Nurses have the important job of providing care, offering advice and emotional support to patients and their families. As part of a team of healthcare specialists, nurses also work to educate the public about various health conditions. Many nurses specialize in working with specific patient groups such as cardiovascular, critical care, neonatal, or pediatrics. From hospitals to home healthcare services, nurses provide necessary care.
In order to practice healthcare, nurses must complete an approved program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination. Many choose to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to enhance their knowledge and career. This higher degree leads to better patient outcomes, advancement opportunities, and leadership roles.
Nursing courses include anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and patient care. Outside of lectures, nursing students participate in a clinical rotation to learn to work with patients in a hands-on setting. Top nursing programs include other opportunities to apply classroom knowledge through student organizations and research. These learning experiences are essential to gain important skills such as communication, compassion, and critical thinking.
Due to a quickly aging population, the demand for healthcare services continues to rise. Nursing positions are expected to rise faster than average, with a 7% increase over the next decade.
New Jersey, one of the most populated states, is no exception. The state is home to over 100,000 nurses and many programs to meet the healthcare demand. Here are the ten best nursing schools in New Jersey, based on the US News Top Nursing Schools ranking. If a tie exists according to US News, the College Gazette editorial team will determine the tiebreaker. If a school is not listed on the US News ranking, College Gazette will determine its placement.
10. Thomas Edison State University W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing
At Thomas Edison State University, the self-paced programs are designed to shape clinically competent and technologically adept nursing leaders. Thanks to the flexibility of the BSN program, students can complete all nursing courses in as little as 15 months.
The hallmark of the School of Nursing is personalized nurse-to-nurse advising. As experienced nurses, advisors are practiced in the demands of working and the critical role of the position. In addition, these mentors guide students through their courses and facilitate online discussions. Along with advisors, professors further nursing education by teaching in a variety of learning environments. Students interact with mentors, faculty, and peers to create a community of learners.
TESU also provides many scholarships for all nursing students. Many require essays demonstrating their personal aspirations and academic merit. These awards, such as the W. Cary Edwards Foundation Nursing Scholarship, support nursing students throughout their education.
9. Kean University School of Nursing (Union, NJ)
The Kean University School of Nursing focuses on educating nurses who have already passed their licensure exams, through RN-to-BSN and MSN programs. The advanced courses and education framework promotes success in the classroom and the workplace.
In 2019, an impressive 100% of Kean graduates were employed six months after graduation. Through license reciprocity, Kean University RNs can practice in all 50 states.
The Integrative Student Growth Model, developed by 3 Keen faculty members, is a new nursing education framework that is being introduced nationwide. The model focuses on each student, building on individual strengths.
In addition, a nurse’s role as part of an interdisciplinary clinical team is highlighted in the classroom. This transformative educational model beat out many top universities to win the 2018 Excellence in Scholarship award. As a result, the ISGM was introduced at a national level and will continue to be refined through further research.
8. Rowan University School of Health Professions (Rowan, NJ)
Rowan University aims to lead the industry in innovative nursing education and evidence-based practice. In order to best serve their diverse community, the School of Health Professions educates the next leaders in healthcare through campus, hybrid, and online degree programs. These nursing programs are designed to accommodate the busy schedule of working nurses and can be completed on a part-time basis.
Along with general education courses, nursing students at Rowan University can customize a plan of study to meet their individual interests. There are various advanced courses such as pathophysiology, health care policy and finance, community health nursing, and research applications in nursing practice.
As a result of the top-notch education and clinical experiences, the average NCLEX passing rate at Rowan is above 83% for both the ADN and BSN program.
7. Stockton University (Galloway, NJ)
Stockton University’s Simulation Center uses healthcare simulation as an instructional tool to recreate a clinical environment. Spanning over 3,500 square feet, the facility houses computerized human mannequins, live patient actors, intensive care units, and surgical suites. The Anatoimage classroom consists of a 3D interactive table that allows for anatomy examination and patient diagnosis.
Under the mentorship of experienced faculty members, access to the latest technologies promotes a lifelike clinical experience for nursing students.
The Interprofessional Education Team at Stockton brings students from different professions to prepare them for their future careers. Nursing, health science, PT, and occupational therapy students learn about and with each other to support collaboration. This allows students to build their networks and develop communication skills that are essential for quality care.