U of M School of Nursing Ranked 12th Among Nursing Graduate Schools

March 16, 2016

Nursing Informatics Graduate Program Ranked 2nd and Nurse Midwifery Ranked 4th in Nation

The 2017 “Best Graduate Schools” rankings published by US News and World Report today ranked the University of Minnesota’s School of Nursing 12th in the nation among schools offering the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, the highest-level practice degree for nurses. The three-year, full-time graduate program prepares nurses for leadership roles as primary care providers, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists and leaders in health administration, integrative health and healing, informatics and public health.

The University’s graduate program specialty in nursing informatics was ranked second in the nation in the same Graduate School Rankings release today. The informatics specialty prepares nurses to design and manage information technology systems used in and across health systems to improve health and the patient experience. The Nurse Midwifery specialty of the DNP program was ranked 4th in the nation.

“Our faculty have developed an exceptional and progressive DNP program that prepares nurses for leadership and primary care,” said Connie White Delaney, Dean at the U of M School of Nursing. “Students learn from nation-leading faculty, and gain clinical experience in a wide range of innovative clinical and community settings. We are so fortunate that Minnesota leads the nation on many health indices, reflecting the excellence of our clinical partners.” 

This is the first time US News and World Report has ranked schools of nursing based on the DNP degree, which is the graduate-level practice degree recommended by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The Institutes of Medicine recommended in a 2010 report the doubling of the number of nurses nationwide who hold doctoral degrees to address the growing demand for highly skilled primary care providers who can address the complex needs of an aging population. The DNP program was introduced at the University in 2008, when the School of Nursing replaced its Master of Science in Nursing with the more rigorous DNP. The program includes a combination of online courses, on-campus classes, clinical practice work and a systems-improvement project.

The U of M’s DNP program had the largest full-time enrollment of all 70 ranked programs, with 308 students. The rapid growth in this relatively new program can be attributed, in part, to the national movement to increase the number of doctorally-prepared nurses. Delaney says the enrollment growth at the University is fueled by a $10 million gift from a local foundation for scholarships designated exclusively for DNP students.

“Recognizing the health care challenges upon us, the Bentson Foundation enabled us to create a sizable program, and recruit students who will become leaders in serving patients and improving systems in the years to come,” said Delaney.

The University of Minnesota School of Nursing serves 950 students in graduate and undergraduate nursing programs. As one of six schools within a large academic health center on a research university campus, the school offers its students at all levels opportunities to participate in research, interprofessional learning and team-based care.