Rutgers School of Nursing Joins Top 25 in U.S. News Rankings Following Integration

Rutgers School of Nursing Joins Top 25 in U.S. News Rankings Following Integration

Improved standing expected to enhance faculty recruitment and expansion of doctoral programs

U.S. News and World Report ranked Rutgers School of Nursing (Newark and New Brunswick) 25th among graduate schools of nursing in its latest survey published this week.The strong showing placed the nursing school in the top 10 percent following Rutgers’ integration with the nursing program at the former University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).

In 2011, Rutgers’ College of Nursing was ranked No. 79. But since the 2011 rankings, Rutgers was integrated with most of the schools, clinical practices, centers and institutes of the former UMDNJ. The College of Nursing at Rutgers and the School of Nursing at UMDNJ in Newark were consolidated and became the Rutgers School of Nursing in 2014, a year following the official integration of the two universities.

William Holzemer, dean of the School of Nursing, called the integration a "transformative" moment for the School of Nursing that is now reflected in the new rankings..

Image of Dean William Holzemer
William Holzemer, dean of Rutgers' School of Nursing.
Photo: Nick Romanenko/Rutgers University

“The ranking is a wonderful statement that we moved through the integration and that it is working,” Holzemer said. “And we are coming out much stronger than in the past.”

Holzemer noted that the consolidation of the two nursing schools represented the most significant transition in nursing education in the United States. “People have been watching us and now see us not only as a prestigious school for undergraduate training but also for advanced clinical practice and nursing science as well. Our profession knows about the integration,” he said.

Combining the resources of the nursing schools and programs has helped strengthen nursing education and patient care. A new division of nursing science was created, uniting a doctoral program in nursing and a doctoral program in urban systems under a framework that includes the school’s seven centers of excellence in research and evidence-based practice. A new community clinical practice initiative is bringing together several services, such as community health centers and a mobile clinic, to maximize their impact on health in urban communities. From a strategic perspective, Holzemer explained, the joined entities have created one of the largest nursing schools in the country.

It is anticipated that the huge boost in the school’s ranking will enhance the recruitment of faculty, help expand its doctoral program and increasingly attract prospective students, particularly international students, whose financial aid for education is often tied to a school’s professional standing.

The School of Nursing has approximately 115 full-time faculty members, 1,829 undergraduate and graduate students, and 10,710 alumni.

The U.S. News nursing school rankings are based on an analysis of programs at 246 nursing schools, which included surveys of deans regarding quality of master’s programs; an assessment of nursing students entering master’s programs; ratios of full-time master’s students to full-time faculty; the academic achievements of full-time faculty members; and the total of National Institutes of Health and other federal research and teaching grants as well as average grants per full-time faculty.

Rutgers’ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School moved from 75 last year to 67 in 2015 in a ranking of primary care medical school education.   

The Rutgers Business School climbed from 60 last year to a ranking of 48.