William Paterson University Nursing School Review

William Paterson University (WPU), also known as William Paterson University of New Jersey was established in the mid 19th century as Paterson City normal school. It remained as a teacher training school until 1936 when it offered its first general college courses to non-teacher students, including a nursing program by 1939. In 1951, the college relocated from Paterson to its current location in Wayne; in the former vice president’s estate. Owing to the increased and diversified academic programs, the “state teachers college” name was replaced with WP College in honor of the vice president. It finally received university status in 1997.

Nursing at William Paterson University

WUP has quite a number of nursing programs to offer at undergraduate, graduate and doctorate level. A generic Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN), an accelerated/ fast track for second degree students and a Registered nurse (RN) to BSN completion track are available at undergraduate level. Four Master of Science in nursing (MSN), two post-master’s certificate and a school nurse certificate programs are offered for graduate students. Students seeking a terminal nursing degree can apply for the Post-MSN doctor of nursing practice (DNP). The programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Generic Program-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

This track offers a traditional 4-year pre-licensure curriculum in preparation for the NCLEX-RN exam. The generic BSN program has well outlined sequences of courses that ensure all general education, science and prerequisites courses are completed before any nursing courses can be taken. These are all concentrated in the freshman and sophomore years of the generic track. No single nursing course is offered during 1st and 2nd year.  Students can choose to complete this portion through online, evening, day or weekend schedules.

After finishing the general education portion, students can start on the nursing upper division courses. One need not apply again to the upper division nursing sequence that begins both fall and spring semesters. This sequence is taken at the junior and senior years and has a curriculum of 57-60 credits.  All courses are taken on campus but there are daytime part time and full time options. However, part time students must complete the upper division portion within 3 year-6 semesters from the time of starting.

Upon successful completion, students are awarded a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. Graduates also become eligible to apply and write the NLCEX-RN exam for initial licensure as registered nurses.

Accelerated BSN Degree – Fast Track Option

The fast track BSN option was designed for baccalaureate degree holders with non-nursing degrees and seeking a BSN. However, since the review of the format of their generic BSN curriculum (1st & 2nd years general education and 2nd &3rd years upper division), the fast track option has been suspended.  This means that WP has ceased accepting applications for this particular track. However, after a new review of the requirements of a fast track is made, the university will resume offering it. This is projected to be towards the end of 2013.

RN to BSN Program

This program is for registered nurses who hold a current New Jersey Licensure and want to complete a baccalaureate degree in nursing. Candidates must have graduated from a nationally accredited associate or diploma program. The BSN program at WPU requires 120 credits to complete. The RN will however receive most credits in the lower division credits upon admission and validation of transferable courses. A maximum of 70 credits can be transferred from a community college.

Any outstanding general education courses can be completed online or in evening schedules. The upper division nursing courses are generally designed for day schedules with a few courses being offered in the evening. Students can be accepted for general education course pending the RN licensure but must obtain the license before taking the nursing courses. Completion times differ among students depending on the number of credits transferred from the earlier program.

Master of Science in Nursing

The MSN program is for BSN-prepared nurses wishing to take the following functional roles:

  • Adult Nurse Practitioner Track-40 credits
  • Family Nurse Practitioner Track-48 credits
  • Administrative Track-36 credits
  • Educational Track-36 credits

Courses are offered on a full time or part time basis. Part time classes run Mon to Thursday once a week for 150 minutes per course, usually in the late evening. The program must be completed within six years. Students taking the education track on a full time basis are eligible for the Nurse Faculty Loan Program; a federal loan program for nurse educator students.

Post-Master Certificates

WPU offers two Post-masters certificates in nursing namely:

  • ·         Post Masters Adult and Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Program
  • Post Masters Nurse Educator Certification Program


School Nurse Certification

This is a 36 credit post-baccalaureate non-degree program designed for registered nurses wishing to become school nurses. Applicants must have a current RN license and a bachelor degree in health education, nursing or community health.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The DNP program offers two concentration options for MSN-prepared students taking this practice-oriented terminal degree:

  • Advanced practice administrative track- for MSN nurse administrators 
  • Advanced practice clinical track-for MSN advanced practice nurses

Both tracks have a curriculum of 41 credit hours each designed to be completed in 7 semesters of part time study.

William Paterson University of New Jersey
300 Pompton Road, Wayne,
NJ 07470