U.S. News & World Report ranks Fairfield University’s School of Nursing in top 20% of graduate programs in country


The accolade comes as nurses are increasingly encouraged to earn a graduate degree to enhance their knowledge of patient care and advance in a rapidly evolving field.

FAIRFIELD, Conn., March 12, 2015 – The graduate programs of Fairfield University’s School of Nursing have again been ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

The Jesuit nursing school is included in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 edition of “Best Graduate Schools.” The School of Nursing ranked number 90 based on a starting list of 503 schools nationwide, up from a previous ranking of 99. It joins respected institutions on the list that also includes Ivy League schools and schools affiliated with major medical centers such as the University of Pennsylvania (number one) and Johns Hopkins University and the University of California – San Francisco (tied at number two).

The rankings come as the need for nurses continues to increase, while changes in healthcare have empowered nurses to take a leading role in patient care. Meanwhile, the Affordable Care Act places advanced practice nurses among the leaders in healthcare delivery.

Among the ranking criteria is the “percentage of faculty in active nursing practice.” At Fairfield that is 41% of the faculty. This speaks to one of the distinctions of the Fairfield nursing faculty, and that is many are advanced practice nurses who spend part of their week seeing patients. This makes them clinical experts in patient care, and fuels their teaching and research endeavors. Fairfield nursing faculty are also recognized thought leaders in nursing education.

Meredith Wallace Kazer, Ph.D., APRN, FAAN, professor and dean, said, “The recognition honors our exemplary and inspired faculty and administrators, as well as our hard-working students, supportive alumni and campus community, and dedicated clinical partners. The school’s unabated growth and continued accomplishments are something we should all be proud of.”

The ranking news comes in the wake of Fairfield’s School of Nursing being ranked ninth out of 50 in the nation for their hybrid RN to BSN program, featured on RNtoBSN, an association of professional nurses, educators, writers and editors committed to furthering nursing education. Other resources have ranked the school highly as well as faculty such as Dr. Kazer and Sheila Grossman, Ph.D., APRN, FAAN, professor, among the finest educators in their fields.

In addition, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recently honored the School of Nursing with a very prestigious award for its Master’s in Nursing Leadership (LEAD) program. The AACN also awarded the school a grant last year to host its first White Coat Ceremony, an event traditionally reserved for medical students.

Complimenting classroom learning at Fairfield are partnerships with Bridgeport Hospital, Yale New Haven Medical Center, Greenwich Hospital, Stamford Hospital, Danbury Hospital, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, and VA Connecticut Healthcare System.

The School of Nursing is a vital part of Fairfield University’s Integrated Nursing & Health Studies Initiative, which promotes education to meet the urgent demands of healthcare systems and industries in the 21st Century. For more information, visit www.fairfield.edu/son.

For the complete U.S. News list, see http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-nursing-schools.

Image: Fairfield University’s School of Nursing is one of the best graduate schools in the country, according to the U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News rankings of grad schools are compiled every four years.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 13, 2015

Vol. 47, No. 207

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