HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Jan. 8, 2014) - The University of Alabama in Huntsville's online nursing programs were named to U.S. News & World Report's 2014 ranking of Best Online Programs. The graduate program placed 6th while the undergraduate program placed 7th, up from the 13th and 21st spots, respectively, in last year's ranking .
"Our online programs provide accessible education opportunities for all of our nursing students, so we are very pleased with the high ranking they received," says Dr. C. Fay Raines, dean of UAH's College of Nursing. "They are the result of the high quality programs provided by our faculty and the excellent outcomes for our students and graduates."
The graduate rankings were based on four factors, according to U.S. News:
- Student engagement (30%), which includes graduation rate, best practices, class size, one-year retention rates, and time to degree deadline;
- Faculty credentials and training (25%), which includes Ph.D. faculty, tenured faculty, financed training, hours of faculty training, continuing faculty training, and peer review;
- Student services and technology (20%), which includes student indebtedness, technologies accessible to students, and services available to students;
- Peer reputation (15%);
- Admissions selectivity (10%), which includes GPA scores, acceptance rate, employee sponsorship, experience, professional experience requirement, and letters of recommendation.
The undergraduate rankings, which were based on similar criteria, were apportioned as follows:
- Student engagement (40%)
- Faculty credentials and training (20%)
- Student services and technology (20%)
- Peer reputation (20%)
"This recognition of our online nursing programs as one of the best in the country demonstrates the quality that UAH delivers," says Dr. David Berkowitz, dean of UAH's School of Graduate Studies. "We offer a tremendous value and superior performance for our students in nursing, particularly at the graduate level, as well as those in many of our other graduate programs."
UAH's online graduate nursing programs include the Master of Science in Nursing: Leadership in Health Care Systems and the Doctor of Nursing Practice. The master's program prepares nurses for positions in healthcare administration in a wide range of healthcare delivery sites. The doctoral program prepares advanced practice nurses to deliver and lead the highest level of care in today's rapidly changing, complex healthcare system.
Competencies include communication, financial skills, information technology, leading and managing change, policy analysis, clinical research and advanced clinical practice skills. All classes are online except for an annual three-day on-campus experience, which provides opportunities for students to develop peer and faculty relationships and to present their work.
UAH's online undergraduate program provides a pathway to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing for registered nurses with diplomas or associate degrees in nursing who are seeking to advance their education and careers by earning a bachelor's or master's degree.