Let us ask you a question—how well has your bachelor’s degree served you? Are you using it in a career that fulfills you, or is it time for a change? If you answered “yes” to the latter question, an accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (ABSN) program might be just what you need to get excited about your job again. Such programs allow you to polish your existing education into a shiny new degree in a rewarding, caring profession. And fortunately for residents of New Jersey, the state is home to some excellent online and on-campus ABSN programs.
In this guide, we start off by highlighting some of New Jersey’s best ABSN programs. After that, we explain virtually everything else you need to know, from degree requirements to career outlook and salary information. So, if you are ready to blaze a new path, keep reading to get all of the information you need to take that first step.
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 2024.
There are two different options for completing an ABSN at Felician University—the 16-month hybrid model in Parsippany, and an 18-month on-campus program in Rutherford. Both programs offer three start dates per year—January, May, and August—so that students do not have to wait long to begin their studies. Candidates must have either a confirmed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or at least 60 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Furthermore, prior to enrolling in either program, students must ensure that they have completed the prerequisite courses, which are offered 100% online through the university.
Prospective students are supported by a counselor at every step of the applications and admissions process to ensure that they understand requirements, develop an academic success plan, and choose the pathway best suited to them. Felician further facilitates student success by offering a variety of grants and scholarships that make its programs more financially attainable.
The 14-month, five-semester accelerated nursing program for non-nurses offered at Georgian Court University requires candidates to have a prior bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of at least 3.2. In addition to this requirement, students must complete academic prerequisite courses in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, statistics, chemistry, and psychology. Georgian offers two ABSN start dates per year (June and November) to help students begin their studies sooner.
Overall, the ABSN program boasts some admirable numbers and statistics, including a favorable student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1, over seven clinical rotation locations within Hackensack Meridian Health (New Jersey’s largest health provider), and a three-year NCLEX average pass rate of 94% as of July 2021. In addition to all of this, the program touts an 87.5% graduate employment rate, which is likely contributed to by the generous assortment of tools, training, and preparation offered through the school’s Office of Career Services.
Students with a prior bachelor’s degree and at least a 3.0 GPA make great candidates for The College of New Jersey’s Accelerated Second-Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Applicants must complete prerequisite courses and earn at least proficient on the ATI TEAS Exam. In total, the ABSN program takes 14 months, and it has one yearly start date at the end of May. During the fall and spring, the program is only available on campus, but there are hybrid coursework opportunities in the summer.
TCNJ’s program bears many marks of quality, such as small class sizes and two simulation labs—a high-fidelity lab and a practice skills lab. Furthermore, the school’s first-time NCLEX pass rate was a huge 96% in 2022 with a five-year average of 97%, which is about 10% higher than the national average. The program also boasts an astounding 100% full-time employment rate within six months of graduation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Overall, the demand for BSN registered nurses in New Jersey is growing at a steady rate that is relatively in step with national projections. New Jersey is expected to add about 7,190 new jobs for nurses over the next ten years, which is about 2.5% of the national figure of 276,700. Furthermore, the ten-year job growth rate projection for the state (8.6%) versus the nation (9%) reveals only a small difference.
Job Outlook for Registered Nurses in New Jersey
||New Jobs (2020-2030)
||Job Growth Rate (2020-2030)
||Average Annual Openings (2020-2030)
Source: Projections Central
How much do BSN nurses make in New Jersey?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a national median annual wage of $81,220 for registered nurses as of May 2022. In New Jersey, registered nurses tend to earn significantly more than this, with wages falling between $87,990 and $133,340, which is the top tier of wage ranges across all states. Most wages fall somewhere between these two, with the annual mean wage for registered nurses in the state being around $96,670.