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In recognition of the scholarly impact of its faculty, its cutting-edge technology and the varied opportunities it offers to its students, the University of Arizona's College of Nursing has earned the No. 20 spot among the "Top 30 Cutting-Edge Nursing Schools"
The ranking, released by Nursing School Hub, took into consideration the UA College of Nursing's excellence in nursing and health care education, research, practice and top-notch mentoring. Other institutions on the list include Columbia University, Duke University, the University of Illinois-Chicago, Yale University and Johns Hopkins University.
"In order to provide a cutting-edge experience, a school needs to do more than just provide high-tech equipment,” said Chris Collier, chief author and researcher for the list.
"To make this ranking, a school has to be technologically advanced, but they also have to do a great job of integrating technology into the nursing experience," Collier said. "These schools are the best of the best. They strive to provide students with educational opportunities and experiences that other programs simply can't compare with."
U.S. News & World Report also ranked the UA nursing college, placing it among the top 6 percent of graduate nursing programs in the country. The National Research Council ranked the college No. 7 in the nation, while NurseJournal.org ranked the college No. 11 among the "Top 50 Most Social Media Friendly Nursing Schools" in 2012.
The UA college, with one of the most highly regarded graduate nursing programs in the nation, was established in 1957 with 42 students and has since grown to serve about 600 students each year.
The UA college is highly regarded for leading-edge online access to learning, including courses that are completely Web-based or blended with intensive face-to-face learning. Additionally, college leaders are advancing global nursing development through collaborations with universities in Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Asia and elsewhere.
Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the college offers a range of nursing degrees, from entry level to advanced, including the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing. The college also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice, doctorate in nursing degree and a dual DNP/Ph.D. degrees among its offerings. Earlier this year, the UA's Master of Science for Entry to the Profession of Nursing program, the only one of its kind in Arizona, graduated its first group of nurses.
"Nursing is a versatile profession that allows one to have multiple varied careers over a lifetime without ever leaving nursing," College of Nursing Dean Joan L. Shaver said in May when the college honored and graduated dozens of students. "We are committed to preparing our students to embrace a myriad of opportunities and to ensuring that people have the highest quality health care possible from outstanding nurse leaders."
The three main research areas of the college are: to advance the understanding of mechanisms to prevent and treat biological injury; to reduce risks and promote health among vulnerable and underserved populations; and to aid in the management of consequences associated with aging and chronic illness.
One of the colleges researchers – Barbara B. Brewer, a clinical associate professor at the college – was awarded a four-year, $1.3 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to study the top reason for medical errors: communication issues. Brewer and her team will advance the scientific application of social network analysis – the mapping and measurement of communications patterns – in 26 nursing units nationwide, including medical, surgical and step-down units, with the goal of improving patient safety and quality outcomes.
A total of 28 active and emeriti faculty at the college are fellows of the American Academy of Nursing, a national peer-elected group of nursing profession "thought leaders" representing the most accomplished leaders in nursing education, practice, administration and research.
Also, nine faculty members have been elected as fellows to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the largest and only full-service national professional membership organization for NPs of all specialties, advocating for the active role of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive and patient-centered health care.