Frequently Asked Questions

William Paterson University of New Jersey School of Nursing - Graduate Program

Frequently Asked Questions (click on link)

• I have been out of school for a long time. Will I be able to manage graduate level work?

Many students in the program have been out of school for a number of years and initially felt unsure about their abilities. Once they started the program, they found that they could manage the course requirements and were energized by the exchange of new ideas with colleagues. An Educational Support Program (ESP) is available to all students and is designed to help the student by providing support, guidance, instruction, and inspiration. Students who are actively involved are well prepared to be successful in achieving the goal of a graduate degree in nursing.

• I work full time and have other responsibilities. Am I required to attend a minimum number of courses each semester?

Most of the students attending the program have many demands on their time and take one or two classes at a time. You may take up to six years, from the time you become a matriculated student, to complete the program.

• When are graduate classes in nursing offered?

Classes meet once a week for two-and-one-half hours and are usually offered from 5:00 – 7:00 PM Monday to Thursday. Classes are also offered during the summer.

• What is the tuition for graduate study at William Paterson University?

Current tuition and fees for the graduate program can be found on the Graduate Nursing website at:

Information regarding Tuition Installment Plans can be found at:

• What types of financial help are available?

Graduate assistantships are available to full time students. Information regarding financial aid and assistance programs may be acquired by calling 973-720-2202. The School of Nursing – Graduate Program Office (University Hall 302) has information regarding scholarships and financial loans available to nursing students.

• What are the application deadlines for the graduate program?

Application deadline dates for matriculation are:
Fall semester – April 1st Spring semester – October 1st
The School of Nursing Graduate Programs no longer accepts non-degree students

• What do I need to address in my essay?
  • Your relevant professional nursing experiences since completion of your undergraduate degree, with a description of your professional accomplishments.
  • Integrate your experiences with your goals as a master-prepared nurse from a community-based nursing program.
  • A copy of your resume.
• What do I need in a Graduate Admissions Recommendation/Reference?

The Recommendation/Reference is given to a former faculty member or nursing supervisor. The Recommendation goes beyond endorsement. The sponsor is asked to make remarks specifically upon performance and potential for rigorous, advanced graduate study. The sponsor is asked to comment on the applicants’ critical thinking, motivation, written expression, verbal comprehension and judgment.

•I'm registering for my first clinical course, what do I have to do?

You need to speak to your advisor to make sure you have completed the pre-requisite courses e.g. (3 Ps and either NUR 6111 or NUR 6121). The clinical course requires 170 hours of direct patient management in a primary care agency. You are asked to initiate finding a nurse practitioner or physician and complete a Preceptor Information Request form. The earlier this is done, the more successful you are.

When is the deadline for submitting a Student & Preceptor Information Request form?

For the on-ground program submit to Ms. Jennings, Deadlines: Spring - 31, Summer- March 31, Fall- May 31. For the WP online program submit to Ms. Sosoban, Deadlines:  Sp-1 Sept. 30, Sp-2 Nov. 30, Sum-1 March 30, Sum-2 April 30, Fall-1 May 31, Fall-2, July 31.

•How do I get a preceptor?

Students must obtain a preceptor on their own. They can seek out sites and/or practices with an NP or MD, complete a Preceptor Information Request Form along with a copy of the preceptor’s cv/resume. For the on-ground program submit to Ms. Jennings, For the WP online program submit to Ms. Sosoban, 

 •Can I begin my clinical course without a confirmed preceptor?

No. Students will be dropped from a course two weeks before the semester starts if they do not have a confirmed preceptor and/or if clearance requirements are not completed.

• What do I need to do after my preceptor has been approved and confirmed?

Every student needs to complete the clinical health and documentation prior to beginning their clinical experiences. Evidence of health information e.g. physicals, urine screening, flu, criminal background, NP rider, malpractice etc. must be uploaded in Exxat. All forms can be found on our website under clinical track forms. 

How do I know I am cleared for a clinical course?

Log into Exxat, click on Compliance, under Status, this will show each document's status that was uploaded. Exxat takes 48-72 hours once uploaded to review documents. Be sure to check comments if additional information and/or supplemental documentation is needed.

•Is there additional information regarding clinical placements?

Yes, please go to -> Graduate Nursing to review the Graduate Student Handbook and Preceptor Handbook.

See below for additional info for NUR 6041, NUR 7011, NUR 7070, and NUR 7252, 7253, 7254, and 7255.

For Adult/Gerontology & Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

This program is preparing you for the Adult/Gerontology (AGNP) and/or Family (FNP) Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Role.  This means that your practicum experiences must provide opportunities that will enable you to develop in one of these future roles.

It is important to remember when preparing your course schedule that NUR 6111 – Advanced Nursing I and NUR 6121 – Advanced Nursing II are pre and/or co-requisites to taking your practicum courses, (NUR 6130 – Advanced Nursing III and NUR 6210 – Advanced Health Assessment – FNP).

When choosing a practicum site for your clinical NUR 6041, 7011 & 7252/7253; (7070, FNP); please consider the following as you proceed with your selection:

  • The Adult/Gerontology and/or Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Role practicum experiences must provide opportunities for:
  1. Collecting patient histories and performing physical examinations on young adults, adults and older adults; (NUR 7070 – pediatrics and childbearing women).
  2. Identifying normal vs. abnormal findings in these populations.
  3. Recognizing and identifying common health problems of young adults, adults and older adults; (NUR 7070 – pediatrics and childbearing women); that can be of an acute, transient nature and chronic health problems.
  4. Developing and implementing management plans that include appropriate diagnostics and proposed treatment approaches.
  5. Prioritizing, organizing, managing and evaluating patient’s health care.
  • Settings where young adults, adults and older adults, (NUR 7070 – pediatrics and childbearing women) receive health care are therefore an essential part of selecting a site. Your first site (NUR 6041) would ideally emphasize enough history and physical exams to establish confidence.  Helpful settings might include Employee Health Services, Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Homes, or Occupational Health departments in businesses or institutions.
  • As you progress into succeeding practicums, the expectation is that you will be increasingly involved in diagnosing, planning and managing patient care under the supervision of a preceptor (Nurse Practitioner or Physician). A minimum of at least one clinical practicum must be precepted by a Nurse Practitioner (NUR 7252/7253 MUST be with an NP preceptor).
  • Consider settings that offer guaranteed opportunities to practice with young adult, adult and older adult clients, (NUR 7070 – pediatric and childbearing women); and within that category, these patients/clients should be represented: male and female patients with common health problems (acute and chronic), female patients with female specific health issues (GYN/GU).  Settings might include:  Internal Medicine Offices, Outpatient Medical Clinics, etc.; (NUR 7070 – pediatrician offices/clinics, Obstetric offices/clinics, etc.).


  • A specialty focused practice, such as: hematology, oncology, surgery, respiratory health, etc.  These practices do not provide the diversity of young adult, adult and older adult health problems required for certification. 
  • Please remember that this is a PRIMARY CARE Nurse Practitioner Program and sites such as Emergency Departments are not appropriate for practicums.

If you are submitting a proposed preceptor and site, be prepared to have the information outlined in the above statements, before proceeding with your approval request. 


On-ground MSN-AGNP program contact Dr. Debbie Mohammed,

On-ground MSN-FNP program contact Dr. Janet Regan-Livingston

On-ground & WP Online Post Master's AGNP & Post Master's FNP contact Dr. Cheryl Hollema,

WP Online MSN-AGP & MSN-FNP programs contact Dr. Lydia Albuquerque,