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May 24, 2018 08:06 AM EDT

Top Nursing Doctorates Ranked by OnlineCollegePlan

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Nursing is the largest healthcare profession in the world, but there is a drastic shortage of millions of nurses every single year. There are just not enough graduates that are qualified to fill the available positions because nursing as a field has a Bureau of Labor Statistics projected growth of 16% by the year 2024. Nursing is a promising career; graduates that hold a Ph.D. in Nursing earn an average of $95,577 annually and Doctor of Nursing Practice can make an average of $96,807. The new ranking published by OnlineCollegePlan covers all these details and so much more as it ranks the Top 30 Online Colleges with the Best Ph.D. in Nursing. 

The top ranking school, Vanderbilt University, scored 189 points out of a possible 200 according to OCP's methodology. That methodology scored all the accredited schools in the country that offer hybrid or fully-online doctorate programs in nursing based on their Freshman Retention Rate and Graduation Rate. Vanderbilt, a beautiful piece of history that has flourished into a highly-regarded research university in Nashville, ranked first place thanks to its Freshman Retention Rate of 97% and Graduation Rate of 92% (both well above the national average). The nursing programs provide rigor and flexibility to students, presented both online and on-campus. The majority of the degree programs featured are accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing - Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Hailing from all over America, each institution brings something unique to the table that makes it stand out from the rest.

One of the greatest advantages of pursuing a doctorate in nursing online is that students can typically continue working while obtaining this terminal degree. Nurses have notoriously busy schedules, and the implementation of online programs have opened up doors for them to advance academically without putting their professions on hold. Other prestigious universities that have nursing programs among the top in the nation include Johns Hopkins, George Washington University, and more.

The entire list of schools in descending order is as follows:

30. University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS)

29. Georgia College and State University (Milledgeville, GA)

28. Florida International University (University Park, FL)

27. University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR)

26. Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA)

25. Regis University (Denver, CO)

24. Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ)

23. University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)

22. Misericordia University (Dallas, PA)

21. Simmons College (Boston, MA)

20. University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)

19. University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)

18. Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)

17. Maryville University of Saint Louis (St. Louis, MO)

16. Bradley University (Peoria, IL)

15. Samford University (Homewood, AL)

14. University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH)

13. Saint Louis University (St. Louis, MO)

12. Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA)

11. Endicott College (Beverly, MA)

10. University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Amherst, MA)

9. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (Indianapolis, IN)

8. Indiana University-Bloomington (Bloomington, IN)

7. Creighton University (Omaha, NE)

6. University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)

5. George Washington University (Washington, DC)

4. Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)

3. University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)

2. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)

1. Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)

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