Loyola’s School Of Nursing Ranks In The Top 30 For Online Programs

NEW ORLEANS – GradSchoolHub.com and AffordableColleges.com have both ranked Loyola University New Orleans No. 24 in the nation for its online programs.

         Loyola’s online graduate program in nursing is designed to help nurses who want to become nurse practitioners, nursing managers, administrators and health care executives to advance their careers.

         According to GradSchoolHub.com, Loyola School of Nursing’s online bridge program ranks No. 24 among the nation’s Top 30 best affordable online RN to MSN degree programs at accredited colleges and universities in 2017.

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         The ranking considered accreditation, tuition and other rankings and recognition.

         “Some of the top online RN to MSN programs on our list are offered by the nation’s most prestigious nursing schools like Loyola University,” reports GradSchoolHub.com. “The online format for the RN to MSN bridge program is designed for those with an active and unencumbered RN license who want to move seamlessly through an advanced nursing program toward an MSN degree.”

         Patricia Pearce, interim director of the school of nursing at Loyola University New Orleans, recently explained to U.S. News and World Report that in an RN-to-Master of Science in Nursing online program, students might first learn the critical components of the field that they missed at the bachelor’s level, enabling them to progress smoothly into the master’s degree program.

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         “The key is that the bridge program is fulfilling a need to help move people from point A to point B,” said Pearce. “In order to get to B, there’s some information that you have to have. And if you didn’t get it at point A, it’s that in-between space where we need to provide that information, that substance, that content.”

         No BSN is required for admission to the online RN-to-MSN program at Loyola, Pearce said. Three areas of specialization are offered: family nurse practitioner, health care systems management and nurse educator. Courses include topics in current advanced nursing issues, health promotion and policy, population health and professional communication.

         GradSchoolHub.com reps said the site’s mission is to provide expert information on high-quality accredited graduate degree programs offered by the nation’s best universities to help prospective students find the program that best fits their needs.

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         AffordableColleges.com published its 2017 rankings of Best Online Master's in Family Nursing Practitioner programs on Wednesday, July 12, and ranked Loyola’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) online master’s degree program No. 24 out of the Top 30 in the U.S.

         According to the report, Loyola’s program stood out in terms of both quality and affordability.

         “As the medical field continues to evolve, greater numbers of patients are turning to nurse practitioners (NPs) as their primary healthcare providers,” reports AffordableColleges.com. “These professionals have in-depth experience working directly with patients, blending the services that physicians and nurses typically deliver…. There are few professional fields with higher growth potential than nurse practitioners. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects this field to grow by 31 percent between 2014 and 2014, and the current median annual salary is $107,460. The numbers indicate that nursing is one of the fastest-growing careers in the United States, and NPs will be increasingly important to the delivery of quality healthcare nationwide.”

         With “Best Value” in mind, AffordableColleges.com has designed a sophisticated methodology to serve as a reliable indicator of quality, affordability and student success, site reps said. The AffordableColleges.com Value Score weighs criteria, such as loan default rates, graduation rates and financial aid data, “to draw a distinction between the programs that appear cheap up-front and those that will pay off in the long run,” the website said.

         When calculating the rankings, AccordableColleges.com uses the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which offers insight to affordability, academic pedigree, and online/ distance learning programs, site reps said.

         AffordableColleges.com is an independent online publication dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college.

         Loyola University New Orleans School of Nursing offers four online degree programs, including an online MSN degree program with a family nurse practitioner specialization. The 16-course, 48-credit-hour nurse practitioner online program is designed to be completed on a part-time basis in just two years. Courses are delivered asynchronously, but nurse practitioner students are required to attend an on-campus orientation at the start of the program, in addition to attending annual on-campus practice intensives.

         Students in the nurse practitioner degree online program are required to complete 720 hours of clinical practicum experience with a preceptor. Course topics span pathophysiology, health assessment, clinical pharmacology, primary care and family theory. The program prepares graduates for national certification through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and/ or the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The Loyola University School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

         “AffordableColleges.com has considered all the nursing schools in the nation and placed Loyola University New Orleans’ online master’s degree with family nurse practitioner specialization among the Top 30,” said Laurie Anne Ferguson, director of the School of Nursing at Loyola. “Loyola’s recurring high rankings underscore the value of a Loyola nursing degree. They demonstrate that our peer institutions believe, and the data show, that we are longtime leaders in the nursing education field.”

         Loyola’s top-ranked, nationally and regionally accredited online graduate nursing programs, moved to online format in 2004, have received numerous federal and state grants, and are designed to help nurses advance their careers through Jesuit-based education that meets and exceeds guidelines and standards for nursing.  

         “We draw nurses from around the nation to our online master’s degree in nursing program,” said Pearce. “At Loyola, we help both aspiring and practicing nurses to master their fields and achieve their dreams.”

         In addition to its traditional entry MSN and DNP degree program, Loyola’s School of Nursing offers a BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program; an RN to BSN degree program; an RN to MSN Bridge program. The nursing school has graduated approximately 3,000 students since the inception of the graduate programs in 1997.

         Loyola New Orleans is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 10th best regional university in the South and 12th best value school. U.S. News and World Report also recently ranked Loyola University New Orleans as having one of the Top 50 Online Master’s Degree in Nursing programs in the nation from among 1,200 surveyed programs. 

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