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

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 its MSN academic specialties and one of its DNP specialties were ranked the No. 1 programs in the country.

VUSN’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner MSN program and Nurse-Midwifery MSN program were each named the No. 1 program in the nation. This was the first No. 1 ranking for PMHNP and the second No. 1 ranking for Nurse-Midwifery.

Other MSN specialties achieved Top 10 rankings as well. The school’s Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, Family Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Primary Care specialties are all ranked as the No. 3 program in their specialties. Nursing and Health Care Leadership, which was relaunched in 2020, ranked No. 8.

For the first time, U.S. News & World Report ranked DNP programs by specialties, with Vanderbilt’s DNP with a focus on Adult-Gerontology Acute Care named the No. 1 program in the U.S. 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, however, 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 said. “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 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 ratings of academic experts.

The U.S. News & World Report data comes 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.