Accelerated Nursing Programs in New Jersey: Online and On-Campus Fast-Track BSN Degrees

Those who already hold a bachelor’s degree can look to accelerated nursing programs in NJ to help them become a registered nurse in as little as 12 months. Find top schools and learn more in this guide.

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Shannon Lee

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Shannon Lee has been a freelance writer, editor, and novelist for over 25 years. Her work has appeared on Fox Business, Forbes, MSN, Bob Vila, Modernize, Nashville Scene, MoneyGeek, MVP Parent, and many other outlets; her writing on home improvement led to an editorial position with The Spruce in 2021. She's written extensively on higher education, relationships, and the intersection of technology, health, and medicine. When she's not freelancing, Shannon also writes fiction novels.

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Healthcare is a booming business, and our nurses are the backbone of the industry. If you want to break into the nursing field, it’s never a bad time, even if you hold a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field. By enrolling in an accelerated nursing program in New Jersey, you could earn your nursing credentials in as little as 12 months.

This guide helps those wanting to change career paths and become a nurse in the state of New Jersey. It looks at the best schools offering on-campus and online accelerated nursing programs in NJ and details cost, program length, and expectations after graduation. Take the next step toward a promising career as a registered nurse by discovering the accelerated nursing program in New Jersey that’s right for you.

Best Accredited Accelerated Nursing Programs in New Jersey

Sorting through the many promising accelerated nursing programs in New Jersey can quickly get overwhelming. To help you narrow your options, we vetted the highest quality programs in terms of accreditation, affordability, and student support services. Three of the top schools in New Jersey are profiled below to give you a picture of what a quality accelerated BSN program looks like for those who already have a degree in another field. See who stands out in 2021.

Rutgers School of Nursing

In as little as 14 months, those who already have a bachelor’s degree can graduate from Rutger’s Second-Degree BS in Nursing Program. This accelerated program takes four semesters of study on the Newark campus. Students are paired with a faculty advisor who mentors them through the 62 required credits. Classes are held during the day, and clinicals might be days, nights, or weekends. Spring and summer admissions provide some flexibility.

Prerequisites might be covered by the bachelor’s degree a student already holds, and the remaining can be taken online or in person from an accredited school. These include courses in nutrition, statistics, and microbiology and must be completed within 10 years of the BSN admission with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Proof of these courses, whether completed or in-progress, should be provided during the admissions process.

New Jersey City University

The full-time Nursing – Accelerated Program (Second Degree), B.S. at New Jersey City University requires three semesters of study, allowing students to graduate in one year. It begins at the Jersey City location each September and the Wall Township location every May. This is an intensive program with no breaks in classwork or clinicals during that year of study.

There are 60 and 30 seats, respectively, so admittance is quite competitive. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, preferably with a 3.0 minimum GPA on a 4.0 scale, two recommendations, a current resume, admissions essay, and a cumulative score of 80% on the Health Education Systems, Inc. exam. Several prerequisite classes, such as those in microbiology or statistics, are required to begin the program. Students apply only through the NursingCAS 3.0 portal.

Seton Hall University

Students at Seton Hall University can complete the 62-credit Accelerated Second Degree BSN in 14 months. Courses begin in the fall semester at the Georgian Court campus in Lakewood, New Jersey, and finish in October of the following year. This first BSN program in New Jersey boasts an 88.2% retention rate, and over 80% of faculty holding doctoral degrees.

This four-semester program prepares students for an active nursing career interacting with a variety of patients. Students also learn about cultural competency, the ethics and legal aspects of healthcare, and the financial aspects of a healthcare organization in addition to receiving hands-on learning in clinicals and labs. Applicants must show proof of prerequisite courses like nutrition, ethics, and developmental psychology completed with a C or better within the five years before applying.

Curriculum Components for Accelerated Nursing Programs in NJ

Those already holding a bachelor’s degree in another area can take only the necessary elements of an accelerated nursing program in New Jersey. Since they’ve already completed the general requirements and perhaps some prerequisites during their initial bachelor’s degree, they can move directly into nursing classes and clinical training.

1.Nursing Classes

These courses focus strongly on the knowledge students need for working as registered nurses. This includes understanding electronic medical records, medications and potential interactions, bedside care for a variety of patient issues, ethics, legal considerations, and more. Many of these courses can be taken online.

2.Clinical Training

Hands-on training is vital to a quality nursing program, so students can expect to attend clinical hours at a facility approved by the college or university. These clinical experiences focus on hands-on work like inserting intravenous lines or catheters and handling different types of medical diagnostic equipment.

3.General Education Coursework

Students can often waive general education requirements through transfer credits from a previous bachelor’s degree. However, there might be additional prerequisites, such as statistics, that need to be added.

FAQs About Accelerated Nursing Programs in New Jersey

How long is an accelerated nursing BSN program in New Jersey?

Accelerated programs move faster than a typical college experience, which means a lot of information and skills packed into a few semesters. Also, many core courses are often already covered in the first bachelor’s degree earned. With these considerations, most programs take three or four semesters of full-time, consecutive study. This results in a completion time of 14 to 16 months. Some schools, like Fairleigh Dickinson University, offer an even shorter timeline where students can graduate in 12 months.

How many of my current bachelor’s degree credits can be transferred to my New Jersey accelerated BSN program?

Graduating from an accredited institution with a bachelor’s degree indicates you completed appropriate general education courses, and the majority of these will likely transfer to your accelerated nursing program. This leaves the nursing curriculum and certain other prerequisites like nutrition, professional development, microbiology, or human anatomy and physiology. If these prerequisites were also taken within a certain amount of time, such as five years before admission for Seton Hall University’s program, they might transfer as well.

How much do accelerated BSN nursing programs in New Jersey cost?

Accelerated BSN nursing programs in New Jersey vary widely in price depending upon the school. In general, private schools cost more than public schools and you can expect to pay less as an in-state student than you would as an out-of-state student. For an idea of the total cost for an accelerated BSN program, tuition, and credit information, the three top schools in New Jersey are detailed below.

Felician University

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Total Credits: 73


Fairleigh Dickinson University

Accelerated BS Nursing

Total Credits: 59


Georgian Court University

Accelerated Nursing Program for Non-Nurses

Total Credits: 54


What are the admission requirements for accelerated nursing programs in New Jersey?

Aspiring BSN students who already hold a bachelor’s degree will see some of the same requirements as with their first degree. Admissions for an accelerated nursing program in New Jersey typically include:

  • Official transcripts showing completion of a bachelor’s degree
  • A minimum GPA (usually a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale)
  • A completed application
  • A personal essay or letter of intent
  • Resume or C.V.

In more competitive programs, an interview might also be required. Faculty want to know that a candidate is dedicated to this new career path and able to handle the rigors of an accelerated course load.

How do I know if an accelerated New Jersey BSN program is of high quality?

Finding a high-quality accelerated BSN program means ensuring that your program has received accreditation from the ACEN or CCNE and has been approved by the New Jersey State Board of Nursing. Look for programs that prepare you to sit for the NCLEX-RN and receive licensure as an RN in the state of New Jersey. You can also talk to program alumni to get a feel for what former students thought of the quality of the program.

Can I get financial aid to help pay for my accelerated nursing program in New Jersey?

Aspiring nurses in New Jersey can receive scholarships, grants, and loans to pay for their BSN. Though some federal or state grants might be unavailable due to use during their original bachelor’s degree, there are likely other options. There is also the potential for loan forgiveness plans. To learn more, visit our nursing scholarship guide and financial aid guide.

Inside Look at Online Accelerated Nursing Programs in NJ

Accelerated BSN programs in NJ often use online or hybrid formats with online courses for those that don’t require hands-on work. The remaining courses are hands-on, clinical experiences requiring in-person attendance either at a facility on or near campus or a designated site like a hospital or clinic close to a student’s home. Online portions of programs are often self-paced and especially helpful for those needing a flexible schedule that allows them to work while they attend school.

Even for mostly online programs, some on-campus visits might still be required in addition to the clinical hours. This might include an orientation where students meet their professors and learn more about the support services of the program, an occasional two-day intensive, or a week-long visit where students work together in a clinical experience or attend lectures and networking events.

Visit our page on online accelerated BSN programs to learn more about what to expect from an online program.

Examples of Quality Online Accelerated BSN Programs in New Jersey

To get an idea of the timeframe, format, course load, and program structure for an online accelerated BSN program in New Jersey, check out the descriptions for the two nursing programs below.

Thomas Edison State University

The 15-month Accelerated BSN Program through the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing at Thomas Edison State University offers courses in a hybrid format. This 60-credit program is divided into three parts: class, clinical/lab, and online coursework. Students attend classes two days per week at the Trenton campus for in-person learning activities and complete one day a week of clinical experience. Online coursework, which students complete at the own pace in between in-person sessions, is also be assigned.

The program has two start dates, May and September, and courses are in eight-week terms. Before the program begins, students enroll in the BSN Prep Program where they complete the prerequisites required for admission. If students pursue a higher degree, nine credits of the accelerated program transfer for the Master of Science in Nursing at TESU.

Felician University

This hybrid Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Felician University allows students to complete their program in 16 months. The “ground” option is entirely on campus, starts only in the spring, and takes 18 months. Both programs are open to students with a bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 60 credits and a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate coursework.

Students complete lectures, exams, quizzes, and similar tasks online in addition to working in the state-of-the-art laboratories and simulations offered by the school. Students also engage in clinical rotations with Atlantic Health Systems and other providers. Three start dates per year add to the flexibility of this hybrid option.

What’s Next After Your Accelerated Nursing Program in New Jersey

Students may apply for their license two months before graduating from a NJ accelerated nursing program. Online applications are taken through the New Jersey Board of Nursing and require the following:

  • Completed application
  • 2×2 passport-style photo, original and in color
  • U.S. passport or official birth certificate
  • Name change or immigration documents, if applicable
  • Letter of nursing program completion
  • Criminal background check

In addition, students must pass the NCLEX-RN to become registered nurses. Once a graduate completes all application requirements, they receive an Authorization to Test from Pearson VUE and then follow instructions to take the test. The Application Process Overview from the New Jersey Board of Nursing provides more details on this process.

Keeping a current NJ state nursing license requires at least 30 contact hours of continuing education during the two years preceding the license renewal deadline. Many online courses are suitable for meeting this requirement. To learn more, visit this FAQ section on continuing education for nurses in New Jersey.

Career & Salary Outlook for BSN Nurses in New Jersey

Earning your bachelor’s degree in nursing can lead to increased job security, higher pay, and increased opportunities for career advancement. The following information details the job outlook for registered nurses in New Jersey. It also tells you the pay you might expect in your new position as a registered nurse.

Are BSN registered nurses in high demand in New Jersey?

Registered nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system, serving in a wide variety of capacities in every medical setting. It should be no surprise, then, that the job growth rate for RNs is expected to hit 11.3% between 2018 and 2028. That’s slightly less than the national average, but remember that the national average includes much larger states California and metro areas like New York City.

Job Outlook for Registered Nurses in New Jersey

Employment (2018) New Jobs (2018-2028) Job Growth Rate (2018-2028) Average Annual Openings (2018-2028)
New Jersey 85,470 9,620 11.3% 5,780
United States 3,059,800 371,500 12.1% 210,400

Source: Projections Central

How much do BSN nurses make in New Jersey?

Registered nurses in New Jersey are paid an average of $84,280 which is higher than the national average of $77,460. Pay rate fluctuates across New Jersey. For example, the annual mean wage in the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton area, which includes parts of Pennsylvania, is $69,100 while the median annual rate in Ocean City is $73,830 and $78,880 in Trenton.