Release Date: January 15, 2019
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Online programs in the University at Buffalo School of Nursing and Graduate School of Education were rated top 10 and 25, respectively, in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Online Programs rankings.
The School of Nursing’s online bachelor’s degree program (RN-BS) rose significantly to No. 8 in the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs rankings, climbing 52 spots from the previous year. This is the program’s fifth consecutive year on the list.
The online graduate programs offered by the Graduate School of Education were ranked No. 25 in the nation in the Best Online Education Programs rankings, earning a placement on the annual list for the seventh consecutive year.
The U.S. News online rankings are based on five categories: engagement, services and technology, faculty credentials and training, expert opinion and student excellence. The School of Nursing’s RN-BS program experienced increases in all categories, with the most significant rise occurring in the services and technology category, which measures technological access and infrastructure, and financial and academic support available to students.
The Best Online Bachelor’s Programs rankings rate online programs across disciplines available to undergraduate students at universities nationwide. UB is the highest-ranked institution in New York State. The university is tied with three other institutions for No. 8: Colorado State University, the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and the University of Oklahoma.
“Our online RN to BS program meets the needs of working nurses who want to further their education and provide professional nursing care to an increasingly complex patient population,” said School of Nursing Dean Marsha Lewis.
“We are delighted that the RN to BS online program has received this recognition. Our best recognition comes from our students who are able to articulate how their education is changing the way they practice nursing. These students become leaders at the bedside in their respective settings, and many of them decide to continue their education as advanced practice nurses. All of these factors ensure that nurses across New York State are equipped to provide the best possible care for their patients.”
The School of Nursing’s RN-BS program, which can be completed in a one- or two-year sequence, builds upon the knowledge and experience of licensed nurses while allowing participants to maintain employment.
New York State legislation requiring nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing is confirmation of the growing need to educate and train the future nursing workforce inside and outside of the classroom, adds Lewis.
“The trailblazing New York State legislation that will require RNs to achieve a baccalaureate degree within 10 years of licensure is based on research that demonstrates the positive relationship between baccalaureate-prepared nurses and improved patient outcomes.”
The school also offers both an online post-master’s to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program that educates established advanced practice nurses to deliver expert care and innovate practice, and an online doctoral program that prepares nurse scientists and academics who will contribute to knowledge development, theory generation and hypothesis testing to improve nursing practice outcomes and health care.
The 2019 rankings mark the Graduate School of Education’s sixth consecutive year among the top 50 online graduate education programs. The university is tied with three other institutions for No. 25: Pittsburg State University, San Diego State University and the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
The national rankings recognize the school’s increased emphasis on offering online programs, giving students living away from Western New York the ability to take UB courses off campus.
“The Graduate School of Education’s national ranking reflects our commitment to providing top-quality and rigorous online education programs,” said Suzanne Rosenblith, PhD, professor and dean of the Graduate School of Education.
The Graduate School of Education launched its first fully online program in 2001 to 30 students. Today, the school offers 32 fully online and hybrid programs that enroll hundreds of students. The school also launched its first online PhD program in 2015 and UB’s first massive open online course (MOOC) on learning site Coursera in 2016.
To see the full rankings, visit: www.usnews.com/online.