Thomas Edison State College Nursing Program Review

Thomas Edison State College (TESC) was established in 1971 and was initially located in Princeton.  7 years later, the college moved to its current location in Trenton.  It is one of the colleges in the US founded with a mission to educate adult learners wishing to earn baccalaureate or graduate degrees. The college was named after one of the most renowned inventors who gained fame through self-directed learning. With its mission, it mainly offers completion programs to self-motivated adult learners who already have associate degrees.

Nursing Programs at Thomas Edison State College

The W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing offers self-paced, flexible programs to meet the education advancement needs of registered nurses (RN). There is a RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)/ Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for nurses with associate degrees. Candidates with a first bachelor degree can take the accelerated 2nd degree BSN program.  At graduate level, there are 3 MSN concentration tracks and 3 post-master’s certificate tracks for the same. The programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and are approved by the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

RN-BSN/MSN Programs

This online program offers two options for highly experienced registered nurses to earn a BSN and (or) a MSN simultaneously.


This track is for registered nurse graduates of associate or diploma nursing programs. It is an open enrollment and self-paced program that allows RNs to save both on time and resources.  The program is also unique in that there are no completion time limits as long as the student takes at least 3 credits in any 12-month period.

As part of the curriculum, registered nurses take 9 double-edged credits that can apply to the BSN and MSN curriculum. The program curriculum consists of 120 credits: 48 nursing, 60 in general education and 12 electives. Of the 48, 20 can be transferred from the earlier program while 28 upper division nursing courses must be completed at TESC.  Most of the 60 general education credits can be transferred depending on relevance to those at TESC.

RN to MSN Program

This track enables students to earn the BSN and MSN degrees simultaneously with the same format as the RN/BSN track. Students must complete the RN/BSN curriculum first including the earlier mentioned double-edged graduate 9 credits. When the BSN curriculum is completed, students only need to take another 27 graduate credits to earn a MSN degree. Besides the Master degree, registered nurses are also awarded a graduate nursing certificate.  At the MSN level, nurses can choose to become prepared in the following specialties:

  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurses Administrator
  • Nursing Informatics Specialist

Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN Program

Thomas Edison offers the Accelerated 2nd degree BSN program to baccalaureate graduates with degrees other than nursing. The program prepares career shifters to become professional nurses in a short 1-year period. The curriculum consists of 120 credits, 60 in general education and can be transferred from the earlier program.   

The curriculum is delivered in a hybrid of both classroom and asynchronous online modes. The onsite courses are for courses with a clinical component and are scheduled 2 days per week at Trenton campus of TESC. Classes last for 4 terms of 12 weeks each of full time and rigorous study. In this case, students are advised to give-up employment during this period. Upon completion, students become eligible to take the NLCEX-RN exam and become registered nurses.

Master of Science in Nursing

The Master of Science in nursing program at Thomas Edison State College is an online program designed for BSN-prepared registered nurses. The program is open to self-directed registered nurses who wish to learn on their own and earn graduate degrees with little effort from faculty.  This is in-line with the mission of college.  The MSN program is unique in that all students who earn the MSN degree are also awarded a graduate certificate in their respective area of specialty. There are three tracks as listed below all of which require 36 graduate credits to complete:

  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurses Administrator
  • Nursing Informatics Specialist

Graduate Nursing Certificate Programs

The school of nursing also offers graduate nursing certificates in all the MSN specialties listed above. The tracks are designed for MSN-prepared nurses who wish to earn certification in education, administration or informatics. Each certificate program has a curriculum of 18 credits most of which are offered online.

Diversity Nursing Program

The school of nursing also runs a 20-week online nursing program designed for minority nurses educators at no extra cost to the minority nurse participant. This program is designed to train and certify minority nurse educators on how to teach/deliver online faculty services.

This program enables minority nurse educators to become nurse educators at the TESC school of nursing or their respective nurses educators home institution. The advantage of this program is that it enables nurse educators to continue offering online teaching services beyond the retirements and across boundaries.  Beneficiaries are also entered in a Minority Nurse Educators Online Database where they can be sourced for their services by any school of nursing in the US.

Note: This program was started as a continuation of the stopped diversity nursing program funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The earlier program had the same mission and objective but funding was only for the period of 2006 to 2011. The current program is funded by TESC

Thomas Edison State College
101 W. State Street, Trenton,
NJ 08608