The best nursing schools, according to US News

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

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Methodology for the rankings

To determine the best nursing schools rankings, U.S. News this past summer surveyed 584 nursing schools with master's programs, doctoral programs, or both. Of the schools surveyed, 253 provided enough data to be included in the master's program rankings, and 183 provided enough data to be included in the DNP rankings.

U.S. News assessed each school's performance based on a weighted average of 14 indicators—seven of which were shared across the DNP and master's program lists, and seven of which were specific to each degree type—across four broad assessment categories:

  • quality assessment, including a peer assessment score;
  • student selectivity, including average undergraduate GPA and program acceptance rate;
  • faculty resources, including faculty-to-student ratio and faculty credentials; and
  • research activity, including total research expenditures and average research expenditures per faculty member.

Johns Hopkins tops the master's list for second consecutive year

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

  1. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore);
  2. Duke University (Durham, North Carolina);
  3. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia);
  4. Emory University (Atlanta);
  5. Columbia University (New York);
  6. University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill);
  7. Yale University (New Haven);
  8. Ohio State University (Columbus);
  9. Rush University (Chicago);
  10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, Michigan); and
  11. Vanderbilt University (Nashville).    

Click here to view the full list.

Johns Hopkins tops the DNP List

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

  1. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore);
  2. Duke University (Durham, North Carolina);
  3. Rush University (Chicago);
  4. University of Washington (Seattle);
  5. Vanderbilt University (Nashville);
  6. University of Maryland, Baltimore (Baltimore);
  7. University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago);
  8. Yale University (New Haven);
  9. Columbia University (New York),
  10. Emory University (Atlanta);
  11. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill); and
  12. University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh).

Click here to view the full list.

The best schools for 8 nursing 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 15 schools that offered the best programs in each specialty area.

  • Clinical Nurse Leader: Rush University;
  • Nurse Practitioner-Adult/Gerontology, Acute Care: Duke University;
  • Nurse Practitioner-Adult/Gerontology, Primary Care: Duke University;
  • Nurse Practitioner-Family Nursing: Duke University;
  • 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, 3/11; U.S. News & World Report master's rankings, 3/11; U.S. News & World Report doctor of nursing practice rankings, 3/11; U.S. News & World Report methodology, 3/19).

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