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Widener University Partners with Wilson College to offer Exclusive Online Nurse Practitioner Program

Widener University's School of Nursing is partnering with Wilson College, to offer an opportunity for qualified graduates of the master’s nursing program access to post-master’s certificates in advanced practice nursing. Both programs saw a need to produce more nurse practitioners as it is one of the fastest-growing areas in health care; and more and more, primary health care is being provided by nurse practitioners. 

“People are increasingly comfortable with the skills of nurse practitioners,” Dr. Laura Dzurec, dean of the School of Nursing at Widener, said. “Much of the health care management that needs to be done can be done by nurse practitioners today.”

The Wilson-Widener partnership provides an accelerated path for registered nurses, who will first complete a Master of Science degree in nursing at Wilson and then can transfer to the post-masters certificate for advanced practice at Widener. A majority of the coursework will be offered online.

According to Dr. Carolyn Hart, director of the Department of Nursing at Wilson, “I don’t know of any other program like this. We’re making this a seamless process.” Under the new partnership, students who graduate with a Wilson MSN degree and have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average will be guaranteed admission to the 18-month Widener program.

A major goal of the partnership is to enable working registered nurses to complete the program without having to interrupt their careers and travel to a school out of the area, said Hart, who collaborated on the partnership with Dzurec. “We both wanted to create opportunities for nurses outside of metropolitan areas.”

Most NP programs are available only onsite at the schools that offer them because of the need for many hours of supervised clinical practice, but through the agreement, that requirement will be fulfilled through the use of local preceptors.

Nurse Practitioners are trained and educated to provide physical and mental health care and maintenance to patients throughout their lifespan.  Advanced practice nurses can perform everything from physical examinations and immunizations to prescribing medications and offering counseling and therapy for patients.  “It’s an important time for the advanced practice of our field,” Dzurec said.

The School of Nursing at Widener offers post-master’s certificates in: Adult-Gerontology, Family, Nursing Education, and Executive Nurse Leadership. For more information, visit,

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. are proud to be a tobacco-free. Visit the university website,