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School Nurse Graduate Program

School nurses develop health interventions and evaluate health care outcomes for school-age children. TCNJ also offers the School Nurse Non-Instructional Certificate and the School Nurse Instructional Certificate, both of which are approved by the New Jersey Department of Education. RNs who hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree may take advantage of a bridge program to the MSN.

About the School Nurse Program

This fully accredited program builds on the training and 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 illnesses of school-age children. Faculty advisors work closely with each student to plan an appropriate course of study and to ensure progress throughout the program.

School Nurse MSN

This program is for RNs with a BSN who wish to practice nursing in a preschool, elementary or high school setting. The School Nurse MSN is for school nurses who wish to enhance their existing knowledge and supplement their educational credentials. The School Nurse MSN can be completed in four or five semesters of part-time study. Students have up to six years to complete the program.

40-credit degree program (this includes 23 credits completed for the required NonInstructional and Instructional Certificate).

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

School Nurse Non-Instructional Certificate

The Non-Instructional Certificate equips graduates to perform nursing services in public schools serving students in preschool through 12th grade. (This endorsement does not authorize the holder to teach in areas related to health.) The certificate can be completed in a single academic year.

13-credit certificate program/120 practicum hours.

School Nurse Instructional Certificate

The School Nurse Instructional Certificate prepares students to perform nursing services and to teach in areas related to health in public schools serving students in preschool through 12th grade. This certificate requires two academic years of part-time study.

10-credit certificate program/240 practicum hours.

RN Bridge to the MSN for Nurses

RNs who hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree may take advantage of a bridge sequence of courses to the MSN.

Program Info

Course Format, Locations, and Times

Course offerings will be face-to-face, online, or blended and are available on a full- or part-time schedule.

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 face-to-face 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 occur under the guidance of experienced advanced practice nurses 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 are 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 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*

*Applications will be considered on space available up to and including the first day of the semester.

» 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 $949.91 per credit
Out-of-State Tuition $949.91 per credit

» View Tuition & Fees Details

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

Assistantships & Aid

Graduate Assistantships

TCNJ offers graduate assistantships that provide meaningful learning experiences while 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 annually 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 to be eligible for a 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


The Master of Science in Nursing program is fully accredited by:
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, D.C. 20036-1120

TCNJ is currently accepting applications for the RN-BSN program, but owing to exceptionally high enrollment and retention, the Department of Nursing has no capacity for external transfer students seeking admission to the undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program for the 2023-2024 academic year. This notice will be updated if capacity allows for applications to be submitted through the Office of Admissions for the 2023-2024 academic year