The University of New Mexico’s College of Nursing online master of science in nursing programs picked up an impressive ranking last week.
The MSN programs ranked 21st in the nation and fourth best in the Mountain West for 2023 by U.S. News & World Report, which annually ranks the best programs at higher education institutions across the country.
Nancye Cole, who leads the online nurse administrative leadership and nursing education programs for UNM with Tamara Shannon, said in a news release “the ranking shows we have programs designed to help students apply learned skills and knowledge that improve the nursing profession.”
UNM’s MSN programs are tied with Marquette University and Virginia Commonwealth University, according to the rankings.
The online MSN ranking is one of the highest national rankings for UNM’s programs and schools. UNM’s MSN program, the non-online version, tied for 61st in the U.S. News rankings. The university’s medical school for primary care ranked No. 16 in the latest rankings.
U.S. News, according to a news release, “assesses programs based on curriculum quality, faculty credentials and training, peer assessment and technological services.”
In a statement, Cole said a good nursing program should “prepare students for all aspects of nursing.” She added: “It involves mastering curriculum, health care finance, finding a strong voice and a knowledge of how to use the tools the program gives them in a practical way.”
UNM’s recent MSN ranking comes as the College of Nursing plans to move into a new $43.3 million facility in 2024. Construction on the facility, which will also house the College of Population Health and spans nearly 94,000 square feet, broke ground last fall.
New Mexico, like other states, has faced a shortage of registered nurses. Recent estimates from a 2022 New Mexico Health Care Workforce Committee report show the state is thousands of registered nurses short of meeting staffing thresholds.
But registered nurses of all occupations in the health care practitioners and technical group are also expected to grow the most over the next few years, with the number of registered nurses in the state expected to increase by 11.3% through 2028.