Nurse practitioners (NPs) work in roles similar to doctors and registered nurses (RNs). Like doctors, NPs in New Jersey can diagnose patients for certain ailments and prescribe medication. NPs also need advanced degrees. However, NPs do not need to dedicate the same number of years to schooling as doctors do.
This page offers a list of NP programs in New Jersey. Aspiring NPs can learn what to expect from NP programs in N.J. and how to obtain and renew licensure in the state. This guide also details NP career and salary information, along with several helpful professional resources.
Individuals seeking general information on the profession can review this page. Those who want to explore NP specializations and sub-specializations can browse this resource.
Read on to learn more about some of the best nurse practitioner programs in New Jersey.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in New Jersey
NPs need at least a master of science in nursing (MSN) to earn licensure in New Jersey. Professionals may also pursue a doctor of nursing practice (DNP). A DNP allows students to focus on more advanced research and to understand how scientific knowledge translates into practical nursing skills. A DNP can also lead to higher salaries and leadership positions.
NPs could dedicate a decade to their education. Students often take four years for their bachelor's degree, two years for a master's, and 3-4 years for a DNP. However, several factors impact this timeframe. Learners who earn a master's without a doctorate can finish their schooling in six years. Some universities also offer BSN-to-DNP programs, which allow students to skip a master's degree altogether.
Some universities also offer BSN-to-DNP programs, which allow students to skip a master's degree altogether.
NP programs in New Jersey follow different formats. Some schools offer courses completely online, while others design their curricula in a hybrid format. This means that students attend some courses online and others on campus. NP graduate programs require students to complete their clinical or practicum hours onsite. The number of clinical hours also varies by program. Schools sometimes require more than 700 contact hours for NP students.
Nurse practitioner programs in New Jersey also allow students to choose a concentration. These focus areas align with certification specializations, directing an individual's career path. Aspiring NPs can find concentrations in family, psychiatric and mental health, adult-gerontological, neonatal, women's health, and pediatric care.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in New Jersey
However, before they earn APN certification, professionals must obtain a registered professional nurse license. This first license requires that nurses hold an approved, accredited degree in nursing and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Although RNs can choose an associate degree in nursing, aspiring NPs should opt for a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) instead. This is because graduate programs require applicants to possess a bachelor's degree.
According to New Jersey state law, curriculum must cover pharmacology, either in the form of a three-credit course or a pharmacology course of at least 45 hours integrated into the MSN.
After receiving their RN license, nurses can apply for graduate school. New Jersey requires NPs to obtain an MSN, although some earn a DNP as well. Either way, students must pursue nationally accredited graduate programs. According to New Jersey state law, curriculum must cover pharmacology, either in the form of a three-credit course or a pharmacology course of at least 45 hours integrated into the MSN.
Finally, candidates must pass an examination within their specialization from a national certification agency. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) offers three certifications with corresponding exams: Family NP, Adult-Gerontology, and Emergency NP certifications.
Other Requirements for New Jersey Nurse Practitioners
NPs in New Jersey do not need to complete any extra application to prescribe medication. All APN certification comes with prescriptive authority. However, NPs must establish a joint protocol with a collaborating physician in order to prescribe medication.
Nurses should renew licensure every two years. The renewal process requires NPs to complete 30 continuing education (CE) hours during this two-year period. Professionals can find these CE courses through any organization accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. New Jersey accepts in-person and online courses as valid CE hours.
NPs who want to work within a specific healthcare area can pursue specialty licensure.
NPs also must follow the maintenance requirements for their national certifications. Professionals who hold AANPCB certification must renew their certification every five years with a minimum of 100 CE hours. They can also opt to retake the certification examination again instead.
In 2019, New Jersey passed a law to become the 34th state to join the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC). This compact allows nurses and NPs to more easily obtain licensure if they move to a new state if they already possess licensure in their home state. Professionals should note that even though the NLC streamlines the process of moving licensure between states, prescriptive authority in each state varies. Professionals can read more about those differences here.
As of January 2020, nurses moving to New Jersey from other states must follow requirements to earn NJ licensure until the state fully integrates into the NLC. This means NPs from other states must apply for licensure by endorsement. This process involves completing an application and providing written verification of licensure in good standing from a candidate's previous state.
Resources for New Jersey Nurse Practitioners
Advanced Practice Nurses of New Jersey APN-NJ is a grassroots advocacy coalition of APNs in New Jersey. In addition to participating in the legislative process, members can find job postings on the organization's website.
New Jersey State Nurses Association This statewide professional association connects nurses through events and newsletters. NJSNA also offers CE opportunities and scholarships and grants for nursing students.
New Jersey Board of Nursing As the state government's licensing board for nursing, NPs can visit this website for instructions on obtaining and renewing their license. They can also find important information from the site's frequently asked questions.
New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing Established by New Jersey's legislature in 2002, this organization conducts research on the nursing industry in the state. NJCCN publishes reports on workforce data, which the public can read online.
New Jersey Action Coalition An initiative of NJCCN, this coalition lists volunteer opportunities for individuals working in the healthcare industry. Graduate students can earn practicum credits by participating in many of these volunteer positions.