Ranking in the United States is credible as it is limited to only two sets. NIH Research Funding and U.S News& World Report rank nursing schools separately.

The National Institutes of Health

NIH health rankings base it ranking solely on the total money issued as research grants to the individual nursing schools. Research institutions value rankings by NIH. They believe that the NIH signifies the high quality of research whose initiatives require approval from a peer-review expert panel.

Many nursing schools concentrate their research efforts on a limited number of particular fields so as to develop better quality research programs. They even recruit faculty members with much experience in their specialty research areas.

U.S News & World Report Rankings

These rankings focus on Master’s degree programs and the specialties in nursing schools with NLNAC accreditation. It applied a per-review process for every institution. It requires respondents to evaluate schools on a scale of marginal (1) to outstanding (5) according to defined criteria indicating the overall quality of a school.

Each organization uses certain key information on the programs. You can use it for guidance to do selective searches when finding nursing schools.

Information on nursing school ranking will complement a detailed research that is necessary to conduct on the nursing schools that draw your interest. Many students place much emphasis on finding nursing programs they prefer by considering their ideal geographical areas. Nonetheless, it is essential to go through nursing school ranking information as it will help you to understand some strengths and weaknesses.

Methods of determining a nursing school ranking

It is different between nursing school ranking systems, but many of them rely on the data gathered during surveys that academic experts including advisors and professors participate in designing. The information that helps to determine the performance by a nursing school or program is based on various responses from these groups:

  • Students
  • Alumni
  • Recruiters
  • School administrators
  • Executives

The information surveyors solicit from the persons in the above groups can be highly subjective or factual. After collecting data, they apply a complex formula allowing the significance of factors to be more or less. For instance, the incoming Grade Point Average (GPA) can have less significance than graduate job placement rates.

Factors to consider before relying on a ranking

You should determine the credibility of a classification by finding more about these factors:

Ranking criteria for schools: Some systems may have subjective standards based on the formulas their use. You can, for instance, determine if the ratio of student to the faculty which can have an effect on performance by students accounts for anything and the percentage.

Criteria judge: Determine if the people who judge the accuracy of the ranking criteria are impartial parties. If nursing colleges and schools are part of judgment panel, you cannot rule out a conflict of interest.

Qualification of the evaluators: It is important to determine if the persons evaluating the quality of nursing programs use survey respondents possessing the necessary qualifications. It is not all respondents who are well-informed about many of the programs on the ranking list. If the respondents only know about one or two nursing schools, such evaluation cannot be credible.

As you consider the ranking by a school, do not forget to establish if the program you intend to join in accredited by one of the nursing accrediting agencies.It is also important that you consider personal preference as ranking only look at statistics. It is essential that you examine the campus’ quality of life and activities. If you are enrolling in an online program, it is important to determine its reliability and performance in addition to ranking.