East Carolina University’s graduate program in nursing ranks among the nation’s best in online education according to a recent listing by U.S. News & World Report.
The ECU College of Nursing ranked fifth out of 96 online masters of nursing programs in the country.
U.S. News ranked online master’s degree programs in business, computer information technology, education, engineering and nursing on criteria including student engagement, faculty credentials and training, admissions selectivity, student services and technology and program ratings by peer institutions.
Nursing has been a leader in distance education on campus and since 2004 has been recognized by U.S. News as one of the largest distance education programs in the country. The current rankings assess quality categories over size.
“Our programs offer today’s working nurse the ability to pursue advanced education while remaining in the much-needed workforce,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the ECU College of Nursing. “Our administrators, faculty and staff are committed to preparing nursing professionals who are making a positive impact on the health care of individuals in our region and around the world.”
Nursing offers seven online options in the master’s of science nursing program: adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, nursing education, nursing leadership and nurse midwifery. ECU offers the only nurse midwifery curriculum in North Carolina.
Of 723 total students enrolled in the MSN program in the 2012-2013 academic year, 628 – or 86.9 percent – were distance education students.
One way in which the College of Nursing is using technology to enhance education is a web-based Virtual Community Clinic Learning Environment, a format similar to the popular Second Life virtual world, which creates case-based, health care scenarios for students to solve.
This is the second year that U.S. News has compiled numeric rankings on the overall quality of distance education programs. Nursing ranked 10th last year. The complete listing can be viewed at http://www.usnews.com/online. Highlights also will appear in the magazine’s “Best Graduate Schools 2015” and “Best Colleges 2015” printed guidebooks.