According to U.S. News and World Report the top rated graduate nursing schools include the University of Washington, UC San Francisco, U of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, U of Michigan, and UNC-Chapel Hill.
Does this mean the top 5 or 6 schools are more outstanding than others further down in the ranks?
While these results were for graduate schools of nursing, in 2007 at that, the question is just as apropos when applied to any type of nursing school, undergraduate included.
First the U.S. News and World Report college ranking lists are now famous. Debate over their general fairness and precision flares up whenever the newest publications hit the newsstands. Critics claim the original rankings were a blatant attempt at boosting otherwise stagnant circulation and that the ensuing stampede of sales has kept the rankings a popular read ever since.
General studies colleges and universities are ranked according to two types of sources: statistics and opinion. However, according to U.S. News and World Report specialty healthcare schools are ranked according to academic opinion only.
Proponents, particularly the top-ranked schools in any category, use their stellar rank as advertising and marketing fodder. This is big business and the U.S. News and World Report annual publication nets millions of readers both online and offline.
Do students actually make choices based on school rank? You bet some do. See, it’s much simpler to let someone else—in this case a popular magazine—make a decision for you. It takes work to evaluate a school of nursing or any school for that matter.
Most academicians suggest that you take the rankings not too seriously and use them only as a tool in the decision-making process.
Outside the college ranking you have many other alternatives when it comes to measuring a school for your purposes. Here are a few tactics other than ranking lists: