• Title:
    Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Departments:
    Academic Affairs, Nursing and Health Professions

Paula Williams, Ed.D., CAGS, RN



Dr. Paula Williams, Dean of the Division of Nursing and Health Professions and the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, provides leadership and strategic direction to Rivier’s largest academic programs including an A.S. in Nursing, BSN, RN-BSN, five master’s-level programs and the Doctorate in Nursing Practice. With her leadership, River has attained the highest level of accreditation status with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Dr. Williams generously extends herself to community initiatives including service on the NH Action Coalition Steering Committee; Nashua Public Health Executive Advisory Board; New Hampshire Nurses Association; American Nurses Association; National League for Nursing; Organization of Nurse Leaders; Sigma Theta Tau, International; the Southern NH Pilot Program for Nurse Leaders and Nurse Educators. and numerous advisory boards for nursing programs throughout the state.

Dr. Williams has secured million-dollar grants from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support underrepresented students in the nursing profession. Most recently, she was the principal writer for a $1.2 million grant in support of behavioral health nursing workforce development, a $2.04 million grant for expanding primary care and community health experience for undergraduate nursing students and over $250,000 for Doctor of Nursing Practice students who are interested in becoming nurse educators.


  • Ed.D., University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • C.A.G.S., Rivier University
  • M.S., University of Lowell
  • B.S., Fitchburg State College
  • Nursing Diploma, Newton Wellesley Hospital School

Academic Philosophy

“My teaching philosophy encompasses a holistic approach to learning. Students, regardless of race, gender, class or previous learning experiences, learn in diverse ways. Trying to meet the student’s learning styles is both the challenge and the reward. The best experiences in teaching arise from those where we connect with the student and provide legitimate assistance to them. The nursing curriculum at Rivier has been designed using conventional pedagogy, to reflect both the traditional age and adult learners, career mobility, and competency-based testing.”


  • Nursing Leadership
  • Nursing Research
  • Healthcare Management
  • Nursing Education