Ramapo College of New Jersey Nursing Program Review

Ramapo College of New Jersey (RCNJ) was established in 1969 as a state-supported co-ed liberal arts college. The college has its main campus located in Mahwah, Bergen County of New Jersey.  It offers 4-year degrees in arts, sciences and professional studies like nursing.  Over 40 undergraduate programs are offered in the college to baccalaureate degree seekers in addition to six graduate studies programs.  Ramapo College is also renowned for its elementary and secondary teacher certification courses.

Nursing Programs at Ramapo College

Ramapo College has three tracks under the nursing program to offer to qualified candidates. Two are at the undergraduate level: a generic nursing program for initial licensure candidates and a completion track for Registered Nurse (RN) who wish to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The graduate track is a Master of Science in nursing (MSN) program for those wishing to become nurse educators. A Post-master’s certificate option is also available for nurse educator track. The 3 tracks are approved by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and approved by the New Jersey Board of nursing.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

This is the generic track that prepares entry-level students to become registered nurses. The track is designed to be completed in 4 academic years on a full time progression plan. It is offered as a joint program between Ramapo College and two other Magnet hospitals of New Jersey: The Valley Hospital and the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center (VH & EHMC).

The curriculum consists of 128 semester credits: 64 of general education and prerequisites and 64 of nursing courses. As part of the partnership, all nursing courses with a clinical component are offered at both VH and EHMC while nursing courses with theory component and general education courses are offered by Ramapo College.  Courses are designed on a 2+2 model in that all general education and support courses are offered in the freshman and sophomore years and nursing courses are only at Junior and senior levels. Any pre-licensure students for the generic program must have completed the 64 credit category of 1 and 2nd years to be eligible for the nursing portion.  Completion of the curriculum leads to academic eligibility to write the NCLEX-RN exam for initial licensure as a registered nurse.

Nursing RN/BSN

The completion track is designed for licensed registered nurse graduates of diploma or associate programs. In recognition of their earlier programs, nurses from accredited associate programs transfer all their prior credits towards the BSN at Ramapo. On the other hand, graduates of accredited diploma programs receive 30 core credits only after completing at least 2 junior level nursing courses.

After admission, registered nurses complete 32 upper division nursing credits and any other outstanding general education courses required for the BSN degree.  Students must also note that this program is not offered through the two above mentioned hospitals; hence clinical experience is not restricted to the 2 sites.  Unlike the generic BSN track, courses for the RN/BSN track are web enhanced and this allows registered nurses to continue working while studying.  A maximum total of 60 credits are needed to be eligible to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The Ramapo College graduate nursing program is designed for BSN-prepared candidates wishing to become nurse educators or faculty members of nursing schools.  However, registered nurse candidates with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree can complete a Transition Program to facilitate their acceptance into the MSN.  Candidates must also have proof of some working experience as registered nurse.

The curriculum consists of 32 credits designed to be completed in 4 semesters of full time study though part time options are also available. Courses are offered in hybrid format with most courses being online or via distance learning. Ramapo College also offers a Post-master’s nursing certificate in nurse education. This track is meant for candidates with MSN degrees who wish to become certified as nurse educators.  The post-master’s certificate track consists of 15 graduate nursing credits.