Nursing graduate program cracks the national top 40

The University of South Carolina College of Nursing graduate program jumped 13 spots to No. 39 nationally in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings. Overall, the program has risen by 40 spots in the past 5 years.

“We are committed to providing a quality nursing education program that is beneficial to South Carolina’s health care systems,” dean Jeannette Andrews says.

The rankings factor in assessments from peer institutions, the number of students admitted into the program along with their undergraduate grade point average, the student-to-faculty ratio, faculty who are in distinguished academies, faculty who are in active nursing practice and the amount of research grants.

Each one of those factors have seen improvements including: a 32 percent increase in student enrollment in the past five years, an increase in faculty members who are doctoral prepared, increase in proportion of faculty in the American Academy of Nursing and growth in federal and other research funding — $10 million dollars in the past four years.

“As the quality of our programs continue to grow, we are recruiting stellar faculty with exceptional expertise and national prominence,” Andrews says. “This has created a positive cycle of growth in our graduate programs, including enrollment in our doctoral programs.”

South Carolina — like much of the country — is suffering from a nursing shortage in part because of a nursing faculty shortage.

“An increased supply of doctoral-prepared nurses will help to address these shortages,” Andrews says.

The College of Nursing graduate offerings include master’s degree in adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and nursing administration as well as a doctorate in nursing practice and a Ph.D. in nursing science.

The College of Nursing has approximately 1,800 enrolled students with 132 full- and part-time faculty members.

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