Online Nursing Program Jumps in National Rankings

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The UNC Charlotte School of Nursing’s national profile received a significant boost this month with the online graduate program’s 33-spot ascendance in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report Rankings.

The program jumped to 54 in the national rankings, up from 87 last year. Department Chair Dee Baldwin said the School of Nursing is very proud of the upswing, and attributes the improvement to multiple factors, including:

  • Efforts to revise plans of study for each major, which reduces potential advising errors and improves student satisfaction;
  • Having a dedicated admissions officer providing students with an established, knowledgeable point of contact who is readily available to assist with the admissions process;
  • The recruitment and retention of Ph.D. prepared faculty, with strong backgrounds in education and research, which Baldwin believes sets the program apart from others who may not use Ph.D. prepared faculty for online course delivery;
  • Improved course delivery methods with the majority of courses created using a nationally respected peer-reviewed process.

And indeed, these focal points align with the areas U.S. News & World Report uses to evaluate program quality. Academic reputation among peer institutions, faculty credentials and admissions selectivity are all considered in assigning rankings.

​“We are ever vigilant in our efforts to maintain relevancy in a changing healthcare market,” Baldwin said. She added that the School of Nursing understandings that its students typically work full-time and are returning to school to enhance their knowledge base and prepare for promotions or to meet the changing needs of their organizations and those whom they serve.

“Keeping this in mind, the School of Nursing makes every effort to tailor its online programs to the working professional nurse by providing an ‘anytime, anywhere’ online educational experience, void of the typical constraints of traditional face-to-face course delivery,” Baldwin said.

The graduate online nursing program scored especially high marks on the credentials and training of faculty, registering 88 out of a possible 100 points on the evaluation.  UNC Charlotte tied for the 54th spot with several other universities, including Florida State and West Virginia.

Baldwin, the department chair, said one philosophy underpins the School of Nursing’s identify: “That’s to always keep the student’s needs at the forefront of all we do.” 


by: Wills Citty