Cary Edwards School of Nursing and Health Professions Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student Jonathan Anotado Gapilango was honored by the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) during its Diva and Don Gala at Pines Manor in Edison, N.J., on April 11.

Gapilango was among 19 nurse leaders in the state who were celebrated for their high standards of excellence and professional achievements and for making a difference in the lives of their patients.

“Being honored by the NJSNA is significant to me as a nurse with more than 30 years in the field – 23 of those in oncology nursing,” said Gapilango. “It is a deeply gratifying and affirming reminder of the difference I have tried to make in my career and the lives of patients and families facing cancer.”

A resident of Lakewood, N.J., Gapilango is the administrative director of Oncology Performance Measures and Accreditation at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, N.J. He has also served as a National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) reviewer and the director of Cancer Center Administration for the Community Medical Center, Toms River, N.J. He is an adjunct faculty member at Georgian Court University and the Pinelands School of Practical Nursing in New Jersey and Central Philippine University in the Philippines. He earned his bachelor of science degree in nursing from Central Philippine University and completed his master’s degree in nursing studies at STI West Negros University, Philippines. He holds Oncology Certified Nurse, Certified Clinical Research Professional, and Nurse Executive Certification credentials.

“We celebrate this distinction with Jonathan and his fellow honorees,” said Ruth Wittmann-Price, Ph.D., dean of the School. “State-wide recognition by the NJSNA is a professional milestone and a tribute to his capabilities as a nurse leader. He is a shining example of the caliber of our doctoral students and graduates – many of whom transform healthcare policy and practices in their workplaces and spearhead initiatives that benefit the communities they serve.”

On April 24, Gapilango will be inducted as president of the Philippine Nurses Association of New Jersey, Inc., for a two-year term.

“The asynchronous nature of the DNP courses aligns well with my work life and learning style and enables me to engage with course materials at times that suit my schedule,” noted Gapilango. “The collaborative and interactive nature of the program – particularly in the rich exchanges and camaraderie with fellow nurse leaders – presents an invaluable opportunity for professional growth and networking. Engaging in discussions, sharing experiences, and exchanging insights with like-minded individuals not only fosters a sense of community but also provides diverse perspectives that challenge and inspire me to expand my approach to oncology nurse leadership.”

The Institute for Nursing, the charitable affiliate of the NJSNA, will utilize the proceeds from the Diva and Don Gala to fund scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students and provide continuing education programs and grant funding for nursing research endeavors.

To learn more about the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, visit

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About Thomas Edison State University
Thomas Edison State University provides distinctive undergraduate and graduate education for self-directed adults through flexible, high-quality collegiate learning and assessment opportunities.One of New Jersey’s senior public institutions of higher education, the University offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. Students earn degrees through a wide variety of rigorous and high-quality academic methods that can be customized to meet their individual needs. Identified by The New York Times as “the college that paved the way for flexibility,” the University is a national leader in the assessment of adult learning and a pioneer in the use of educational technologies. The New Jersey State Library is an affiliate. To learn more, visit or email

About the NJSNA
As the voice of over 150,000 registered nurses and advanced practice nurses, the New Jersey State Nurses Association is an advocate for the nursing profession and the advancement of quality healthcare in the Garden State. The NJSNA is the only professional organization representing the interest of all registered nurses, regardless of areas of specialization, clinical setting or working environment.

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