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William Paterson Nursing Enrollment Largest in Northern New Jersey

William Paterson University announces it has the largest nursing student enrollment in the northern half of New Jersey, as well as the largest among the state’s public regional universities and the largest on any single campus in the state.

Nursing enrollment stands at more than 1,800 students across the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Specifically, since 2019, undergraduate nursing enrollment has more than doubled, from 431 students to current enrollment of 972 students. During the same time frame, graduate enrollment has quadrupled, from 190 to 841 students. More than 60% of nursing students are people of color.

“Our growth perfectly aligns with our new collaboration with the Atlantic Health System to improve access to high-quality health profession education and health services in the region,” says President Richard J. Helldobler. “William Paterson has become a powerhouse for allied health in New Jersey, and our role is more important than ever in meeting the demands of the state’s complex healthcare environment.”

“We are proud of our reputation for graduating well-prepared nurses at all levels—bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral—thanks to our strong curriculum and sophisticated training facilities, successful clinical partnerships across the state, and programs that gives students flexible options for earning their undergraduate or advanced degree,” says Minerva Salinas Guttman, associate dean of the university’s School of Nursing. “This growth demonstrates that we are providing our nursing students with the critical academic and clinical skills they need to succeed.”

WPU launched a School of Nursing in September 2023, reflecting the growth and impact of its nursing program. The institution has invested in growing its healthcare programs to meet the significant need for nurses and public health professionals, as well as increased demand for online learning by adult learners and those seeking advanced degrees via flexible delivery models.

Between 2019 and 2022, the WPU graduated nearly 550 new nurses, many employed in the state and making a direct impact on the nursing shortage. Also, more than 200 nursing professionals earned advanced degrees and certifications.

“Our nursing program is serving a critical need in meeting the healthcare needs of New Jersey and beyond, and we are proud to be one of the largest producers of nursing graduates in the state,” says Joshua Powers, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “We are excited to continue to advance our School of Nursing and build additional community, business, and industry connections that support the development and success of our students.”

WPU offers a wide variety of nursing degrees, including the doctor of nursing practice degree, established in 2010 to provide advanced practice nurses with preparation for leadership roles in healthcare. In addition to campus-based programs in nursing, the University offers a fully online undergraduate RN to BSN program and 12 fully online master’s degree and certificate programs in nursing.

Its programs are nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; in addition, its undergraduate nursing programs ranked no. 319 out of 656 BSN programs nationwide in U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 edition of Best Colleges. The online RN to BSN program was recently named the most affordable in New Jersey according to

The university’s nursing education facilities include six patient simulation laboratories as part of the Nel Bolger, RN laboratories, with control and debriefing rooms to provide enhanced clinical training, as well as three state-of-the-art nursing basic skills labs. The program is affiliated with more than 50 cooperating agencies in the surrounding North Jersey region, including major hospital and medical centers, public health agencies, clinics, and nursing homes. Alumni hold positions at every major hospital in the region, including Beth Israel Hospital, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, Clara Maass Medical Center, Sloan Kettering, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, NYU Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson, and more.

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