Use our school listings to evaluate the costs, curricula, and quality markers of each program. Evaluate the pros and cons of online New Jersey RN to MSN programs. Or skim through our rankings of the cheapest RN to MSN programs in New Jersey to see if you qualify for the lowest tuition rates.
Wondering where the MSN might take you? That’s where our discussion of New Jersey’s healthcare landscape and the job section come in. Here you’ll find ideas for job hunting and links to career boards and salary data. You’ll find even more detailed advice on the websites of NJ nursing organizations & associations.
Online RN to MSN Programs in New Jersey
We’re pleased to report that private and public New Jersey universities offer online RN to MSN programs. Each College of Nursing will have its own specific admissions requirements, so we recommend you examine the profiles in our school listings to determine if you’re eligible to apply. For instance, Felician’s program is open to RNs with an associate degree or diploma in nursing, but MSU and SHU’s offerings require a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. Here are a few extra points to consider:
- Felician University: All full-time faculty in Felician’s undergraduate & graduate programs are certified to teach online. In addition, distance learners who need extra help can request face-to-face meetings, either online or on-campus. For the Advanced Practice concentrations, licensure as an RN in New Jersey is required and must be obtained within 3 months of enrollment. For the Nursing Administration concentration, RN applicants who are licensed in a state outside of NJ will be evaluated on an individual basis.
- Montclair State University: MSU’s Online RN to MSN Bridge is not completely online—courses for the undergraduate portion are offered in hybrid or online formats; students meet on campus approximately once per month or 3-4 times over the course of a semester. However, all courses for the MSN are 100% online. The university’s page on State Authorization states that MSU is part of SARA, which means it’s eligible to offer distance education programs to students in 49 states and is not subject to approval or exempt in the non-SARA state of California.
- Seton Hall University: Certain concentrations in SHU’s Online RN to MSN Bridge have on-campus components. Students who choose NP specialties (e.g. AGNP or PNP options) are expected to take part in 3 immersion experiences, which will include hands-on clinical work. The HSA concentration doesn’t have any on-campus clinical experiences, but it does contain internships in a workplace setting.
Bear in mind, too, that some of the other programs in our listings are blended. For example, classes for Monmouth University’s MSN occur in the evening, either in an online or hybrid format, with alternating weeks on campus. And MSN courses at the College of Saint Elizabeth are offered in a format that combines face-to-face classes with online coursework, independent study, and group assignments.
Cheapest RN to MSN Programs in New Jersey
This ranking of the most affordable New Jersey RN to MSN programs is based on per graduate tuition rates. That means it’s only a rough estimate! Each program in our school listings has a different number of credits and different tuition structures. For example, Felician has two tuition rates: one for RN to MSN undergraduate courses and one for MSN coursework. In contrast, TCNJ’s program charges a graduate rate for all required bridge courses.
- Montclair State University: View Tuition Rates
- Kean University: In-State (Out-of-State is somewhat higher)—View Tuition Rates
- The College of New Jersey: In-State (Out-of-State is comparable to Monmouth)—View Tuition Rates
- College of Saint Elizabeth: View Tuition Rates
- Felician University: View Tuition Rates
We also want to point out that you may be able to reduce the total number of credits you need to earn at the university—in some cases, schools accept transfers and/or a portfolio review on selected bridge courses (e.g. TCNJ).
New Jersey’s Healthcare Landscape
Like many urban/suburban states, New Jersey faces a range of complex healthcare challenges. According to America’s Health Rankings, the state has been battling a high prevalence of physical inactivity, rising obesity rates, a surge in drug-related deaths, and low per capita public health funding. New Jersey nurses are also deeply concerned with unsafe working conditions. In 2019, JNESO pointed out that there had been a significant uptick in Short Staffing Forms by nurses involved in direct patient care, as well as staff losses in EDs and medical & surgical units.
One of the most challenging centers for NJ nurses is Newark. According to 2018 Census results, over 25% of the population were living in poverty and over 20% of people under the age of 65 lacked health insurance. A WalletHub report in the same year ranked Newark as the third neediest city in the country, with high levels of child poverty, food insecurity and homelessness. And it’s not unique. Substance abuse, depression, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes are just some of the conditions that APRNs in urban areas have to address on a daily basis.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that New Jersey is winning some of its healthcare battles. For instance:
- It’s one of only five states to require hospitals and nursing homes to report nurse staffing numbers, a rule that is prompting better nurse staffing ratios in hospitals.
- It has made significant progress in reducing the number of residents without health insurance, including new immigrants.
- New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI), a statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is investing millions of dollars in healthy community projects and organizations.
- And the state is fighting the opioid epidemic tooth & nail. In 2019, the Governor announced that he intended to advance $100 million from the Fiscal Year budget to tackle the drug crisis. Money will be used to fund prevention & treatment programs, increase accessibility to MAT, provide training to primary care clinicians, and more.
New Jersey also has a network of well-respected hospitals and medical centers that are committed to improvement. For instance, a large number of New Jersey hospitals are Magnet Facilities. The state almost always does well in Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade rankings. And the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) is working on multiple advocacy goals, including healthcare coverage expansion, healthy communities, and quality control (e.g. NJHA Institute for Quality & Patient Safety).
Jobs for New Jersey RN to MSN Graduates
Career Outlook for RN to MSN Graduates
The upshot of all this activity is growth—aspiring APRNs and nurse leaders will find plenty of fulfilling job opportunities in the state. If you look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s pages for Nurse Practitioners and Nursing Instructors & Teachers, Postsecondary, you’ll notice that New Jersey has a high level of employment for both categories, especially in the New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area. In fact, Trenton often has the highest concentration of nursing instructor jobs in the country (think TCNJ and the Capital Health Regional Medical Center.).
There’s another factor at play for MSN graduates: the retirement of older nurses and nursing instructors. According to Projections Central, New Jersey is projected to experience a surge in NP jobs—more than a 30% increase between 2016 and 2026. New senior nurses will be very much needed, and not only in hospitals. The dearth of nursing faculty has meant some New Jersey universities have had to turn away qualified undergraduates.
Interested in a medical center job or need ideas for MSN clinical placements?
- U.S. News & World Report rankings of the Best Hospitals in New Jersey will be of use. You’ll see a lot of familiar names in this list, including Morristown Medical Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, and the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
- Keep in mind, too, that other NJ hospitals will have key strengths in certain areas. For example, Saint Peter’s University Hospital’s Adult ICU Unit has been awarded a Beacon Award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) five times in a row.
Finally, it’s useful to know that APNs in NJ have a considerable degree of autonomy. For instance, they are not required to have their work supervised by a physician. That means physician proximity, meeting with a physician, or on-site or in-person oversight is not required. However, APNs are still required to have a joint protocol collaborative agreement (JP) in order to prescribe medications, including controlled substances.
Career Resources for Future APRNs
New Jersey Nursing Job Boards
- NJSNA Career Center: Job listings for New Jersey nurses, including NPs and nurse leaders
- APN-NJ Careers: Job listings for New Jersey APRNs
- FNAP Career Center: Job listings for New Jersey & neighboring state NPs
New Jersey APRN Salary & Wage Data
- Annual Mean Wages for New Jersey Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations: Listed under “Nurse Practitioners” and “Nursing Instructors & Teachers, Postsecondary”
- AANP National Compensation Survey: Available to AANP members
New Jersey Nursing Organizations
State Board of Nursing
NJ Nursing Associations & Coalitions
- Advanced Practice Nurses of New Jersey (APN-NJ)
- Forum of Nurses in Advanced Practice (FNAP)
- National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN): New Jersey Chapters
- National Black Nurses Association (NBNA): New Jersey Chapters
- New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI)
- New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA)
NJ Nursing Specialty Organizations
- American College of Nurse-Midwives – New Jersey Chapter (NJ ACNM)
- American Psychiatric Nurses Association – New Jersey Chapter (APNA New Jersey)
- Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses – New Jersey (AWHONN – New Jersey)
- International Association of Forensic Nurses – New Jersey Chapter (NJ-IAFN)
- New Jersey Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NJANA)
- New Jersey Emergency Nurses Association (NJENA)
- New Jersey League for Nursing (NJLN)
- New Jersey Nursing Students (NJNS)
- New Jersey State School Nurses Association (NJSSNA)
- New Jersey State Association of Occupational Health Nurses (NJSAOHN)
- Organization of Nurse Leaders of New Jersey (ONL NJ)