Master of Science (M.S.) in Nursing with a Specialization in School Nursing

Master of Science
Photo of Nursing student and Program Coordinator Dr. Ephraim with child patient

About This Degree

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Nursing with a Specialization in School Nursing is a robust, stepwise degree program that includes the Graduate School Nurse Certificate Program within the curriculum. It is designed to build on nursing baccalaureate education, contemporary nursing practice parameters, and disciplinary competencies. Students can decide to apply to the degree program from their first class in the curriculum or matriculate into the degree program along their journey toward completing the requirements for either of the steps in the Graduate School Nurse Certificate Program. To complete the M.S. degree requirements, students must complete classes based on their entry point into the degree. 

Admission Criteria for the Master of Science (M.S.) in Nursing Degree Programs:

  • Completed online application and non-refundable $55 application fee
  • Submission of a 250-500-word essay discussing goals and objectives for pursuing admission to the intended program
  • Official transcripts from all previous U.S. colleges attended or official NACES course-by-course evaluation of any foreign transcripts*
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • Professional Resume or CV
  • Copy of current, unencumbered NJ nursing license


  • BSN degree from an ACEN or CCNE-accredited institution that is also a regionally accredited college/university
  • Undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0-point scale

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All courses within the Graduate School Nurse program are completely online. Courses are taught using the educational platform Blackboard.  
Through this platform, students will have access to assignments, discussion boards, messaging (other students, faculty, and staff), syllabi, and the graduate nursing community which will include all necessary resources, important information, updates, and announcements for their time as a student within the program.  

The Graduate School Nurse program follows the NJCU Graduate Academic Calendar linked below:  
Graduate Academic Calendar | New Jersey City University (  
Fall and Spring semesters follow 13 – 15 Week schedules while Summer courses are 10-week sessions.  
While the courses are completely online, lesson modules and assignments are posted weekly through Blackboard and will have assigned due dates.  
Following the start of each semester, if a student has not yet submitted assignments, communicated within the course discussion boards, or contacted their instructor to make them aware of personal circumstances, a wellness check email will be sent with a reminder to complete any missing coursework and to communicate with the course instructor.  

The program does not follow a set schedule, but there are specific classes that are offered during certain semesters. Below is a table showing current course offerings per semester. Please note that there are no winter session course offerings. 

List of courses for the graduate school nurse program

*Pre-requisite Courses: Please be aware of the following: 

NURS 616: Pre-requisite course – NURS 614 
NURS 672: Pre-requisite courses – NURS 600, 614, 616, 642
NURS 673: Pre-requisite courses – NURS 600, 614, 616, 622, 642

  • NURS 672 and 673 can be taken during the same semester if all pre-requisite requirements have been met; it is very challenging taking these two courses together. You can speak with your academic advisor if you are considering this option. 
  • Enrollment into School Nurse Practicum courses is restricted, and you must apply for and be approved for enrollment by the Program Coordinator or Program Assistant. Additionally, all pre-requiste course requirements must be met before the semester you intend to enroll in a practicum course.

NURS 679: Pre-requisite courses – NURS 600, 601, 609, 610, 614, 616, 622, 630, 642, 672, and 673 

  • No courses can be taken during the same semester as capstone. All course pre-requisite requirements must be met before seeking approval to be enrolled in the Capstone.  
  • Enrollment into School Nurse Capstone is restricted, and you must email your academic advisor for permission. apply for and be approved for enrollment by the Program Coordinator or Program Assistant. 

If you previously applied to the certification only track of the Graduate School Nurse program, or if you are a current Certificate Only student, you can submit a new application through the Graduate Admissions office and specify that you are requesting a program change from certification to the M.S. degree. The M.S. degree application is slightly different from the Certification Only application in that two letters of recommendation are required. 

All of the courses exist on a ‘stepwise’ track and serve as requirements towards completing any of the program options and/or continuing from one option onto the next: Non-Instructional Certification, Instructional Certification, and the M.S. Degree option. 


Yes, there are two practicum courses within the program. NURS 672: School Nurse Practicum will earn students their Non-Instructional certification. For students seeking to earn their Instructional Certification, they must also complete NURS 673: Health Education Practicum.

The School Nurse and Health Education Practicum courses (NURS 672 & NURS 673) allow for full-time nurses to complete their Practicum hours at the schools where they are currently employed.  
At the time of applying to the Practicum courses, students submit signed workplace request forms and, if accepted for enrollment, have placement contracts completed by their district-level administrators. Full details and instructions are provided weeks in advance of Practicum admission cycles. 

The final course in the M.S. Degree Program is a capstone course:  

NURS 679 Capstone: Program Evaluation (3 Credits)

The capstone course will integrate all aspects of the Masters in Nursing program by focusing on program evaluation. Students will utilize competencies developed in the graduate program to focus on the comprehensive process of program evaluation from assessment to evaluation of various education programs.

Enrollment for this course is restricted and approval is granted by the program coordinator following the student’s completion of all required courses. 

The Graduate School Nurse program has rolling admission, and you can apply at any time to begin classes at the start of an upcoming semester/session.  
For example, if you apply during the Spring, you could begin your classes as early as Summer, or if you apply during the Summer, you could begin in the Fall, etc. 
Please be mindful that while we do have rolling admission, course registration becomes available by the university months in advance to the start of an upcoming semester. 
Certain courses and semester start terms are more popular than others which means you may find yourself added to course registration waitlists the later you wait to apply for admission to the program.  
When applying for the program, it’s possible to select a future semester as your start-date. For example, if you submit an application in Spring, it is possible to choose to apply for a Fall start and be registered for your first class much earlier.

School nursing is a dynamic, complex, and evolving specialty practice. School nurses serve an essential role in assuring healthy equity and academic success for all children. They bridge the gap between health and education, ensuring that all children, regardless of their health, economic, or social status, have an opportunity for optimum wellness and educational achievement. School nurses provide health services, coordinate care for students with chronic or acute health conditions to minimize disruptions in learning, perform health screenings, conduct disease surveillance, and connect families with needed services. The school nurse’s effectiveness in meeting the needs of students and the school community are dependent on the nurse’s knowledge, skills, and resources, combined with his/her ability to effectively apply them in the school setting.

The primary goal of the School Nurse Certification Program at NJCU is to prepare registered nurses with the advanced nursing knowledge and skills required to care for diverse populations of students in the K-12 educational setting. Using the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model (WSCC) (CDC & ASCD, 2015) approach, the program emphasizes graduate-level competencies identified in School Nursing Scope & Standards of Practice (ANA & NASN, 2017), and prepares nurses to apply principles of the Framework for 21st Century School Practice™ (NASN, 2016) in the provision of required school health services for students and families.

New Jersey City University has a proud and long-standing history of preparing nurses for this challenging, autonomous and multifaceted role. Previously located in the Health Sciences Department, the School Nurse Certification Program has recently undergone curricular redesign, and is now located in the Nursing Department. The new graduate-level nursing program builds on nursing baccalaureate education, by emphasizing evidence-based practice, leadership skills, and principles of population health. Designed for adult learners, the program provides seamless learning experiences and professional growth opportunities to support nurses’ career trajectories. It includes a stepwise progression of coursework leading from the Non-Instructional School Nurse Certificate to the Standard School Nurse Certificate, to the direct and indirect care courses that constitute the master’s degree in nursing.

The School Nurse Certificate program is a predominantly online program offering courses in online and blended formats during each term including summer sessions. Blended course will periodically meet in-class throughout the term, while most interaction will be conducted online.

There are two paths to School Nurse Certification at NJCU!

  • School Nurse Certificate Only Program (21 Credits)
  • The Master of Science in Nursing with a Specialization in School Nursing (37 Credits)

American Nurses Association and the National Association of School Nurses (2017). School Nursing:

Scope and Standards of Practice. Silver Spring, MD: Author.

National Association of School Nurses (2016). Framework for 21st Century School Nursing Practice: The National Association of School Nurses. NASN School Nurse, 31, 45-53.

The Master of Science in Nursing with a Specialization in School Nursing is one of two tracks in the existing Master of Science in Nursing Program. Curriculum includes a total of 37 credits with 16 credits devoted to core courses and 21 credits in the school nursing specialization. This program integrates content required by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) for the Standard Non-Instructional School Nurse Certificate and the Standard (Instructional) School Nurse Certificate with graduate-level nursing knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to thrive in schools and community settings.

It is designed to build on nursing baccalaureate education, contemporary nursing practice parameters, and disciplinary competencies. The specialization is approved by the New Jersey Department of Education in meeting requirements for the Standard Non-Instructional School Nurse Certificate (N.J.A.C. 6A:9B -14.4) and the Standard (Instructional) School Nurse Endorsement (N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-14.3). The Master of Science in Nursing Degree is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Please visit the Requirements page in the catalog for the full course requirements lists

Students who complete the Master of Science in Nursing with a Specialization in School Nursing Program at NJCU will be able to:

  1. Engage in the processes of scholarship, critical thinking, communication and research for practice and advanced study.
  2. Employ information systems technology and inter-professional collaboration to manage and transform clinical and educational practice.
  3. Evaluate socioeconomic and health care policy issues and trends that affect advanced practice and nursing education.
  4. Provide leadership to promote effective change in health care delivery systems and nursing education through integration of advanced nursing knowledge, theories and principles for effective outcomes.
  5. Design population-centered and culturally responsive strategies in the delivery of clinical and educational practice.
  6. Assimilate the role of the school nurse in schools and communities with diverse populations.
  7. Demonstrate competencies in using evidence-based practice to design, implement, and evaluate nursing services and health education curricula in schools and communities.

Contact Us

Emily Alequin, M.S., M.B.A.
Program Assistant
(201) 200-2453

Nelda Ephraim, Ph.D., MSN Ed. RN, CCRN, NJ-CSN
Department Chairperson, Graduate School Nurse Program Coordinator
Phone: 201-200-3272