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School Nurse Graduate Program

School nurses develop health interventions and evaluate healthcare outcomes for school age children. TCNJ also offers The School Nurse Non-Instructional Certificate and the School Nurse Instructional Certificate which are both approved by the Department of Education in the State of New Jersey. A bridge program to the MSN for RNs with a non-nursing baccalaureate is also available.

About the School Nurse Program

This fully accredited program builds on the nursing and scientific knowledge base of the baccalaureate-prepared nurse and focuses on advanced clinical decision-making and critical thinking skills. Graduates are prepared to accurately and critically assess the health and illness experiences of school age children. Faculty advisors work closely with each student to plan an appropriate course of study and to ensure progress through the program.

School Nurse MSN

This program is for RN’s with a BSN who wish to practice nursing in a Pre-School, Elementary or High School setting.  The School Nurse MSN is for school nurses who wish to gain further knowledge and add to their educational credentials. The School Nurse MSN can be completed in 4 -5 Semesters of part-time study. Students have up to 6 years to complete any of the programs.

The School Nurse MSN does not require additional practicum hours but there are 35 hours of clinical experience included in NURS 633 Advanced Holistic Health Assessment.

School Nurse Non-Instructional Certificate

The Non-Instructional Certificate prepares students to perform nursing services in public schools in grades preschool – 12. This endorsement does not authorize the holder to teach in areas related to health. The Non-Instructional Certificate can be completed in one academic year.

The School Nurse Non-Instructional Certificate requires 120 hours of practicum. 

School Nurse Instructional Certificate

The Instructional Certificate prepares students to perform nursing services and to teach in areas related to health in public schools in grades preschool through 12. The Instructional Certificate requires two academic years of part time study.

The School Nurse Instructional Certificate requires 240 hours of practicum experiences.

RN Bridge to the MSN for Nurses

There is also a bridge sequence of courses to the MSN for RNs with a non-nursing baccalaureate.


Program Info

» Curriculum

» Frequently Asked Questions

Course Format, Locations, and Times

We currently do not offer distance learning options. The School of Nursing at The College of New Jersey places great emphasis on its role in developing a community of nursing professionals through intensive mentoring and fostering of collegial relationships. We have found that the interactions necessary to achieve these goals occur best in an interactive classroom setting.

All lecture and seminar classes are held on TCNJ’s campus, except for the Neonatal NP specialty courses. The NNP program is a consortium based program and NNP specialty courses are offered on the Thomas Jefferson University campus in Philadelphia.

Most classes are offered during the evenings, although some required classes and activities may be offered during the day.

Clinical Practicum Experiences

All MSN and certificate options include clinical practicum experiences. Clinical practicum hours are during the day, usually on weekdays. Clinical experiences take place under the guidance of experienced advanced practice nurses, school nurses, clinical nurse leaders, physicians, or other advanced nursing practitioners as appropriate to the area of specialization and to the program. Required practicum hours for each course are listed in the course descriptions.

Nursing 634, 635, 636, 637, 638, and 690 require up to two days per week for daytime clinical hours. NURS 633 requires one day per week for daytime clinical hours. Clinical experiences take place under the guidance of experienced advanced practice nurse or physician preceptors.

Health Assessment Clinical

Each NP student also completes an additional 35 hours of health assessment clinical.  Practicum hours for each specialty take place in various settings as appropriate to the specialty and population.

Application Requirements

  • Application
  • Essay
  • Official transcripts including addendum
  • Application fee
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • National standardized admission test requirement (waived for post-master’s certificate program)
  • Resume/CV
  • Preadmission interview
  • Additional documents needed from international applicants seeking to study in the U.S.

» View Application Details for Nursing MSN Programs

Application Deadlines

Applicants need to make sure all materials are completed by either the Priority Consideration Deadline or the Final Deadline in order for an application to be considered complete.

 Term Priority Consideration Final Deadline
Fall Matriculation for Nursing MSN Programs February 1 August 1
Spring Matriculation for Nursing MSN – School Nurse; All other Nursing
Certificate and Post-Master’s Programs
October 1 December 1

» View Application Deadline Details

Tuition & Costs

The College of New Jersey provides a high quality education at a lower than average cost than other schools of similar quality.

Tuition Type Rate
In-State / Nearby Tuition* $462.76 per credit
Out-of-State Tuition $672.45 per credit

*Includes nearby Pennsylvania zip codes in a 40 mile radius of TCNJ.

» View Tuition & Fees Details

The College Board of Trustees is responsible for establishing tuition, fees, housing and board plan rates. Tuition and fees schedules are subject to change without notice and upon action of the Board of Trustees.

Assistantships & Aid

Graduate Assistantships

TCNJ offers graduate assistantships that provide meaningful learning experiences while also supporting TCNJ’s educational mission. These assistantships require 15 hours of work per week during the fall and spring semesters while the college is in session. Only those full-time (minimum 9 credits/semester), matriculated graduate students in good academic standing with a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 are eligible for selection.

Graduate Assistants are awarded a tuition waiver of $10,000.00 per academic year ($5,000 per semester for fall and spring only) and are hired on an annual basis for a maximum of two years.

» Learn more about Graduate Assistantships

Financial Aid
Students pursuing a graduate degree at TCNJ may be eligible for some types of student financial assistance, including but not limited to student loans and assistantships. Graduate students must follow the same steps as undergraduates in applying for federal loan assistance.

Graduate students must be enrolled in at least five credit hours at the 500 level or above in order to be eligible for student loan assistance and for TCNJ to certify enrollment for a loan repayment deferment.

Semester Enrollment Requirements for Graduate Students
Full-time status = 9 or more credit hours
Half-time status = 5 credit hours
The enrollment requirements pertain to individual summer session enrollment as well.

» Learn more about Financial Aid at TCNJ