U.S. News Ranks College of Nursing Online Programs 7th in the Nation

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Nursing students can get pretty far these days while staying right where they are.

Online learning has become an important way to help students benefit from instruction at top nursing schools, some of which are ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best Online Nursing Programs. Rush University College of Nursing is ranked seventh among the 144 nursing schools listed this year, improving four spots from the college’s 2016 online ranking.

“The beauty of online courses is the student can take the course when it’s convenient to them, which could be during the middle of the night — and frequently is,” says Marquis Foreman, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing. “And when they don’t understand something, they can go back and read it again or redo the exercises.”

Distance-learning students at Rush benefit from the same dedicated faculty who teach students on campus at one of the country’s top nursing programs. The Rush College of Nursing is ranked fifth in the Doctor of Nursing Practice category and 16th in the Master’s Degree category in U.S. News’ 2017 America’s Best Graduate Schools survey, and has six specialties ranked in the top five. There are 519 nursing schools in the U.S. with master’s or doctoral programs.

Rush has made a commitment to encourage faculty to become certified as online teachers. Faculty credentials and training account for 25 percent of the score U.S. News uses to rank online programs.

“There is an expectation that over the next few years, a large percentage of our faculty will be certified to teach online courses,” Foreman says.

The remaining 75 percent of U.S. News’ online program rankings are calculated based on the following categories:

  • Student engagement (20 percent). Students can readily collaborate with fellow students and instructors in their classes and clinical settings.
  • Admissions selectivity (20 percent). Students enter the program with proven aptitudes, ambitions and accomplishments that help them handle the demands of rigorous course work.
  • Peer reputation (20 percent). A survey of high-ranking academic officials in nursing accounts for intangible factors affecting program quality that are not captured by statistics.
  • Student service and technology (15 percent). The incorporation of diverse online learning technologies that allow greater flexibility for students to take classes from a distance.

Online programs build on proud history

Almost 8,000 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral students have graduated from Rush University College of Nursing . The college awarded its first bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1975, its first doctor of nursing science degree in 1980 and its first practice doctorate in 1990.

Nursing programs are offered from the master’s through the doctoral (DNP and PhD) levels. The generalist entry master’s program is the pre-licensure program for entry into registered nurse practice.

The following are the college’s degree options available online:

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program
    • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) for RNs: Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Programs
    • Advanced Public Health Nursing
    • Leadership to Enhance Population Health Outcomes
    • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
    • Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Psychiatric -Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Systems Leadership
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Science
    • BSN-PhD in nursing science
    • Master’s - PhD in nursing science