News Around the School: School of Nursing earns high rankings in 2021 “U.S. News & World Report”

Dean Linda Norman with students and faculty in front of wood wall in VUSN atrium

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing received top rankings in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate School survey released March 17. Vanderbilt’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program is ranked No. 5 and its Master of Science in Nursing program is ranked No. 9 out of more than 500 schools surveyed.

Additionally, two of the school’s MSN academic specialties—the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner MSN program and Nurse-Midwifery MSN program—and its DNP specialty in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care are ranked No. 1 in the country in their respective categories. It is the first No. 1 ranking for PMHNP and the second such ranking for Nurse-Midwifery. It is also the first No. 1 ranking for Adult-Gerontology Acute Care as this year marked the first time that U.S. News & World Report has ranked DNP programs by specialties.

Other MSN and DNP specialties achieved top-10 rankings as well. The school’s MSN programs in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, Family Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Primary Care all are ranked No. 3 in their specialties, and Nursing and Health Care Leadership, which was relaunched in 2020, is ranked No. 8. VUSN’s nursing administration-focused DNP is ranked No. 3, and its practice leadership-focused DNP is No. 4.

“The U.S. News & World Report rankings reflect the esteem our peer nursing schools have for Vanderbilt, as well as our strength in research, faculty accomplishments and student achievement,” said Linda D. Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN, VUSN dean and Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing. “While it’s an honor to be so highly ranked, the true standard of measurement is how we educate the nursing workforce.

“As recent events have shown, advanced practice nurses who can lead, provide comprehensive patient care and effect discovery are greatly needed here in the U.S. and all over the globe,” she added. “Our graduates are actively meeting health care needs and providing solutions to complex issues, and that is the heart of VUSN’s mission and purpose.”

The U.S. News & World Report data come from statistical surveys sent to administrators of 603 accredited schools of nursing which offer master’s or doctoral programs. Specialty program rankings are based on assessments by nursing school deans and deans of graduate studies who identify up to 15 schools offering the best programs in each specialty area. The surveys and assessments were conducted from late summer 2019 to early 2020.

Image above: Members of an AGACNP clinical group with Dean Linda Norman and assistant professor Sarah Davis. From left, Charlotte Kingsley, Michael McManus, Norman, Savannah Christopher, Davis and Justin Atkins.