Information on RVCC Nursing ProgramS click here.

Nursing Program History

The Health Science Education Department at Raritan Valley Community College was originally organized in 1969 as the Nursing Department and graduated its first class in 1972. Since its inception, the nursing program has been accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission,(3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850,Atlanta, Georgia 30326,404.975.5000,Fax 404.975.5020, and licensed by the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

In 2002, our scope expanded to include the Associate of Applied Science degree in Ophthalmic Science and Certificate Programs for Fitness and Medical Coding. Articulation agreements exist between the nursing department and Rutgers, The State University of New JerseyCollege of St. Elizabeth, New York University and Drexel University. In 1997, the Department was named the Center of Excellence, in recognition of the outstanding achievements of the nursing students and the nursing faculty. The University Center at RVCC was created in 2001 and through this center nursing students can work towards a BSN from Fairleigh-Dickinson University, Seton Hall University and Kean University and licensed by the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

Nursing Program Philosophy

The philosophy reflects faculty beliefs about:

  • Humans
  • Healthcare
  • Nursing education
  • Practice of Associate Degree Graduates


We believe that humans are complex, unified, whole individuals with physiological, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, social, cultural, racial, and ethnic dimensions, which are related and linked. As member of contemporary society, humans are affected by issues and changes in the local and global community.


Health care must be designed to respond to client needs in the local and global community through efforts that promote wellness and prevent disease. Nurses must consider how current social trends and societal changes affect healthcare delivery systems and the professional role of nurses. They must also identify the changes that are needed within the various delivery systems and they must be an integral force in the change process. As change occurs in the health care environment, nurses must anticipate the direction of the change and support innovative patterns of responding to the needs of clients, families, and the community.

Nursing Education

Nursing education is a lifelong process that begins with a progressive course of learning activities which are designed to teach nursing practice competencies, based on clinical practice standards. The desired outcome of this process is to prepare a safe and competent entry-level nurse who is accountable for clinical decisions, nursing actions, and professional behaviors.

It is critical that an interdisciplinary approach to education be provided through a rigorous educational process,which includes general education courses, arts and humanities, and nursing science. Students must beprovided with opportunities to participate in intellectual inquiry in the classroom as well as the community at large.Nursing educators facilitate the educational process by acting as partners with students in the teaching/learning experience.

Through didactic as well as experiential teaching methods, student nurses learn to care for clients from diverse backgrounds. They are prepared to mediate between systems and consumers, consider cost containment needs, utilize technology effectively, and use effective clinical decision making skills. Integrated throughout the curriculum, students demonstrate their ability to value others through caring and honoring clients, families and colleagues.

Practice of Associate Degree Graduates

To function effectively in a society and a health care delivery system that are experiencing rapid changes, the Associate Degree graduate must demonstratecognitive, psychomotor and affective skill acquisitions in the core components/competencies that characterize the roles of the nurse: provider of care, manager of care and member within the discipline of nursing. These components and competencies are based on theEducational Competencies for Graduates of Associate Degreeby the Council of Associate Degree Nursing Competencies Task Force, National League for Nursing, 2000 and the NCLEX-RN Test Plan .

In the provider of care role, the Associate Degree graduateresponds to human needs and evidenced wellness states through the practice of client-centered care practices within thelegal and ethical requirements and standards and the scope of practice of nursing in the state of New Jersey. Although direct care is provided for clients,nurses are also concerned with clients’ relationships with families, groups and the local and global community. Practice is carried out in varied settings with therapeutic interventions based on clinical practice standards.

As a manager of care, the Associate Degree graduate provides for the health care needs of group(s) of clients through direct or delegated care. In this role it is essential that the graduate utilize appropriate channels of communication, identify practice limitations, and seek assistance appropriately. The nurse integrates current trends, changes in healthcare delivery, and principles of community based care.

In the role as a member within the discipline of nursing, the Associate Degree graduate provides evidence of a personal and professional commitment to self-growth, to the growth of the nursing profession and to the growth of nursing practice. The nurse practices within the legal and ethical standards of the State ofNew Jersey.

Nursing Program Objectives and Competencies

In order to develop Program Objectives/Competencies, nursing faculty identified the components of the Program Philosophy and Purposes that provide a foundational framework for the objectives/competencies. In addition, as part of the ongoing process, the literature was reviewed in order to ensure that program objectives/competencies reflected the scope of practice of entry-level Associate Degree nurses, legal requirements and contemporary beliefs of the profession. Guided by these beliefs and principles, the Program of Nursing at Raritan Valley Community College will prepare a nurse who will:

Function as a Provider of Care​

  • Integrate holistic human needs to provide safe and effective nursing care.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking to assess client situations and perform clinical decision making.
  • Collaborate appropriately with members of the health care team
  • Constructtherapeutic interventionsusing the nursing process.
  • Integrate principles ofgrowth anddevelopmentacross the lifespan
  • Utilizeteaching/learning principlesto improve outcomes when caring for client at different levels of wellness
  • Utilize and maintainclinical practicestandardswhen planning and delivering care.

Function as a Manager of Care

  • Synthesize concepts ofcommunity-basedcare in the promotion and maintenance of health
  • Integrate concepts ofhealth caredelivery systemsin the contemporary society to deliver effective care
  • Employ concepts ofcurrent trendsin health care when planning and delivering health care
  • Communicateeffectively to meet the health care needs of diverse populations. Function as a member within the Profession of Nursing. Employ ethical behaviors based on the Code of Ethics for Nurses when providing care.
  • Implementcaring behaviorswhich respect the values, customs, and culture of diverse populations
  • Engage in activities for professional development, self growth, and life long learning.
  • Demonstrateaccountabilityby following the legal guidelines for professional practice in the Rules and Regulations of the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

Conceptual Framework of the Nursing Program

Nursing chart

The conceptual framework of the program is based on the central theme of holism, with the core concepts of the role of the nurse as provider of care, manager of care, and member within the profession of nursing providing the functional processes for nursing practice. There are 15 content objectives/competencies which are integrated throughout the curriculum: accountability, caring behaviors, clinical practice standards, collaboration, communication, critical thinking skills, community based care, ethical behaviors, growth and development, health care delivery, holistic human needs, self growth and awareness, teaching, and therapeutic interventions.

Innovative Teaching

Purpose of the Nursing Program

The nursing program of Raritan Valley Community College exists to:

    1. Promote educational excellence through the provision of a balanced and current curriculum, which combines general education courses, courses in the physical, social and behavioral sciences, arts and humanities as well as established nursing principles, concepts and interventions, as evidenced by the following benchmarks:
      • Matriculated students in the Nursing program will maintain a nursing program graduation rate of 70%
      • Graduates of the program will achieve an aggregate pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) of 80%
      • Graduates of the program will report satisfaction with the program of learning at a rate of 90% on the graduate survey
      • Maintenance of accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc
      • Maintenance of accreditation from the New Jersey State Board of Nursing

    2. Meet the health care needs of the community by providing entry-level nurses prepared to participate in health care settings as members of the health care team, as evidenced by the following benchmark:
      • Graduates of the program will achieve a 70% job placement rate as a professional registered nurse within six months of successful completion of the NCLEX-RN.


A successful candidate for nursing at Raritan Valley Community College must possess certain abilities and skills necessary to administrate safe and effective care.

The candidate must be able to function on an independent level without an intermediary.  These skills and abilities include:  observation, communication, motor skills, cognitive and intellectual skills, behavioral and social attributes.

  • Observation

The candidate must have the ability to observe a patient.  In order to observe a patient, the nurse must possess the ability to utilize the senses skillfully.  The nurse must have the ability to see, hear, smell, touch the patient.

  • Communication

The candidate must be able to speak, read, comprehend, write and listen attentively in the English language.  These abilities are essential in patient contact, as well as with the patient’s family and when collaborating with members of the health team.  A candidate whose second language is English is required to successfully complete the American Language Studies Program.

  • Motor

The candidate must be able to administer physical care to patients in different settings (i.e., assisting the patient in the activities of daily living, feeding, bathing, assisting the patient to get out of bed, lifting and transferring) operate various equipment utilized in the patient’s care; have stamina for clinical work; possess gross and fine movements for the operation of certain equipment (i.e., taking blood pressure, handling syringes and needles or maintaining aseptic technique, i.e., dressings).  Ability to push, pull, support, roll, patients, as well as the ability to life infants and children is required.

  • Cognitive-Intellectual

The candidate must possess the ability to think critically (i.e., comprehend, interpret, analyze, and synthesize and evaluate) which is essential to the problem-solving technique necessary in patient care.  Application of theory to practice is mandatory in affording the patient safe, quality care.

  • Behavioral and Social Attributes

The candidate must possess emotional stability which includes adapting quickly to changing environments, focusing attention on task, accountability for monitoring/controlling own emotions, dealing with the unexpected, and performing multiple responsibilities concurrently.  In addition, the candidate must possess honesty and integrity that provides the capacity to function effectively in a healthcare setting.

  • Hearing and Visual

The candidate must be able to hear normal speaking levels, faint noises, faint body sounds, hear in situations when not able to see lips, hear auditory alarms and to see objects up to 20 feet away such as computer screen or client in a room.