What is an Accelerated Nursing Program?

An accelerated nursing program is a way for people with bachelor’s degrees in non-nursing field to earn their BSN quickly. With the nursing profession projected as one of the fastest growing professions in the New Jersey, it is no wonder that people from all backgrounds are considering nursing as a career change, and an accelerated nursing program is one such option.  Not only does it offer job stability and a sustainable salary, but it is also highly rewarding and challenging.  However, for the career-changer who has already completed a Bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, or even for the LVN who has completed some level of training, the idea of obtaining a second Bachelor’s degree, can be daunting and deter people from entering the field. Fortunately, many universities in New Jersey offer accelerated nursing programs and LPN to BSN degree programs for just such populations.

Why Should I Complete an Accelerated Nursing Program In New Jersey?

Accelerated nursing programs are specifically geared toward students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in something else.  If you have already proven you ability to manage time, study effectively and retain knowledge, and are hoping to become a nurse, this may be the program for you. If you have your bachelors you likely already taken most foundational courses in a bachelor’s degree program.

This means that if you complete a 4 year BSN program, you will repeat a lot of classes. While there may be some science pre-requisites to complete, almost all courses in an accelerated nursing program are focused specifically on the skills needed to be an RN. When you finish the program you will have your BSN and be a highly sought after nurse. You will have the training and skills to complete the NCLEX-RN exam and work in almost any clinical setting.

In a standard BSN, students spend at least the first year, and sometimes the first two years, taking only foundational bachelor’s degree courses; nursing courses do not typically begin until the sophomore or junior year, and even  then, they are often mixed in with other college courses.  The student in an accelerated nursing program takes only the nursing courses, significantly shortening the time it takes to complete the degree.  Most programs take between 11 and 18 months.  A key component of any BSN degree is the clinical.  Students in accelerated programs receive the same number of clinical hours as do their standard BSN counterparts.

Additionally, if you are an LPN and are hoping to earn your BSN you do not need to take 4 years of classes. There are accelerated programs for you too! These are called LPN to BSN programs, but unlike the accelerated programs we’re discussing here you DO NOT need to have your Bachelor’s degree to enter them, but you do need to be licensed as an LPN. These programs are shorter than 4 years but slightly longer than RN to BSN programs. During 4-5 semester program you will complete the foundational courses to earn your BSN as well as additional nursing courses. 

Entrance Requirements for a New Jersey Accelerated Nursing Program

  • Bachelor’s degree: You need to have your bachelor’s degree to be eligible for accelerated nursing programs, but it can be in any subject!  
  • GPA: You do not need to take a test for eligibility but most schools will require that you have a minimum GPA of 3.0. These can vary by school so check before applying!
  • Complete pre-requisites: While your bachelor’s degree can be in anything, you may need to complete certain courses before you can apply to an accelerated nursing program. Usually these will be science courses such as biology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and more.
  • Letters of recommendation: Like any application you need letters of recommendation. Make sure to reach out ahead of time to the people you want to write your letters so that you are not scrambling at the last minute. 
  • Submit applications: You should look over the applications in advance so you know how much time you will need to complete them. In addition to demographics and basic questions, you may have essays to write. You will also need to collect past transcripts, submit and updated resume, and possibly additional paperwork.
  • Interview: Most schools will not require an interview but it always helps to check!

List of 10 Accelerated BSN (ABSN) Programs in New Jersey

Caldwell University

  • 120 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ - 07006-6195
  • 973-618-3000
Nurse Admin: Donna Naturale, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, CDE
Title: Associate Dean

Caldwell University is a Catholic higher education institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It is named after its location, Caldwell, New Jersey. Conveniently located just 22 miles away from New York City, Caldwell University students can easily join internships and watch cultural events.

Its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N) degree program includes laboratory and clinical immersion along with its liberal arts curricular foundation. It is also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). With small class sizes of 12:1 student to faculty ratio, attention is given to the needs of each student.

The B.S.N program is composed of four entrance tracks. Track I is for second degree students, or those who have a non-nursing B.S. or B.A degree but would want to enter the nursing profession. It is composed of 88 credit units, with 25 credits for prerequisites.  To be admitted to the program, a recommendation letter and official transcript from the previous school attended is required along with the filled in application form, personal essay and a resume. A GPA of at least 3.5 is also a must with a B or higher grade in the nursing prerequisites. The application, and supporting document submission is on February 22 and March 1 respectively.

In terms of the curriculum, modern practice is ensured through the program’s embedded simulation activities. Students are also trained to provide healthcare to a diverse population through exposure to various community centers.  A background check on the student’s criminal history is required before placement to these clinical agencies.

Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus

  • 1000 River Rd, Teaneck, NJ - 07666
  • 201-692-2000
Nurse Admin: ,

Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) is a university in New Jersey with four campuses. Founded 10 years after FDU was established, the Henry P. Becton School of Nursing and Allied Health has a proven track record in quality nursing education. Its excellence is reflected by its 100 percent passing rate in the 2020 National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). In fact, its impressive NCLEX rating is not a one-time-feat, as this university has had a range of 89-100% NCLEX passing rate for the last three years. FDU was also recognized by the U.S. News College Rankings as offering the Best Nursing (BSN) Programs.

FDU offers Accelerated BS Nursing for those who graduated in non-nursing bachelor degrees but would want to be a professional nurse. Students of this program have the option to take it in 12 or 18 months. The learning environment is a combination of class sessions and clinical immersions to serve as stimulation in the nursing profession. Class size is also kept minimal for better class interaction and participation. To be admitted to the program, a student must be a graduate of a regionally accredited university or college with Cumulative Grade Point Ratio (CGPR) of at least three in the said baccalaureate degree. He or she will be exempted from taking the Kaplan Admission TEST (KAT) if the GPA is 3.7 or above. Graduates of this program are eligible to take the NCLEX.  In terms of employment in the healthcare industry, FDU has a 100% rate in the tri-state area.

Felician University

  • 262 S Main St, Lodi, NJ - 07644
  • 201-559-6000
Nurse Admin: Christine Mihal, EdD, RN
Title: Dean

Felician University is an institution of higher learning in New Jersey. Founded in 1942 by the Felician Sisters, it now operates in two campuses located in Rutherford and Lodi. Its Felician roots are evident in its emphasis on the values of service and respect. It received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and was hailed as the top among private colleges in New Jersey according to 2022 Niche Best College.

Its School of Nursing, established in 1965, combines simulations, evidence-based approach, and research in its curriculum. Under this School is the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program approved by the New Jersey State Board of Nursing (BON). It can be taken either in 16- or 18-month duration through the Hybrid Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in Parsippany or the On-Ground ABSN in Rutherford, respectively. The former set-up is ideal for self-disciplined students with good time-management skills, while the latter is best suited for those who want a structured and monitored set-up.

To be admitted to the program, the student must have a baccalaureate degree or with a minimum of 60 non-nursing college credits from a regionally accredited institution. He/she must also have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 from his/her previous degree.

The nursing coursework can be done either on-campus or online, depending on the student’s preference. Simulations, hands-on, and real-life l experiences are ensured through clinical rotations in Atlantic Health System, its academic practice partner, and other leading healthcare institutions and providers in Newark.

Graduates of this program can take the National Council of Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN® ).

Georgian Court University

  • 900 Lakewood Ave, Lakewood, NJ - 08701-2697
  • 732-987-2200
Nurse Admin: Teri Wurmser, PhD, MPH, RN, NEA-BC
Title: Chair

Georgian Court University (GCU) is located in Lakewood University. Being a catholic university, this institution believes in a supportive and uplifting community patterned after the Sisters of Mercy’s values. It has received awards on social mobility from The New York Times and U.S. News & World Report. It is also hailed as the “Best College for your money”, according to Money.com.

GCU offers a 14-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (A.B.S.N) program. This program is accredited by the New Jersey Board of Nursing and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. To ensure that each student’s needs are met, the class has a limited size with a 13:1 student to faculty ratio. Its faculty has actual expertise in the field with a combined experience of 200+ years. Aside from the classroom sessions, students will also have hands-on experiences on patient care through Hackensack Meridian Health, GCU’s partner institution for ten years. In fact, its partner is the largest healthcare provider in New Jersey and has more than seven locations where students can perform clinical rotations.

To be admitted to the program, a student must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in his/her baccalaureate degree.  Graduates of A.B.S.N are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). As of July 2020, GCU has a three-year average of 92% passing rate in NCLEX. In terms of employment, it has a rate of 87.% starting from Class of 2019. That is roughly 9 out 10 nursing graduates employed.

New Jersey City University

  • 2039 Kennedy Blvd, Jersey City, NJ - 07305
  • 201-200-2000
Nurse Admin: Joyce Wright, PhD, RN, CNE
Title: Chief Nurse Administrator

Founded in 1927, New Jersey City University (NJCU), is a comprehensive university in Jersey City, NJ. Its department of nursing aims to prepare graduates in a variety of careers in the healthcare and hospital fields. Its alumni are among the nation’s top 15% highest-paid. In terms of performance achievements, its main campus nursing programs made it to the country’s top 10%, while Fort Monmouth Campus has the leading prelicensure nursing program in the state.

NJCU offers Accelerated B.S.N Program for holders of non-nursing bachelor degrees to transition into clinical practice. This 64-credit program is required to be taken full-time in a span of 12 months. To be admitted to the program, the applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, preferably with a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 Scale; those with GPA below 3.0 are also welcome to apply. He or she must also have an 80% cumulative score on the standardized Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI) exam, and must complete the required prerequisite courses.

Around 70 to 80 students are accepted from this program annually in its two locations– the Jersey City Campus which starts every September, and the Fort Monmouth which starts every May. Graduates of this program will be conferred a degree in nursing (BSN), and are eligible to take the National Council of Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®).

Seton Hall University

  • 400 S Orange Ave, South Orange, NJ - 07079-2697
  • 973-761-9000
Nurse Admin: Kristi J. Stinson, PhD, RN, APN-BC
Title: Interim Dean

Seton Hall University is a private university in South Orange, New Jersey.  This university offers a College of Nursing which aims to produce both generalists and specialists in the industry.  Established in 1937, its baccalaureate program is the first B.S.N program in New Jersey. Eighty four percent (84%) of its full-time faculty have doctoral degrees. In terms of board exam performance, it has a whopping 2020 NCLEX passing rate of 97%.

One of the programs offered under the College of Nursing is the Second Degree Accelerated BSN. This program is an avenue for learners with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees to prepare for the professional nursing practice.  To be admitted into the program, a minimum GPA of 3.00 from the previous degree is required. With 62 credits which can be taken in a span of 14 months, graduates of this program are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). The accelerated course can be taken at Seton Hall University’s two campuses—Georgian Court Campus at Lakewood, and Interprofessional Health Science Campus in Nutley. Classes start this fall and spring respectively.

The curriculum is based on an evidence-based approach, and uses a blend of classroom learning and laboratory skills. Financial, legal and cultural aspects of healthcare are some of the areas of study included. Applications of learnings are ensured through simulations and hands-on experiences using up-to-date facilities and actual patient care in various clinical settings.  Morristown Medical Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, and St. Michael’s Medical Center are some of the clinical sites for hands-on immersion.

Thomas Edison State College

  • 111 W State St, Trenton, NJ - 08608
  • 609-984-1100
Nurse Admin: Ruth A. Wittmann-Price, PhD, RN, CNE, CNEcl, CHSE, ANEF, FAAN
Title: Dean

W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduates consistently score above state and national averages in NCLEX-RN pass rates. The program boasts competitive tuition, scholarship opportunities, and liberal course transfer policies.

This 15-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) degree program is designed for adults with a bachelor degree in another discipline and who are interested in becoming registered nurses.

This is a rigorous, full-time program that prepares graduates for the National Council Licensure Exam for RNs (NCLEX) as well as employment in nursing field.

Program Highlights:

  • Hybrid program with online and on-campus courses.

  • On-campus courses are held at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, N.J.

  • Clinical experiences are held at several facilities in the local New Jersey area.

  • Nine (9) graduate credits in the accelerated program may be applied toward your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

William Paterson University of New Jersey

  • 300 Pompton Rd, Wayne, NJ - 07470
  • 973-720-2000
Nurse Admin: Daria Napierkowski, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC, CNE
Title: Chairperson of School of Nursing

William Paterson University (WP), is a public institution of higher education located in Wayne, New Jersey. It aims to create an impact in the community, region and state. In fact, it has contributed an estimate of 500 million dollars to the state economy.

Its Department of Nursing holds a national accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education effective until June 2030. One of the programs in its nursing department is the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN). This 15-month accelerated fast track nursing program is for those students who already hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Students who possess Associate’s Degree rather than baccalaureate degree will not be accepted in the program. To be accepted, the student must have a CGPA of 3.0 or better in his/her bachelor’s degree, and without a grade of C- or below in the nursing prerequisite courses. He or she must also file his application between September 1 to October 1 every year. Acceptance is on a merit basis—the higher the GPA and the more prerequisites held, the better the chances of getting accepted compared to other candidates. Once accepted, the student must not have a grade of C- or below in any of the prerequisite or nursing major subjects in order to continue in the accelerated program. Graduates of this program may take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

In terms of the curriculum, it is a combination of on-campus learning experience using various audiovisual materials, and hands-on clinical laboratory for skill and knowledge application.

Rutgers University-Camden

  • 406 Penn, Camden, NJ - 08102
  • 856-225-1766
Nurse Admin: Donna M. Nickitas, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CNE, FNAP, FAAN
Title: Dean

Rutgers University-Camden is a higher educational institution situated in Camden, New Jersey. Established in 1926, Rutgers University was initially called South Jersey Law School. Currently, it now has four colleges and schools with 7229 undergraduate and graduate students at a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio. In its 90+ years of existence, it has produced 55 000 alumni with 97% of these having jobs or pursuing higher studies within six months upon graduation.

Its School of Nursing gained approval from the New Jersey Board of Nursing with an accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for its nursing bachelor’s degree. One of the programs offered by the School of Nursing is the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABS) degree. This is a full-time 15-credit fast-track nursing program which can be taken in four consecutive semesters. Its classes are taught by award-winning faculty members and the curriculum also emphasizes research and skills acquisition. In fact, it partnered with top healthcare industries in southern New Jersey and Delaware Valley to provide students with an actual clinical experience. Hence, in terms of education and training quality, it is at par with the University’s traditional program in Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

In terms of admission, a merit system is followed, hence, those with a GPA of 3.0 or better, high Science grades, and no history of withdrawals and failures have better chances of getting accepted. It follows a holistic review to ensure that the best candidate gets the slot since qualified students tend to outnumber the available slots. Recommendation letters will not be accepted and will not have an impact on admission.

Rutgers University SON Newark

  • 249 University Avenue, Blumenthal Hall, Newark, NJ - 07102
  • 973-353-1766
Nurse Admin: Linda Flynn, PhD, RNI FAAN
Title: Dean

Known for its excellence in health, research, and academe, Rutgers University is a state university located in New Jersey. Its School of Nursing (SON), which is in Newark Campus, focuses on an evidence-based approach. In fact, it belonged to the 17 nursing programs recognized last 2020 by the National League for Nursing as Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. In the same year, it has an impressive 90% passing rate in the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®) for its first-time takers. In terms of faculty and facilities, it has more than 100 full-time faculty members with roughly 200 sites for clinical immersion.

One of the programs offered under the SON is the Second-Degree BS Curriculum. It is a full-time 14-month program which allows students who possess a baccalaureate degree in another field to pursue a degree in nursing. To be admitted, a candidate must have a GPA of 3.3 or better on a 4.0 scale on his/her previous degree from an accredited university or college.  He or she must also have certification from healthcare providers on basic life support, and must complete the course prerequisites. Emphasis is given on the applicant’s science grades. No interviews and letters of recommendation are needed; with the latter not accepted nor reviewed if submitted. International students are also not eligible for program admission. The slots are limited hence, admissions are reviewed thoroughly to ensure that the best students get the slots.

Graduates of this program will be conferred a Bachelor of Science Degree and are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN.

How Long Does it Take to Complete an Accelerated Nursing Program in New Jersey?

This all depends on the school of course so take some time to shop around. In general you will be able to earn your BSN through an accelerated nursing program in 18 months or less. Some of these programs will be non-stop year round, while others may factor in a break. You will complete not only course work but also required hands on clinical experiences during this time so that you can master your new nursing skills. 

What Prerequisite Science Courses I Need for an ABSN Program in New Jersey?

First applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an approved university. A typical list of prerequisites for admission to the Accelerated BS in Nursing program at William Patersom University University is as follows:

  • General Anatomy & Physiology I
  • General Anatomy & Physiology II
  • Basic Microbiology
  • General Psychology
  • Lifespan Development
  • Chemistry for Health Sciences
  • Elementary Statistics
  • Nursing Research
  • Therapeutic Nutrition
  • BIO 3120 Advanced Anatomy & Physiology

What Will I Study in My New Jersey Accelerated Nursing Program?

Curricula will vary a little but they are all designed to prepare you to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.  Most schools will have course lists available online of what you will take during your program. In general you can expect to take courses similar to the following curriculum as offered by New Jersey City University-Fast Track Program:


  • Contemporary Professional Nursing
  • Nursing Informatics and Technology for Quality Patient Care
  • Health Assessment
  • Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Pathopharmacology for Nursing Practice I
  • Concepts in Gerontological Nursing Practice


  • Pharmacology in Nursing Practice
  • Adult Health and Illness I
  • Maternal and Child Health Nursing
  • Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice
  • Culture and Diversity in Nursing Practice


  • Adult Health II: Complex Care
  • Nursing Care of Patients with Behavior Health Issues
  • Leadership and Management
  • Senior Capstone for Entry-Level Nursing Practice
  • Quality and Safety
  • Nursing Care of Populations in the Community

What Are the Clinical Requirements for an ABSN in New Jersey

The number of supervised clinical hours you will be required to complete will depend on the state you live in. In general however, most states require about 500 to 800 clinical hours for you to earn your BSN and sit for the NCLEX RN exam. Visit the New Jersey Board of Nursing for the latest requirement. Clinical hours are experiences where you are paired with an experienced nurse (called your preceptor) and get to practice your clinical skills on real patients. Having someone to supervise you as you master these skills helps you be prepared to be a safe new nurse when you become licensed. 

Guide to ABSN and MSN Accelerated Nursing Programs

4 Steps To Register for the NCLEX

Be sure to talk to your school about the requirements for signing up for the NCLEX. They can help you with timing and steps. The process can take some time, so don’t wait until the last minute. Here are some important steps you need to take to register for the big day:

  1. Check out your state’s Board of Nursing (BON) website to sign up so that you are eligible to take the NCLEX. The NCBSN website has information you need on your state’s BON.
  2. Your NCLEX eligibility requirements can be found through your BON.
  3. After this you should register for the test through Pearson VUE. Don’t forget to find your program code when doing this! If you’re not sure where to find it, contact your school.
  4. The last step is to use our NCLEX tips and practice exams to study!

List of Accelerated BSN Nursing Programs in New Jersey

University Offered asCity/State
Caldwell University Campus, OnlineCaldwell, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus Campus, HybridTeaneck, NJ
Felician University Campus, OnlineLodi, NJ
Georgian Court University CampusLakewood, NJ
New Jersey City University CampusJersey City, NJ
Seton Hall University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSouth Orange, NJ
Thomas Edison State College Campus, OnlineTrenton, NJ
William Paterson University of New Jersey Campus, HybridWayne, NJ
Rutgers University-Camden Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCamden, NJ
Rutgers University SON Newark Campus, HybridNewark, NJ

List of Accelerated MSN Nursing Programs in New Jersey

University Offered asCity/State