March 17, 2011

Medicine, Nursing Schools Lauded in National Ranking

Both the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing now place among the nation's top 15 “Best Graduate Schools” as ranked by U.S. News & World Report magazine in the publication's 2012 rankings released this week.

The School of Medicine's ranking remained steady among the nation's elite programs, retaining its No. 15 position again this year, while the School of Nursing rose four spots to 15, up from the 19th position when graduate nursing programs were last ranked in 2007.

To determine scores, U.S. News & World Report uses a ranking methodology for Schools of Medicine-Research, which arrives at a weighted average across eight indicators.

Programs within the Health Disciplines categories, such as Nursing, Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, are ranked on reputational scores determined through peer assessment surveys sent to deans, other administrators and/or faculty at accredited degree programs or schools in each discipline.

Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, said he is proud of the work by faculty and staff across the Medical Center reflected in these rankings.

“The best and the brightest come here, not just to learn to cure and discover but to contribute and drive the leading edge of change that betters communities all over the world.

“Our students will become the next generation of leadership, so setting an example as we lead and mentor them is a responsibility we take very seriously. As health care evolves, we seek to lead that evolution, setting the bar for quality and innovation everywhere,” Balser said.

“We are delighted with our national ranking,” said Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., C.N.M., dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. “We are proud innovators who play a part in shaping tomorrow's advanced practice nurses, doctors of nursing practice, nurse researchers and other nurse-leaders.

“Coupled with our commitment to high-quality distance education, we are also transforming the way education is delivered through development of interprofessional educational collaborations,” Conway-Welch said.

Among Nursing Specialties disciplines, the School of Nursing's Midwifery program ranked No. 3; the Nursing Service Administration program No. 8; Clinical Nurse Specialist program in Psychiatric/Mental Health No. 9; and the Family Nurse Practitioner program No. 10.

In this year's Schools of Medicine “Specialties” category, Vanderbilt ranks No. 13 in Internal Medicine. The Internal Medicine category is reputational, voted by deans and senior leadership.

Vanderbilt's Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology programs remain ranked first and fifth, respectively. These disciplines were last ranked in 2008.

Several other Vanderbilt programs were ranked in this latest edition of America's Best Graduate Schools, including:

• Peabody School of Education — 1st;
• Vanderbilt School of Law — 16th;
• Owen Graduate School of Management (Schools of Business) —28th; and
• Vanderbilt School of Engineering — 37th.

The 2012 edition of U.S. News & World Report's Best Graduate Schools book will be available April 5.