Faculty and Staff

Persephone Vargas

Professor • Department of Nursing

Dr. Vargas is a passionate proponent of elevating the nursing profession through nursing leadership in patient care. She has over 20 years of nursing experience and has an impressive clinical background in critical care and cardiology. Dr. Vargas is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Nursing in William Paterson University. She is currently the coordinator of the UDC 4 level in the undergraduate program and the coordinator of the Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner and Post-Masters Certificate in the graduate program. She maintains her clinical practice as a cardiology nurse practitioner in Morristown Medical Center Cardiac Access and Cardiac Observation Units.
Dr. Vargas’ role as an educator and clinician have allowed her to meld her interests and guide her research focus. In the past five years, she has conducted research studies and programs that focus on Filipino American immigrant health. Her clinical background in cardiovascular health stimulated her interest in the acculturation, diet and obesity among Filipino American immigrants. Her goal is to help eliminate health disparity and promote culturally-appropriate interventions to improve the health status of the Filipino American immigrant population. These research activities have resulted in multiple publications and national and international presentations.

Dr. Vargas’ organizational and collaborative skills have resulted in joint publications and presentations, as well as being a PI or co-PI of research projects and the Academic Research Collaborator for a PCORI funded grant. As a first-generation Filipino American immigrant nurse, with Filipino American immigrant parents, who are also nurses, she has a strong passion and understanding of the Filipino culture and values. She is an active member of the Philippine Nurses Association of America in New Jersey and multiple other Filipino community organizations. In 2018, she was recognized nationally and awarded the Nurse Practitioner of the Year award by the Philippine Nurses Association of America.

As nursing is a practice profession, it is imperative to include relevant topics and innovative teaching methods in the undergraduate and graduate nursing program. To accomplish this, Dr. Vargas collaborated with faculty from different healthcare professions to initiate an interprofessional program among graduate students. In addition, Dr. Vargas worked with other faculty to integrate LGBT care in the nursing curriculum. Her most recent accomplishment is to spearhead the expansion of the dedicated education (DEU) program.

Professional Interests

Advance Practice Nursing
Asian Health

Other Interests

Foodie, Travel, Cooking, Cake Decorating, Running/Triathlon, Dance

Languages (other than English)



DNP , William Paterson University Wayne,

MS Advanced Practice Nursing, William Paterson University Wayne,



Licenses and Certifications

Adult Advance Practice Nurse, ANCC National

Family Nurse Practitioner , ANCC

Representative Publications

Dietary Acculturation among Filipino Americans; International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health; Volume 13, 2015

Dietary Intake and Obesity Among Filipino Americans. ;

Diet and Obesity Among Filipino Americans: Impact to Health; 2017

Systematic Literature Review of the Relationship between Acculturation and Diet Among Filipino Americans: Implications to Health and Future Research. Journal of Nursing Practice Applications and Reviews of Research; , Journal of Nursing Practice Applications and Reviews of Research; 2017

Effectiveness of transgender care content in a nurse practitioner program; 2018

Representative Presentations

What's New With The DEU?
Sigma Theta Tau 45th Biennial Convention
Washington DC, 2019

Exposing the Hidden Asian Obesity Epidemic.
World Nursing Congress
London, 2018

The Implementation and Evaluation of Interprofessional Education (IPE) in the Graduate Nursing Program."
Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Research Congress Sigma Theta Tau International
Calgary, 2019

Dietary Acculturation and Obesity Among Filipino Americans
Sigma Theta Tau International Research Presentation
Dumaguete City, 2016

A research examination of Transgender Health Care Content in a Nurse Practitioner Program.
Doctor of Nursing Practice Annual Conference,
New Orleans LA, 2017

Awards and Honors

Nurse Practitioner of the Year Award – National Award
Philippine Nurses Association if America

Nurse Practitioner of the Year Award
Philippine Nurses Association New Jersey Chapter

Nursing Excellence for Doctor of Nursing Practice Award
William Paterson University

Notable Courses Taught

Advanced Practice Nursing 1 and 2
APN Practicum