11 Best RN to BSN Programs in New Jersey | 2024

Discover the best RN to BSN programs in New Jersey in 2024, along with background information on their prerequisites, salary expectations, and answers to frequently asked questions. Programs

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Becoming a registered nurse (RN) in New Jersey involves exploring several educational pathways. Among them, the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is one of the fastest and most popular options.

However, ADN-prepared RNs often return to school to achieve their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in bridge programs called RN to BSNs, allowing them to take on more responsibilities and earn higher salaries.

Considering this, we've provided everything you need to know to apply for an RN to BSN in New Jersey, along with salary expectations after graduation and recommendations for the best programs in the state.

Best RN to BSN Programs in New Jersey

The following schools have been selected based on allnurses' methodology of surveying our readers to understand what they value most in their RN to BSN program, including affordability, duration, flexibility, and more. We'll start with a deep dive into the top five.

1. William Paterson University 

William Paterson University's online RN to BSN program is our top choice in Jersey due to its affordable tuition and quick completion time. The estimated cost of the program is $9,870, which breaks down to $987 per course or $329 per credit hour.

With its CCNE accreditation, flexible start dates, and completion in just ten months, this online RN to BSN program in Wayne is the leading choice in New Jersey for nurses seeking a fast and cost-effective way to earn their BSN.

2. Thomas Edison State College

Securing the second spot among New Jersey's RN to BSN programs, Thomas Edison State College stands out for its affordability and streamlined completion. 

Located in Trenton, this program offers an estimated cost of $9,330 ($311 per credit), making it an economically advantageous choice. Furthermore, students can benefit from a fixed tuition rate for 48 months as long as they complete 12 credits per academic year in the RN to BSN program. This helps to reduce financial burdens and make the program more affordable.

Thomas Edison's RN to BSN program can be completed in just 15 months and holds CCNE accreditation, ensuring you receive a quality nursing education and preparing you for your nursing career.  

3. Rowan University

Rowan University, located in Stratford, takes the third spot in our ranking of top RN to BSN programs in New Jersey. With an estimated cost of $11,663, this program offers a comprehensive educational experience supported by CCNE accreditation. 

Encompassing nine courses across 30 credit hours, the program is entirely online, providing a flexible learning platform for working nurses pursuing their BSN. It's availability in both full-time and part-time options further enhances its appeal for those seeking convenience in their studies.

4. Saint Peter's University

Ranking fourth on our list is Saint Peter's University in Jersey City, offering an RN to BSN program. With an estimated cost of $18,445, the program spans 21 months and holds CCNE accreditation. Providing flexibility, the program allows students to choose between online and in-person options, catering to different learning preferences and schedules.

5. Montclair State University

Montclair State University has earned the fifth spot on our list of top RN to BSN programs in New Jersey. The estimated cost of the program is $14,766. 

Although the exact duration of the program is not specified, it includes 30 credit hours, with 27 dedicated to core nursing courses. The program is accredited by CCNE, and it is available online, offering both part-time and full-time study options. The flexibility of the program is ideal for nurses who wish to advance their education at their own comfortable pace.

Online RN to BSN Programs in New Jersey

Here is our complete list of rankings for the top 11 RN to BSN programs in New Jersey, for the 2023-2024 school year.

Score School City Program Estimated Costs1
(Minimum)
Program
Length2
Accreditation
99.83 William Paterson
University
Wayne RN to BSN $9,870 10 months CCNE
96.43 Thomas Edison State College Trenton RN to BSN $9,330 15 months CCNE
89.25 Rowan University Stratford RN to BSN $11,663 -- CCNE
89.23 Saint Peter's University Jersey City RN to BSN $18,445 21 months CCNE
88.26 Montclair State University Montclair RN to BSN $14,766 -- CCNE
87.98 Kean University Union RN to BSN $15,645 24 months CCNE
87.55 Rutgers
School of Nursing
Newark RN to BSN $17,010 24 months CCNE
87.23 Rider University Lawrenceville RN to BSN $18,000 -- CCNE
86.99 Saint Elizabeth University Morristown RN to BSN $14,280 12 months --
82.16 Ramapo College of New Jersey Mahwah Online RN to BSN
For A.A.S.-RN HOLDERS
$15,978 18 months --
80.00 Farleigh Dickinson University Teaneck RN to BSN
(with Associate Degree)
$40,614 -- CCNE

*Please contact us if you'd like to update your program's information.

1Costs are based on the minimum required RN to BSN credits and are not inclusive of core credits, nor all fees. Actual costs will vary from student to student and are based on multiple factors, including transfer credits and scholarships. For the most accurate costs breakdown, please reach out to a school representative.

2Program lengths included are typically the shortest possible program length, requiring the maximum amount of transfer credits prior to admission. Outstanding general curriculum requirements will likely increase program length.

What Is an RN to BSN?

An RN to BSN Program is an RN returning to school to obtain a BSN degree. This involves experienced RNs and new graduates with a diploma or an ADN. A BSN degree program provides a more comprehensive education in social and physical sciences, nursing management, research, informatics, and public health. It enhances knowledge and understanding of community health, healthcare management, leadership, and policy for a broader scope of practice.


Related: 10 Best RN to BSN Programs in 2023


RN to BSN Coursework

Typical RN to BSN Coursework includes:

  • Professional Nursing Practice
  • Family-Centered Health Promotion
  • Community and Public Health Nursing
  • Statistics for Health Professions
  • Introduction to Nursing Research
  • Ethical Nursing Practice
  • Nursing Leadership and Management
  • Trends and Issues in Today's Health Care
  • Professional Capstone and Practicum

Can RN to BSNs Be Taken Entirely Online?

RN to BSN programs can be taken entirely online. These programs are designed for working RNs who have already completed an ADN or nursing diploma program and obtained licensure, meaning they've gained significant hands-on experience in their initial programs and through work. However, it's important to note that some online RN to BSN programs may have in-person requirements such as exams or capstone projects, so students should check the specific requirements of a program to ensure it fits their needs.

Where Do BSN-Prepared Nurses Work?

Nurses with a BSN have many career options and opportunities and can practice in most care settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes
  • Home Care Agencies
  • Physician Office
  • Educational Services
  • Government Agencies
  • Schools
  • Community Centers
  • Hospices
  • Dialysis Centers
  • Telephonic and Virtual Care Settings

RN to BSN Prerequisites and Requirements

There are several prerequisites to enter an RN to BSN program, including:

  • Current, unrestricted RN license
  • An ADN or Diploma in Nursing
  • Minimum GPA (varying per program)
  • Official transcripts

RN to BSN Salary Expectations in New Jersey

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RNs in New Jersey in 2022 earned:

  • Mean Hourly Wage: $46.48
  • Annual Mean Wage: $96,670

Unfortunately, the BLS does not specify whether this is an ADN-prepared RN or BSN-prepared RNs; however, given that a BSN is likely to increase earning potential, this is likely to be representative of slightly lower than the average BSN-RN salary.

RN salary in New Jersey is 9% higher than the national estimates for 2022, as the BLS reports RNs across the U.S. earning:

  • Mean Hourly Wage: $42.80
  • Annual Mean Wage: $89,010

With the highest-paying states being:

  1. California: $133,340
  2. Hawaii: $113,220
  3. Oregon: $106,610
  4. Massachusetts: $104,150
  5. Alaska: $103,310

The BLS collected the New Jersey RN wage data from over 78,340 nurses.

Compare several specializations by state with our comprehensive nursing salary guide, or learn more about nursing salaries in New Jersey.

Are RN to BSN Programs in New Jersey Worth It?

Deciding whether an RN to BSN program in New Jersey is worth it requires considering their various advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of RN to BSN Programs in New Jersey

  1. Career Advancement: Completing a BSN can open doors to more advanced nursing positions, which may not be accessible to those with only an RN qualification.
  2. Higher Salary Potential: BSN-prepared nurses often have the potential to earn higher salaries compared to their RN counterparts.
  3. Educational Foundation for Further Studies: A BSN is a stepping stone for nurses who wish to pursue higher education, such as a Master's or Doctorate in Nursing.
  4. Increased Competitiveness: In a state like New Jersey, which has a high concentration of healthcare facilities, a BSN can make a nurse more competitive in the job market.
  5. Broader Scope of Practice: BSN programs typically offer more in-depth training in areas such as research, leadership, and public health, which can broaden a nurse's scope of practice.

Cons of RN to BSN Programs in New Jersey

  1. Cost and Time Investment: Pursuing a BSN requires a significant investment of time and money, which can be challenging for working nurses.
  2. Balancing Work and Study: For RNs who are working, balancing job responsibilities with coursework can be stressful.
  3. Variable Return on Investment: The financial benefits of a BSN may vary depending on the healthcare facility and location within New Jersey.
  4. Potential for Burnout: The added pressure of studying on top of work responsibilities can lead to burnout.
  5. Technology Requirements for Online Programs: Online BSN programs require a certain level of technological proficiency and access, which might be a barrier for some.

While RN to BSN programs in New Jersey present both opportunities and challenges, they are generally considered a worthwhile investment for career advancement in nursing. The decision to pursue a BSN should be based on individual career goals, financial considerations, and personal circumstances.

How to Choose a Nursing School

Reasons for choosing a nursing school will vary per student and their specific needs. Some students value the cost of education, while others may place greater emphasis on NCLEX pass rates, academic reputation, or other factors.

Although it will vary by individual, a survey by allnurses revealed the top 11 reasons nursing students chose their programs:

  1. Cost
  2. High NCLEX Pass Rate
  3. Location
  4. Academic Reputation
  5. Availability of Financial Aid and Scholarships
  6. Length of Time to Obtain Degree
  7. Flexibility of Schedule
  8. Curriculum
  9. Campus and Surroundings
  10. Nursing Clinicals Location
  11. Availability of Online Courses

Ultimately, prospective students should assess their needs and pick schools that are the best fit for them.

Importance of Attending an Accredited RN to BSN Program in New Jersey

Attending an accredited RN to BSN program in New Jersey offers several significant benefits, particularly for those looking to advance their nursing careers. Here are some key reasons:

  • Quality of Education: Accreditation ensures that the program meets high standards of quality and rigor set by a recognized accrediting body. This means you'll receive an education that is respected and valued in the healthcare field.
  • Eligibility for Certification and Licensure: Graduating from an accredited program is often a prerequisite for certain nursing certifications and state licensure. In New Jersey, as in many states, this can be crucial for your career progression and legality of practice.
  • Employment Opportunities: Many employers, especially reputable hospitals and healthcare organizations, prefer or even require candidates to have degrees from accredited programs. In a competitive state like New Jersey, where there are many healthcare facilities, this can be particularly important.
  • Higher Education Opportunities: If you decide to pursue further education, such as a Master's or Doctoral degree in nursing, most graduate programs require a bachelor's degree from an accredited program for admission.
  • Federal Financial Aid: Accreditation is often a requirement for eligibility for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. This can be a crucial factor for many students who need financial assistance to pursue their education.
  • Professional Credibility: A degree from an accredited program enhances your professional credibility. It demonstrates to employers, colleagues, and patients that you have a solid educational foundation in nursing.

Accrediting bodies include the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

FAQ and Additional Readings

Q: How do I transfer my nursing license to New Jersey?

New Jersey is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), allowing nurses to practice in other NLC states without additional steps. You do not have to transfer your license if moving from an NLC state.

Q: Are there specialization programs for nurses in New Jersey?

Many schools in New Jersey offer advanced nursing degrees, allowing RNs to specialize in pediatric, geriatric, family nurse practitioner, acute care, and more.

Q: Is it better to have an ADN or a BSN?

While obtaining an RN license after completing an ADN is possible, the opportunities after graduation and beyond are more significant with a BSN degree. BSNs focus more on research, leadership skills, and evidence-based practice, whereas an ADN primarily focuses on clinical skills.

Additionally, many healthcare institutions now require BSN-prepared RNs to fulfill various accreditation and Joint Commission requirements and to achieve the prestige of Magnet status.

AD DISCLOSURE: This page may contain affiliate links. These links are designed for allnurses to generate revenue at no cost to you. The websites you visit are operated by third parties and have no influence in our recommendations, which are grounded in research.

Editorial Team / Admin

Erin Lee has 12 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, Procedural, Care Coordination, LNC.

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