Graduate nursing student sits in a clinic exam room

College of Nursing secures national ranking third year in a row

Texas A&M University College of Nursing ranks amid nation's top ten for best online graduate program
January 26, 2021

With success in retaining and graduating students accounting for more than one-third of its final ranking, the Texas A&M University College of Nursing secured the number nine spot in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 rankings for online graduate nursing programs offered at accredited institutions.

The Texas A&M College of Nursing offers three different Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree specialties—family nurse practitionernursing education and forensic nursing—all of which use online course instruction supported by in-person clinicals. These direct patient care hours are earned primarily in the communities where registered nurses seeking an advanced degree currently reside and work, many of which are in rural, underserved areas of Texas.

“We are proud to have secured a top ten position, an exceptional ranking and acknowledgement of our commitment in supporting and preparing students as they advance in their calling as registered nurses,” said Nancy Fahrenwald, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, FAAN, dean and professor of the college. “Providing quality online graduate degree specialties expands the opportunity for baccalaureate-prepared nurses to earn a master’s degree, seek advanced licensure and ultimately, support greater access to quality patient-centered care.”

In addition to measuring the successful retention and graduation rates of students, U.S. News & World Report also reviews diverse online learning technologies used that allow greater flexibility in successfully completing coursework from a distance. A review of the credentials held by those teaching distance education courses in comparison to faculty teaching face-to-face courses, and the resources available to train faculty teaching distance learners, make up the remaining portion of the ranking.

In 2014, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the college’s MSN degree program, and the inaugural class of MSN in nursing education cohort began their advanced degree. Since 2015, when the MSN program was initially accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the family nurse practitioner and forensic nursing master’s programs have been formalized, a post-graduate certificate in forensic health care was initiated and an additional post-master’s degree option is currently in development.

— Kala McCain

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