The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies ranked No. 19 among the nation’s best online graduate nursing programs of 2019 by U.S. News and World Report, giving it at least a Top 25 ranking for the seventh year in a row.
UMKC’s ranking, released today, is the highest of any university in Missouri. Last year, UMKC also ranked high at No. 18. No other program in Missouri or Kansas ranked higher.
“Our faculty, staff and students are to be commended for creating something truly extraordinary: nationally ranked online advanced nursing programs,” said Ann Cary, dean of the school. “This is filling a critical need in workforce education and a critical need in treating patients.”
The UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies is a pioneer in distance-learning programs, offering online advanced degree programs since 2002. The programs offer busy professionals a high-quality but convenient way to further their careers and meet the needs of an evolving health-care system.
The UMKC online graduate nursing program certainly fills the needs of Brandie Smith, a single mother of three school-age children who works full time as a labor-and-delivery nurse at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. She graduated in 2015 from the UMKC accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program so she knew about the highly-ranked online graduate nursing programs at UMKC. She plans to graduate with a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Women’s Health in 2023, with the goal of conducting global research as a nurse practitioner who studies and teaches about treatment of diseases.
“The program allows you to go at your own pace without taking time away from family or work,” Smith said. “It’s not easy by any means – I spend 20 to 30 hours a week working on the degree. But there are great mentors, everyone is positive and encouraging…it’s a community.”
Online students are expected to participate in online discussions as if they are present in the classroom. Technology offers two-way communication in real time via multiple modes. Students also experience on-site learning through summer institutes where they are required to attend clinical training or dissertation work sessions, and deliver presentations to classmates and faculty.
UMKC offers a variety of online graduate nursing tracks, including Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and other options:
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
- Nurse Educator
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
- Doctor of Nursing Practice
U.S. News began ranking online education in 2012. The categories include faculty credentials and training; student engagement; admissions selectivity; peer reputation; and student services and technology. U.S. News began their data comparisons with more than 500 institutions that had accredited graduate degree programs in nursing. Among the ones that replied, 159 said they offered online graduate nursing programs. The number of online nursing programs is continually growing nationwide.