What are the Best Nursing Schools?
In a tight economy, there always are professions which continue to show growth, even when others are in decline. Medical careers of all kinds are in demand, with some showing more growth than others. Case in point: nursing. Those with a degree from top nursing schools are in exceptionally high demand.
Employment for registered nurses, or RNs, is anticipated to increase by 26 percent between now and the year 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The accelerated pace of growth for this profession is being attributed to technological advances in the medical field, which are allowing for more advanced medical conditions to be treated. As people live longer, they also require more medical care than before, making nurses and medical professionals in high demand.
As with any other degree program, choosing the right nursing school can be crucial to a future career in the field. There are a number of nursing programs available, and choosing one that is right for your needs – as well as a quality program – can be frustrating.
One of the best ways to ensure you have chosen a quality program is to look for accreditation. The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, or NLNAC, is one of the reputable accrediting agencies. The NLNAC website contains a listing of all programs which have received accreditation through them, the year they were accredited and primary contacts for the institution’s nursing degree program. Programs also can receive accreditation through the American Association of Colleges for Nursing, or AACN, as well as individual state board of nursing agencies.
In U.S. News and World Report also ranks nursing degree programs as part of its annual ranking of public and private schools in grades K-12, and higher-learning institutions such as colleges and universities. However, the publication only ranks institutions which offer graduate-level nursing degrees. Associate and bachelor degree programs are not included in its report.
Results are determined solely from the results of peer assessment surveys which are sent to deans, administrators and faculty at accredited degree programs which offer advanced degrees in nursing. According to the latest ranking by the publication, three institutions tied at number one for the quality of graduate-level nursing programs they provide:
- Johns Hopkins University – School of Nursing, Baltimore, Md. – Not surprisingly, this institution is ranked at number one on the list for providing quality nursing programs. The university, which is touted for the number of nursing specialty programs it offers at a graduate level, received a 4.6 out of 5.0 score on the peer assessment.
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. – Also scoring a 4.6 out of 5.0, this institution is well known for its specialty nursing programs, including one in midwifery.
- University of Washington, Seattle, Wash. – Tying for first place with Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania, this institution also scored a 4.6 out of 5.0. This institution earned top ranking for its clinical nurse specialist program.
Other top-ranking programs, as presented in the report, include the University of California at San Francisco, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Duke University of Durham, N.C. and the University of Pittsburgh.
Articles & content by Shari Berg, NursingSchoolFinder.org
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