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The best nursing schools, according to US News


U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday released its annual Best Nursing Schools list, with Johns Hopkins University topping the list for master's degrees and Duke University topping the list for doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degrees.

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For the rankings, U.S. News this past summer surveyed 552 accredited nursing schools with master's programs, doctoral programs, or both. Of the schools surveyed, 296 provided enough data to be included in the nursing master's rankings, and 203 provided enough data to be included in the DNP rankings.

Methodology for master's rankings

U.S. News assessed each school's performance based on a weighted average of 14 indicators, including:

  • Quality assessment, including a peer assessment score, average undergraduate GPA, and acceptance rate;
  • Faculty-to-student ratio;
  • Faculty credentials;
  • Nursing practice participation; and
  • Research activity, including total research expenditures and average research expenditures per faculty member.

Both the master's and DNP rankings were based on similar indicators, but the weighting and exact definitions varied slightly.

Johns Hopkins tops the master's list

The top 10 schools (including some ties) for a master's of nursing degree, according to U.S. News, were:

  1. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore);
  2. Duke University (Durham, North Carolina);
  3. Emory University (Atlanta);
  4. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia);
  5. University of Washington (Seattle);
  6. Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland);
  7. University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh);
  8. University of Alabama-Birmingham (Birmingham, Alabama);
  9. University of Michigan- Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, Michigan); and
  10. Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut).

Click here to view the full list.

Duke University tops the DNP list

The top 10 schools (including some ties) for a DNP program, according to U.S. News, were:

  1. Duke University;
  2. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore);
  3. University of Washington (Seattle);
  4. Rush University (Chicago);
  5. Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland);
  6. Emory University (Atlanta);
  7. University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh);
  8. University of Alabama-Birmingham (Birmingham, Alabama);
  9. University of Maryland-Baltimore (Baltimore); and
  10. Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut).

Click here to view the full list.

Best schools among eight specialties

In addition, U.S. News ranked the best schools for eight nursing specialties. The rankings were based entirely on the assessments of nursing school deans and deans of graduate studies, who were asked to name 10 schools that offered the best programs in each specialty area.

The best schools in each of the eight specialties were:

  • Clinical Nurse Leader: Rush University;
  • Nurse Practitioner-Adult/Gerontology, Acute Care: Rush University;
  • Nurse Practitioner-Adult/Gerontology, Primary Care: Rush University;
  • Nurse Practitioner-Family Nursing: A tie between Duke University and the University of Washington;
  • Nurse Practitioner-Pediatric, Primary Care: University of Pennsylvania;
  • Nurse Practitioner-Psychiatric/Mental Health, Across the Lifespan: Rush University;
  • Nursing Administration: University of Pennsylvania; and
  • Nursing Informatics: University of Maryland-Baltimore (U.S. News & World Report release, 3/20; U.S. News & World Report master's rankings, 3/20; U.S. News & World Report doctor of nursing practice rankings, 3/20; U.S. News & World Report methodology, 3/19).

Webconference at 3 pm: How UnityPoint uses mentoring to support new nurses

Join us this afternoon at 3 pm ET to learn how UnityPoint Health created a unit-based mentor program at their organization and were able to help new graduates manage their workload and reduce turnover.

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