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"Nursing is an art:  and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter's or sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God's spirit?"
~ Florence Nightingale

What is nursing?

The American Nurses' Association defines nursing as "the diagnosis and treatment of human responses to actual or potential health problems." Nurses care for patients in a variety of settings, from homes to clinics to rehabilitation centers to hospitals. Their care varies depending on what type of facility and what specialty they work in. Nurses working in primary care offices may take blood pressure readings, give physical examinations, and handle machines and monitors. Those working in a maternity ward might take part of labor coaching and providing initial, critical medical care for newborns. In general, there are five steps to nursing: 1) Assessment, 2) Diagnosis, 3) Planning 4) Implementation, and 5) Evaluation. The job functions vary greatly with specialty and setting, but the objective is consistently to showing care and concern to patients while providing health care.

The 56 credit Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at William Paterson University is housed in the College of Science and Health. Aside from 56 credits in the major, there are 36 co-requisite credits that include courses from biology, chemistry, math, and psychology. Graduates of the BSN program are eligible to take the NCLEX exam to become a registered professional nurse. A clinical laboratory and on campus learning center aids are key components to the program. Major courses include, but are not limited to, Nursing as a Profession, Adaptation Nursing, Nursing Research, and Community Systems.

To learn more about the degree requirements, please visit this link:

Admissions information on Nursing is located here:


Interests and Skills

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to analyze data
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Multi-tasking skills and ability to work under pressure
  • Manual dexterity
  • Quick decision making skills
  • Numerical computation skills


Work Environment

People working within the field of nursing have several options in terms of work environment. Nurses may choose to work in various hospital departments such as pediatrics, surgical, emergency, critical care, maternity, women's health, intensive care, cancer treatment, mental health, operating/recovery room; personal homes as a home health care nurse; schools and universities; physician's offices; large corporations; daycare centers; health departments; senior centers; mental health facilities; religious organizations; social service agencies; armed forces; in government agencies such as the PeaceCorps; wellness centers; pharmaceutical companies; law firms; and clinics.


Possible Job Titles

Acute Care nurse
Administration of Nursing Services
Adolescent Nurse Specialist
Adult Health Care
Ambulatory Care
Ambulatory Child Health
Family Nursing
Anesthesia nurse
Cardiovascular nurse
Hospital Administrator
College/University nurse
Psychiatric nurse
Public health nurse
Community health nurse
Correctional health nurse
Critical care nurse
Developmental disabilities nurse
Diabetes nurse
Oncology nurse
Administrator of Educational Programs

Medical-surgical nurse
Pulmonary nurse
Rehabilitation nurse
Respiratory nurse
Emergency surgical nurse
Maternity nurse
Mental health nurse
Neonatal care nurse
Neurological nurse
Nursing health policy
Occupational health
School health nurse
Pediatric nurse
Physiological nurse
Primary ambulatory care
Trauma unit nurse
Spinal cord injury nurse practitioner
Nurse researcher

WPU Alumni

Assistant Director of Nursing Regency Gardens Nursing Home

RN, Postpartum St. Peter's Hospital

RN, Oncology/Pediatrics Hackensack University Medical Center

RN, Surgical/Orthopedics Chilton Memorial Hospital

RN, Perinatal St. Joseph's Hospital

RN, Home Care Valley Home Care

RN, Psychiatric Greystone Psychiatric Hospital

Clinical Research Associate Schering Plough Research Institute

Staff Nurse, Juvenile Retention Bergen County Family Guidance

School Nurse Soaring Heights Charter School

Staff Nurse, Spinal Cord Injuries Kessler Rehabilitation


Enhance Your Qualifications

Successful students tend to seek out opportunities to enhance their qualifications through a variety of means. Within nursing, some suggestions may include gaining practical experience through being a nurse's aide or an internship/externship/practicum/job shadowing; joining a professional nursing organization; developing computer skills; getting involved in career-related organizations on campus; looking into the possibility of graduate school; and attending networking functions.


Related Web Sites

National Student Nurses' Association

American Nurses Association

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Career Information

Career Information

Occupational Outlook

Industry Information

Job Search and Salary information

Occupation Information

Other Sources of Information

Please drop by the Career Development and Advisement Center to learn more about careers in nursing. The career library carries career-specific books and counselors are available to answer any further questions you may have. Visiting the Nursing Department on campus may also prove valuable in addressing questions.