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The Nursing Honors track provides an in-depth experience in nursing research for students who are pursuing a Baccalaureate in Nursing. Included with the standard nursing courses, there is the opportunity to develop a unique relationship with a nursing professor who will support and encourage a more comprehensive and extensive experience. Nursing honors students are prepared for the challenges of the healthcare arena and gain more advanced knowledge in nursing research and the framework necessary to support research in practice.

Nursing honors students will take honors sections of fundamental science courses in the College of Science and Health, and upon completion of all prerequisites they will continue their studies with nursing courses.  Five nursing honors research courses will be taken concurrent with the core nursing courses in order to complete an original research project. The Nursing Track is not open to online only students. Students must participate in main campus courses for three semesters while completing the track (preferably Spring - Fall - Spring).

What are Nursing thesis topics?

  • Transforming Birth Culture in America: The relationship between interpersonal processes of care as exhibited by the primary care provider and the level of maternal satisfaction with the birthing experience
  • The Phenomenological Beliefs of Young Adults Diagnosed with Substance Abuse Disorders and Mental Illness
  • Preoccupied with Plastic? Body Appreciation and Likelihood to Undergo Plastic Surgery in Teenage Girls
  • Barriers to Smoking Cessation in Patient Care: Understanding the Attitudes and Behaviors of Registered Nurses
  • Factors Affecting Timing of Umbilical Cord Clamping and the Effects of Early and Late Clamping on Health of Term and Pre-term Infants: A Systematic Review


  • NUR3260H- Critical Thinking and Inquiry
  • NUR3330H- Research Proposal Development
  • NUR3500H- Nursing Research
  • NUR4526H- Research Project Implementation
  • NUR4530H- Research Seminar

In addition to the general nursing courses, the nursing honors track students are expected to complete several nursing courses at the honors level. Nursing students selected for the Nursing Honors Track will complete a series of 5 nursing courses (a total of 15 credits) that are centered on understanding nursing research (NUR3500H- Nursing Research), critically appraising knowledge within the profession of nursing (NUR3260H- Critical Thinking and Inquiry), developing an individual research proposal that consists of an original research question explored through quantitative or qualitative approaches, analysis of secondary data sets or a systematic review of the literature (NUR3330H- Research Proposal Development), implementation and analysis of the proposed research project (NUR4526H- Research Project Implementation) and completion of the research project through a final written research paper and presentation of this paper (NUR4530H- Research Seminar).

At the completion of the first two courses, Nursing Research and Critical Thinking and Inquiry, students will have gained an understanding of the value of research and developed critical thinking skills required for progression in the nursing major. The final three courses allow the student to develop an individual research project and follow it through implementation and dissemination of findings.

How do I enroll?

The Honors Nursing Track Director, Dr. Jill Nocella, will contact you when you have completed the prerequisites for the track. At that time, you may apply to the track in WPConnect, under Academic Services, Honors application. If you have questions, contact Dr. Nocella at (973) 720- 3483 or at

About the Track Director

Dr. Jill Nocella holds a Doctorate in Nursing Research and Theory Development from New York University and a Masters in Nursing from the Pennsylvania State University. She has worked extensively in the managed care environment in the areas of preventive health, quality management and case management.  She is a clinical nurse specialist in community health as well as a complex case manager.  Her primary research interest is focused on quality of care, specifically the role of nurses in clinical and utilization outcomes of patients with chronic conditions. She has presented her research at regional and national conferences.

Her publications include:

Nocella, J. (2016).  Structure, Process and Outcomes of Care in a Telemonitoring. Program for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes, Patient Related Outcome Measures 7, 19-28.

Dickson, V. V., Nocella, J., Yoon, H. W., Hammer, M., D’Eramo-Melkus, G., & Chyun, D.  (2013).  Cardiovascular disease self-care interventions, Nursing Research and Practice, 407608, 1-16.

Nocella, J.  (2013).  Telehealth in The Encyclopedia of Eldercare (3rd edition), Capezuti, Malone, Katz, Mezey. Springer Publishing Company.