William Paterson University nursing student enrollment surges to largest in northern New Jersey

William Paterson University recently announced it now boasts 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 New Jersey.

The Wayne-based institution’s nursing enrollment now 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.

“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,” President Richard Helldobler said. “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 health care environment.”

A leader in educating New Jersey’s health care workforce for nearly 60 years, William Paterson launched a School of Nursing in September 2023, reflecting the growth and impact of its nursing program. The institution has invested in growing its health care 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 university 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 health care needs of New Jersey and beyond, and we are proud to be one of the largest producers of nursing graduates in the state,” Joshua Powers, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said. “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.”

William Paterson 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 health care. In addition to campus-based programs in nursing, the university offers a fully online undergraduate R.N. to B.S.N. program and 12 fully online master’s degree and certificate programs in nursing.