For registered nurses in New Jersey who want to advance in their careers, RN to MSN programs are gaining traction. These programs are tailor made for RNs with an Associate or Bachelor's degree who want to go back to school to complete a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Many nurses are realizing that an MSN degree can open the door to prestigious nursing specialties and higher salaries. With online and classroom-based programs available, earning a graduate nursing degree in the state has never been easier.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in New Jersey

In order to be admitted into an RN to MSN program, prospective students will need to ensure that they meet or exceed all entrance requirements, which typically include:

  • ADN or BSN from a regionally accredited institution (degree level requirement varies by program)
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 2.70
  • Active, unencumbered New Jersey RN license
  • Current CPR certification
  • Preadmission interview may be requested

RN to MSN Courses

RN to MSN programs geared to those who hold an ADN will require the student to take some "bridge" courses to get to the baccalaureate level before graduate courses can be taken. From there, students take a mix of advanced core courses and specialty courses. These specialty courses usually relate to a concentration, such as Family Nurse Practitioner. Once the coursework is completed, there is typically a clinical requirement.

Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, for example, offers the following courses as part of its RN to MSN program:

  • Advanced Nursing I: Health Assessment Theory
  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • The Professional Nurse in the 21st Century
  • Bioethics
  • Community Health Nursing

Online RN to MSN Programs in New Jersey

For RNs who don't think they can swing a classroom-based program, online RN to MSN options are a convenient solution. These programs offer maximum flexibility, and many RNs find that they can continue working while completing their coursework from home. Most online programs allow students to work at their own pace, but allow access to an experienced nursing faculty.

Featured Online School

Thomas Edison State University in Trenton offers an online RN to BSN/MSN program that is CCNE-accredited. Students enrolled in this flexible program can choose from concentrations such as Nurse Educator, Nurse Administrator, or Nursing Informatics Specialist. With open and rolling admissions, RNs can enroll any day of the year, and only 27 additional credits are needed beyond completion of the BSN to earn the MSN degree.

Admissions and Program Length

While exact program length can vary wildly due to the student's personal factors, it will generally take around 2 years to complete the BSN portion of the program and a little over a year to complete the MSN. Part-time or full-time study will impact the time it takes to complete the full program. Classroom-based programs tend to offer admission at the beginning of each semester, often including the summer semester, while online programs typically offer admission at any time.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

While going back to school to complete a graduate degree can be costly, there are typically financial aid and scholarship options available for those who qualify. Generally, students need to cover the costs of tuition, mandatory fees, and any course materials required. For example, tuition for the MSN program at Ramapo College of New Jersey runs roughly $736.50 per credit, including tuition-related fees. This is not inclusive of things like textbooks or other miscellaneous expenses.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in New Jersey

A big advantage to earning a graduate-level nursing degree is the elite nursing specialties it allows RNs to enter, including:

  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Educator
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nurse Anesthetist

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

The high-level and prestigious nursing careers that MSN-educated RNs are able to hold tend to come with substantially higher salaries. For instance, a Nurse Practitioner with an MSN in Trenton, NJ earns a median annual salary of $113,690. By comparison, a general registered nurse in Trenton earns an annual median salary of roughly $51,923.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

If you are looking for options for continuing your education and bridging from RN to MSN in one of New Jersey's many part-time, traditional in-class, or online programs offered within the state, there are options for continuing your education and keeping up with both professional and personal responsibilities. The average median yearly wage for a nurse with an MSN is approximately $100,000 per year. The career path that you find these wages are found in Clinical Nurse Leader roles, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric/Perinatal Nurse Practitioner, and more. All require an MSN and matching experience, but all are compensated accordingly.

ProgramWebsite
College of New Jersey, The
Campus
Department of Nursing
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628
(609) 771-2541
College of Saint Elizabeth
Campus
School of Professional Studies
2 Convent Rd
Morristown, NJ 07960
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Campus
1000 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
(800) 338-8803
Monmouth University
Campus
Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies
400 Cedar Avenue
West Long Branch, NJ 07764
(732) 263-5271
Saint Peter's University
Campus
School of Nursing
2641 John F. Kennedy Blvd
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 761-6279
Thomas Edison State University
Online
111 W. State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
(888) 442-8372