Tucson's UofA, by no means, is in the top 10 nationally. The school intentionally misrepresents itself. The nursing GRADUATE PROGRAM was ranked #6 in the nation by US News & World Report in 2009. In 2010, that ranking dropped to #32. Still, the administration still cheerleads 'We're #6!!.' Shame on them for not including any fine print.
Having said that, the traditional BSN nursing program
has a good, solid reputation. I am graduating from the UofA's accelerated/2nd degree program (avoid at all costs), but we share some instructors across programs. The teachers are decent, and the organization of the program, plus the 2 year timeframe, make for a valuable experience. The College of Nursing administration is pretty damn inhospitable, and there is a new Dean who is cleaning house. There are a number of instructors on their way out, and a new wave coming in. Such is the nature of organizational change. You might find the UofA program underwhelming in terms of communication and organization. It's a DIY program, really. Take your classes, get an externship, find a job.
Surprisingly, for all their talk and energy about being highly ranked (again, that WAS the graduate program), there are few extracurricular activities, and very little to do with the colleges of medicine, pharmacy, and public health. That's really sad, as in the real world, all professionals work together to keep people healthy. But at the UofA, everything exists in a vacuum. You can have a bake sale and sell cookies (smile and contribute $18 to a worthy cause), but if you are looking for more meaningful ways to contribute to research, help a local organization, or deepen your nursing knowledge beyond the basic lectures, you're on your own.
As well, the current economic situation means significant cutbacks. Who knows what the college has planned for 2011....but you can be sure that they are cutting corners and forcing instructors to take furlough days per university mandate. You may not feel it in the beginning, but during the second half of your studies, you'll wonder why the simulation lab is so poorly stocked with equipment, or why special request resources are nonexistent.