Research
  • Health Assessments Across Lifespans
  • Family Centered Nursing
  • Health Issues Management
  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Leadership in a Global World
  • Integrative Clinical Hours
  • Clinical Management
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Clinical Education

To complete the 700+ hours of clinical education required by many New Jersey BSN programs, students will be able to choose from many different clinical locations. Many schools have medical centers on-campus, where students can complete their clinical hours. Other New Jersey BSN programs have clinical partnerships with medical centers throughout the state, which may be nearer to a student’s home. A few medical centers like this include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The Mainland Division of AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center
  • Bacharach Institute of Rehabilitation
  • The Valley Hospital
  • Joseph’s Regional Medical Center
  • Hackensack University Medical Center
  • Valley Home Care
  • Township of Garfield
  • Bergen Country Department of Public Health

RN Examination and Licensing in New Jersey

Graduates may apply for their RN license by submitting the New Jersey Application for RN License by Examination to the New Jersey Board of Nursing. Along with this application, the applicant will submit the following materials:

  • Clear, Full Face Passport Photograph (2×2)
  • Copy of Birth Certificate
  • Official Letter of BSN Program Completion
  • $200.00 Application Fee

RNs may submit an online application, or mail their application to the New Jersey Board of Nursing at the following address:

Division of Consumer Affairs
New Jersey Board of Nursing
124 Halsey Street, 6th Floor, P.O. Box 45010
Newark, New Jersey 07101

After the New Jersey Board of Nursing approves an application, the applicant will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter. This ATT will allow exam candidates to register for and schedule your NCLEX-RN Exam with Pearson VUE. Exam candidates may schedule their exam at any of the Pearson Vue test centers, located in the following cities, in or near New Jersey:

  • Princeton, NJ
  • Somerset, NJ
  • Staten Island, NY
  • Warrington, PA
  • Philadelphia, PA

Before taking the exam, candidates should thoroughly review the NCLEX-RN Exam Candidate Bulletin. After completing the exam, license candidates will receive their exam scores through the New Jersey Board of Nursing, and upon passing the exam, they will be issued a New Jersey RN License.

Entering the Workforce as a BSN-Educated RN in New Jersey

With a BSN, RNs are capable of filling many job roles, including those in nursing education, nurse management, and clinical supervision. For example, below are just a few of the nursing jobs available to BSN-educated RNs as of February 2015:

  • Nursing Supervisor – Children’s Specialized Hospital, New Brunswick
  • Regional Nurse Manager – Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences, Newark
  • East Coast Regional Manager – The Caswood Group, Newark
  • Assistant Nurse Manager – Raritan Bay Medical Center, Old Bridge
  • Nurse Educator – Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood

The following are just a few examples of New Jersey hospitals that provide clinical internship opportunities.

Hackensack University Medical Center – Hackensack

As the largest medical center in New Jersey, Hackensack is dedicated to providing excellent nursing services and is consistently Magnet recognized. Hackensack University Medical Center has created a Department of Clinical Education, which provides resources and tools for RN employees to enhance their knowledge and advance their expertise. Included in the Department of Clinical Education are the following teams:

  • The Regulatory/Orientation Team, which is responsible for ongoing clinical development of nursing administrators, supervisors, and educators
  • The Critical Care, Women’s, Children’s, and Medical/Surgical Teams, which provide clinical training and education in these areas
  • The Evening and Night Team, which is a clinical resource for evening and night leadership

Morristown Medical Center – Morristown

This hospitals offers employed RNs multiple different career development initiatives, including organizational development, career ladders, certification programs, career pathways, mentorship programs, and Professional Advancement Clinical Tracks (PACT). Pact is for RNs interested in specializing in a specific clinical area. RNs will get to follow specific educational, clinical, and non-clinical requirements leading to advanced careers in specialty clinical areas.

AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center – Atlantic City

Another great hospital for RN career growth, AtlantiCare offers continuous learning opportunities, professional development (including tuition reimbursement, nursing fellowships, and continuing education financial support), a professional ladder program, and clinical bridge programs, including the critical care bridge program and the peri-operative bridge program. These clinical bridge programs lead to obtaining advanced, clinical jobs in specialized fields.

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