UT’s Master of Science in Nursing Program ranks fifth in nation

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Photo Credit: Mengwen Cao | Daily Texan Staff

UT’s Master of Science in Nursing program ranked fifth out of 50 on College Choice’s 2017 list of the best master’s in nursing degrees in the U.S.

College Choice provides rankings and other resources to help students select which college they want to attend. Factors taken into consideration for the rating include academic reputation, financial aid offerings, overall cost of school and graduate success rates on the post-college job market. The rankings were based on data from U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, PayScale.com and the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. 

Freshman nursing student Itzel Osornia said the MSN program’s reputation made her admission as a nursing undergraduate exciting.

“I feel really blessed and grateful to be a part of UT nursing,” Osornia said. “As a high school senior I was well aware of how competitive it was and the fact that it was ranked among the best nursing schools in the country, and I remember crying when I found out that I had been accepted.”

The master’s degree at UT is a two-year program, with graduates focusing on one of five concentrations: Leadership in Diverse Settings, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. 

Gayle Timmerman, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor at the School of Nursing, said the staff works hard to provide students with the best education possible. 

“We focus to really develop nurses who can lead and improve healthcare at the bedside, or wherever they may be, and to find solutions to the tough questions,” Timmerman said.The ranking comes at a time when the need for registered nurses is increasing. Employment for registered nurses is expected to increase 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is much higher than the expected 7 percent increase in employment for all occupations.

The growth in demand for nurses is because of many factors including the aging of baby boomers, Sheri Innerarity, chair of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Division of the School of Nursing, said.

“Nurses come with compassion, a holistic view to the patient and a dedication to improving general wellness,” Innerarity said. “With a population that’s aging and an increase in chronic illness, there’s going to be a need for people who do what we do well.”