Top online nursing grad schools

  1. 4
    The recent discussion on sketchy nursing "research" from for-profit online nursing "graduate programs" makes this an interesting addition. This link is to the article listing the top 25 online nursing graduate schools in the country, based on admissions selectivity, faculty and career search support, and graduation rates.

    Not one of them is a for-profit diploma mill; all have accredited, established brick-and-mortar nursing programs.

    http://www.asrn.org/journal-nursing/...r-nursing.html

    The Top 25 Online Graduate Nursing Programs:
    1. St. Xavier University (Chicago, IL)
    2. Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, SC)
    3. University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Amherst, MA)
    4. George Washington University (Washington, DC)
    5. East Carolina University (Greenville, NC)
    6. Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA)
    6. Loyola University-New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)
    6. University of Alabama-Huntsville (Huntsville, AL)
    6. University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston, TX)
    10. Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL)
    10. Graceland University (Independence, MO)
    10. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (Corpus Christi, TX)
    10. University of Colorado-Denver (Denver, CO)
    10. University of Missouri-Kansas (Kansas City, MO)
    10. University of Nevada-Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)
    16. Stony Brook University-SUNY (Stony Brook, NY)
    16. University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)
    16. University of Texas-Tyler (Tyler, TX)
    19. Ball State University (Muncie, IN)
    19. Lamar University (Beaumont, TX)
    19. University of Delaware (Newark, DE)
    22. Clarkson College (Omaha, NE)
    23. Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, TX)
    24. Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
    24. Ferris State University (Big Rapids, MI)
    24. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
    isharRN, LadyFree28, MarlynneRN, and 1 other like this.
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  3. 12 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Thank you! great list.
  5. 0
    Source of info is US News and World Report

    Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs

    These are the best online master's in nursing degree programs, based on factors such as graduation rates, academic and career support services offered to students and admissions selectivity. See the methodology

    Ranking of programs include:
    Chamberlain #52
    Kaplan #70

    While Penn State World Campus #90
    Rush University-Rank not published
    University of Phoenix-Rank not published
    University of Florida -too new to rank
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jan 14
  6. 0
    Let's hope that when the new Graduate Nursing Program ranking comes out (last published was from 2011), more assessment factors other than just peer review will be used in the methodology by US News & World Report.
  7. 3
    There's a reason why "peer review" is the gold standard in academia. You might want to rethink that.
  8. 1
    Quote from GrnTea
    There's a reason why "peer review" is the gold standard in academia. You might want to rethink that.
    I suggest you use those critical thinking skills more. Juan wasn't talking about your list but the general nursing school rankings which were last published in 2011. As the methodology link posted above shows, they changed their assessment models for the online rankings and are using more variables, instead of just asking people what they think. This is a good thing. Juan was saying that hopefully they will use the same assessments for the next graduate nursing program rankings.

    Here is a link that describes the methodology they used in 2011, which consisted purely of surveys http://www.usnews.com/education/best...hools-rankings

    "All the health rankings are based solely on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to deans, other administrators, and/or faculty at accredited degree programs or schools in each discipline"

    Comparing this to the peer review in academia is rather silly...
    Last edit by mzaur on Jan 15
    juan de la cruz likes this.
  9. 2
    Not only is it silly, but my friends in academia have told me that the problem with the US News rankings is that they send out the questionnaires to all the heads of all the schools, but, because most of the deans and academics feel, quite appropriately, that they are not in a position to have much of an informed opinion about the inner workings of other schools, most of the questionnaires never get completed and sent back (much like the poor response rate on questionnaires in research generally). So the much-ballyhooed rankings are compiled and published on the basis of very little actual information.
  10. 1
    Regardless of whether deans and nursing department heads send in answered surveys, the ranking from 2011, not the current online program ranking, still ends up being a popularity contest between schools with no rhyme or reason as to how schools end up on the top. I have experience precepting ACNP students from 3 schools in the top 50 (UCSF, Michigan at Ann Arbor, Wayne State Detroit), they are all good students with diverse demographic qualities. I have also worked with NP graduates of those schools as well as Columbia, Yale, Penn, Case Western, OHSU, NYU, Florida -- again, they are all great NP's and I'm sure it's a testament to the quality of those programs. How their rank is assessed by US News is just not science.
    NRSKarenRN likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from juan de la cruz
    How their rank is assessed by US News is just not science.
    Exactly. And, yet, much of the public apparently considers the annual rankings gospel.
  12. 1
    Quote from mzaur
    I suggest you use those critical thinking skills more. Juan wasn't talking about your list but the general nursing school rankings which were last published in 2011. As the methodology link posted above shows, they changed their assessment models for the online rankings and are using more variables, instead of just asking people what they think. This is a good thing. Juan was saying that hopefully they will use the same assessments for the next graduate nursing program rankings.

    Here is a link that describes the methodology they used in 2011, which consisted purely of surveys Methodology: Best Health Schools Rankings - US News and World Report

    "All the health rankings are based solely on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to deans, other administrators, and/or faculty at accredited degree programs or schools in each discipline"

    Comparing this to the peer review in academia is rather silly...

    I am not comparing formal academic peer review to the USN&WR methodology. I object to the common reflex contempt for academia I see here all too often. Also, persons experienced in doing formal peer reviews, e.g., for papers and articles, have developed skills in doing them.

    If you read the report of the methodology, you will note that they collected data from 130 programs. That's not a trivial number. Also, peer reveies being "incorporated" isn't the same as "relied on 100%," which is an assumption I pick up here.

    I grant you that opinion polls (like so many of the survey monkey "capstone research" we see here) are not much in the way of actual data. However, USN&WR has been aware that some of their rankings are subject to skepticism, and they appear to be trying to improve their methodology. These excerpts are not the whole report on the methodology, which I commend to your attention.

    This is an excerpt for those who didn't follow the link and read all of the material.


    "For the 2014 edition of the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs rankings, U.S. News incorporated program ratings by peer institutions. To make room for this additional factor, other factors' weights were decreased.
    Here is how each is currently weighted in the rankings.
    Student engagement (weighting: 30 percent – previously 35 percent): In a quality program, aspiring advanced practice nurses can readily collaborate with fellow students in their classes and clinical settings. In turn, instructors are not only accessible and responsive, but they are also tasked with helping to create an experience rewarding enough for students to stay enrolled and complete their degrees in a reasonable amount of time.
    Faculty credentials and training (weighting: 25 percent): Strong online programs employ instructors with academic credentials one would expect from a campus-based program, and have the resources to train these instructors on how to teach distance learners.
    Student services and technology (weighting: 20 percent): A program that incorporates diverse online learning technologies allows greater flexibility for students to take classes from a distance. Outside of classes, a strong support structure provides learning assistance, career guidance and financial aid resources commensurate with quality campus-based programs.
    Peer reputation (weighting: 15 percent – not used in previous rankings): Industry opinion accounts for intangible factors on program quality not captured by statistics. Also, degrees with strong perceptions of quality among academics may be held in higher regard among employers.
    Admissions selectivity (weighting: 10 percent – previously 20 percent): Student bodies entering with proven aptitudes, ambitions and accomplishments can handle the demands of rigorous course work. Furthermore, online degrees that schools award discriminatively will have greater legitimacy in the job market.


    <snip>

    To complete step two, U.S. News collected additional statistical information from the same questionnaire on the 130 schools with online programs...


    <snip>


    And a final word on peer assessments:

    Peer Assessments
    Complementing the statistical data from this questionnaire was a separate peer reputation survey administered for U.S. News by Ipsos Public Affairs, a market research firm. Deans of nursing schools with online graduate programs and top distance learning higher education academics were mailed postcards with links to online peer reputation surveys.
    Each program was sent two surveys. Between August 2013 and October 2013, higher academics responded by evaluating the academic quality of the other online graduate nursing degree programs listed on the survey on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding), or by responding "don't know" to any program with which they were unfamiliar.
    Although the 2014 rankings are the first to include peer assessment data in the methodology, these data were collected in the summers of 2012 and 2013. To increase the number of ratings for a greater representation of schools, U.S. News aggregated the peer reputation data across both years. In total, 103 surveys completed by schools with online nursing programs were submitted.
    The two highest and lowest scores for each school in both years were removed from the totals before calculating the average peer score among those who rated the program.
    Some programs received fewer than 10 scores from other schools after this trimming, indicating very few of their peers were familiar with them. In such cases, U.S. News imputed their scores by assuming a rating of 1 for every additional rating needed for the school to have a total of 10 ratings, and then calculated an average score based on the sum of all scores. Programs with fewer than 10 ratings do not have their peer reputation scores published.
    Because the number of online nursing programs is continually growing, 13 of the 128 ranked schools were not included in the peer reputation survey and did not receive any ratings. For ranking purposes these schools were assigned the median peer reputation score derived from the data collected in 2013. These values are not published and will not carry over into future rankings.
    OCNRN63 likes this.


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