Rutgers or Seton Hall? Public or private? If you need help deciding on a New Jersey DNP, we’ve got your back! Our guide & directory contains rankings of the best and most affordable DNP programs in New Jersey, details on online & hybrid NJ doctorates, and advice on BSN to DNP options. Already have a school in mind? Jump ahead to our listings.
Top New Jersey DNP Programs
To find the best DNP programs in New Jersey, we evaluated independent rankings for nursing graduate degrees, prioritizing any school with a high DNP placement in U.S. News & World Report. But we also considered other important quality factors such as student reviews, reputation, research funding, and clinical opportunities.
1. Rutgers University-Newark
A top 20 national ranking for the DNP program. A huge range of DNP specialties, including an option for HIV Care certification in many tracks. Solid pass rates for CRNA and nurse midwifery students. These are just a few of the reasons why Rutgers stands at #1 in our New Jersey ranking. At the School of Nursing, you’ll find a large & diverse range of nursing students (e.g. 60% minority student population), experienced faculty, and a long-standing commitment to research. The School runs many research centers in interdisciplinary areas (e.g. HIV, community health partnerships, global health, urban youth & families, etc.) and it has close ties to other schools in the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) academic health center.
Because of the School’s location in a tough urban area, vulnerable populations are something of a specialty for Rutgers nurses. Faculty & students work in the nurse-operated Rutgers Community Health Center and the associated François-Xavier Bagnoud Center HIV Primary Care Clinic. In addition, the School has 200+ clinical affiliations with many local hospitals and healthcare organizations (e.g. University Hospital). Having said that, we recommend you ask the DNP program coordinator about clinical placements—some NP alumni mentioned that they had to find their own sites. You may also want to attend an Info Session to get a true feel for the program.
2. Seton Hall University
SHU’s DNP program is our top New Jersey pick if you favor an online format. It comes from a College of Nursing at a private Catholic university with solid national rankings for its MSN & DNP (e.g. top 60) and superb rankings for its distance learning programs (e.g. top 20). On top of that, AANPCB exam pass rates tend to be excellent (e.g. 98% over five years). As a DNP student, you’ll have opportunities to connect with faculty and their research interests. You may even wish to take a look at previous examples of DNP projects for inspiration.
Thinking about reputation? The College is a well-known player in the state. It educates around 1/3 of all New Jersey nurses; it’s part of the Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus; and it’s closely connected to Hackensack Meridian Health. It also has clinical affiliations with a number of other New Jersey hospitals & agencies, including Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, and more. Even better, independent reviews from former students are strong. Nursing alumni have high praise for the College’s instructors and their teaching methods, the quality of the Health Systems Administration program, and the interactive feel of the online learning experience.
3. Rutgers University-Camden
Looking for a more affordable option than Rutgers-Newark? Check out Rutgers-Camden’s DNP program. It’s often ranked in the top 70 of DNP programs nationwide and it’s run by a School of Nursing with a real commitment to social justice. The School has developed community partnerships & outreach programs with all kinds of local bodies (e.g. Camden Health Element, NJGWEP, Get Healthy Camden, Project H.O.P.E. at Cathedral Kitchen, etc.). It has pumped grant money into strengthening Spanish language skills among students & instructors. And its faculty are involved in all kinds of research interests, including the health & well-being of populations in high poverty neighborhoods, health disparities among diverse populations, and more.
Rutgers-Camden has another ace up its sleeve—its relatively new Nursing and Science building on its urban academic health science campus. That puts DNP students close to the city’s University District, including Cooper University Hospital, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, and the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. The College also has a cohort of 125+ clinical partners across the greater Delaware Valley region and an Office of Clinical Operations that continues to build affiliations. Attend an Open House and talk to DNP alumni before you make a decision. You may also wish to ask for recent NP certification pass rates.
Most Affordable DNP Programs in New Jersey
For this list of the cheapest DNP programs in New Jersey, we ranked each school by the per credit tuition rate. In a number of cases, this was the in-state rate. The out-of-state tuition rate at New Jersey public universities can often be much higher.
1. Thomas Edison State University
TESU is a public university, but the DNP tuition rate is the same for all students. Employees of TESU partner institutions are also eligible for a 5% discount on tuition.
2. Rutgers University-Camden
For Rutgers-Camden, we looked at the Graduate Nursing School tuition rate. The per credit rate for NJ residents is not much more than TESU, but the out-of-state rate is comparable to expensive private universities. There will be additional fees (e.g. campus fee, school fee, computer fee, etc.).
3. William Paterson University of New Jersey
WPUNJ has different DNP tuition rates for New Jersey residents and non-residents. You may also to have pay for a distance learning fee and miscellaneous fees.
Online DNP Programs in New Jersey
Online DNP programs in our New Jersey listings fall into two broad categories: BSN to DNP pathways with a real hybrid feel and MSN to DNP pathways that range from 100% online to executive formats with weekend meetings. For example:
- Online BSN to DNP Programs in NJ: SHU has developed a well-regarded online BSN to DNP in multiple NP specialties, but doctoral students are still required to visit the campus for an orientation and 2-3 immersion experiences.
- Hybrid BSN to DNP Programs in NJ: Schools like Rutgers-Camden and Stockton state outright that their programs are hybrid, with a blend of online and on-campus components. For Rutgers-Newark, we recommend you check with the DNP program coordinator. The Leadership track has 1-2 on-campus classes per course, but NP tracks often have more.
Once you reach the post-master’s level, where certification isn’t such an issue, you’ll have more choice. Each “online” program is different, so take a close look at the descriptions. For instance:
- Online Post-Master’s DNP Programs in NJ: Monmouth and TESU’s programs appear to be 100% online, with no physical campus visits required. But SHU’s DNP may have an orientation and immersion experiences, and Felician has 2 short, on-campus intensives.
- Hybrid Post-Master’s DNP Programs in NJ: Rutgers universities favor the hybrid format, even at this level. For example, Rutgers-Newark’s Executive Weekend model includes one long weekend of classes every 4-5 weeks. You’ll see a similar set-up at FDU (classes meeting monthly) and WPUNJ (classes every other Saturday). Even Saint Peter’s and Stockton’s programs are blended.
Coming from out-of-state? Ask about any state authorization & distance learning restrictions (especially if you’re interested in NP tracks). Schools of Nursing often have limitations on online programs.
Note: Want to expand your search to online DNPs across the nation? See our directory of Online DNP Programs. They are organized by state.
BSN to DNP Programs in New Jersey
To speed your search, we’ve listed each BSN to DNP specialty in our New Jersey listings. While we were doing our research on these tracks, we noticed a few trends.
- Multiple APRN Specialties: Top-ranked schools in New Jersey also tend to have the most choice. Rutgers-Newark is a prime example—along with popular specialties (e.g. FNP), it has rarer tracks in areas like nurse midwifery, nurse anesthesia, and emergency care. Aspiring PNPs and AGNPs can match Rutgers directly against SHU’s online DNP.
- FNP & AGPCNP Specialties: If you’re interested in family & adult primary care, you can add Rutgers-Camden, Stockton, and FDU to your New Jersey shortlist. These tend to be on-campus or hybrid programs.
- Nurse Anesthesia: Rutgers has a full-time, on-campus CRNA program that usually gets good results (e.g. 91% first-attempt pass rate). As of 2020, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center was in the process of converting its master’s program into an on-campus DNP in Nurse Anesthesia. Check the website for details.
New Jersey Nursing Organizations
- New Jersey Board of Nursing (NJBN)
- Advanced Practice Nurses of New Jersey (APN-NJ)
- Forum of Nurses in Advanced Practice (FNAP)
- New Jersey Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NJANA)
- New Jersey League for Nursing (NJLN)
- Organization of Nurse Leaders of New Jersey (ONL NJ)
Below you'll find a list of all of the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs available in New Jersey.