News Around the School: U.S. News & World Report rankings keep VUSN among nation’s best
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing was again named a top-10 graduate nursing school, as ranked in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate School survey released in March. The Master of Science in Nursing advanced to be the nation’s No. 8 program, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program ranked No. 6. Additionally, its Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner MSN program repeated its 2021 position and remained ranked No. 1.
Other MSN specialties achieved top-5 rankings as well. Both the Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner programs gained the nation’s No. 2 spots. Nursing and Health Care Leadership moved up four places to the No. 4 position. The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program is No. 5. Individual specialty assessments are based 100 percent on peer nursing schools’ evaluations.
In addition to Vanderbilt’s overall DNP program ranking, two DNP specialties were ranked. Its DNP with a focus on Executive Leadership and DNP with a focus on Adult-Gerontology Acute Care both ranked as the country’s No. 2 programs.
The U.S. News organization has stopped ranking some specialties in which VUSN programs were ranked previously, and, as a result, the school had only five MSN and two DNP specialties eligible for ranking.
“The last 12 months have demonstrated the importance of advanced practice nursing education. From providing hands-on COVID patient care to setting up massive testing sites and managing nursing workforces for hard-hit health systems, advanced practice nurses have been the backbone of our nation’s pandemic response,” says Linda D. Norman, DSN, FAAN, VUSN dean and the Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing. “It is an honor to be considered one of the profession’s best educators of these remarkable women and men.”
Norman says that the school’s excellent showing reflects the work of its faculty and staff over many years, including the difficult one just past. “Despite the tremendous challenges of the past year, our stellar faculty and staff have remained focused on preparing Vanderbilt students with in-depth knowledge, practice expertise, evidence-based methods, and the leadership skills that today’s global health environment demands,” she says. “These rankings are attributable to them and their commitment.”
The overall rankings are determined from a variety of criteria, such as research activity, faculty credentials, percentage of faculty members with important achievements, faculty/student ratios, faculty participation in nursing practice, and nursing specialty-specific measures. They take into account the assessment of peer nursing school experts and, new this year, nursing professionals.
The U.S. News & World Report data comes from statistical surveys sent to administrators of 597 accredited schools of nursing which offer master or doctoral programs. Specialty program rankings are based on assessments by nursing school deans and deans of graduate programs. They identify up to 15 schools offering the best programs in each specialty area. The surveys and assessments were conducted from late summer 2020 to early 2021.