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UNLV nursing program climbs in national ranking

UNLV has climbed four spots in the annual ranking of best online graduate nursing programs by U.S. News &World Report.

The 2018 list ranks both UNLV and the University of Alabama-Birmingham in spot No. 16 out of 115 programs. Last year, UNLV was No. 20.

“This is a good ranking for us,” said Carolyn Yucha, dean emeritus of the school of nursing at UNLV. “Students will in fact look at this, notice this, and apply to us rather than to other schools.”

U.S. News &World Report develops the ranking by scoring student engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, admissions selectivity and student services and technology.

Yucha said UNLV’s nursing program stands out because of its work in student engagement. Each summer, students are invited to a three-day orientation on campus, giving them the opportunity to meet their peers and their professors.

“It’s really hard with an online program to get students engaged with the university,” Yucha said. “That becomes important to get them started in the program, so when their classes start in September, they know some of the students’ names.”

Additionally, Yucha said the majority of UNLV’s nursing faculty has earned doctorate degrees, and that the program historically receives applications from about three times as many students as it can accept in one year.

The school usually enrolls about 100 students per year between the nurse educator and family nurse practitioner programs.

Yucha also said that UNLV’s cost of tuition — compared with other schools on the list — makes the university an attractive choice.

U.S. News has been collecting data from online education programs for seven years. The latest edition includes nearly 1,500 distance education programs — up from about 1,300 last year.

The ranking does not apply to UNLV’s online doctorate program in nursing education.

Contact Natalie Bruzda at nbruzda@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3897. Follow @NatalieBruzda on Twitter.

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