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Affordable Colleges.com Ranks Loyola University New Orleans Online Masterís Degree of Nursing Program among Top 30 in the Nation

Loyola press release - July 13, 2017

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.

Loyola University New Orleans School of Nursing’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) online master’s degree program ranks among the Top 30 in the U.S. and is a “Best Value” school, according to a new survey. Affordable Colleges.com published its 2017 Rankings of Best Online Master's in Family Nursing Practitioner Programs on Wednesday, July 12. According to the report, Loyola’s online Master’s Degree in Nursing with family nurse practitioner specialization ranks No. 24 in the nation. In a review of schools across the nation, 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. These professionals have in-depth experience working directly with patients, blending the services that physicians and nurses typically deliver,” the ranker said, adding: “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.”

Affordable Colleges.com is an independent online publication dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college. With “Best Value” in mind, AffordableColleges.com has designed a sophisticated methodology to serve as a reliable indicator of quality, affordability, and student success. 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, Accordable Colleges.com uses the most recent data available from the US Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which offers insight to affordability, academic pedigree, and online/distance learning programs.

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.

“Affordable Colleges.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. Loyola’s acclaimed MSN degree program features three concentrations—Health Care Systems Management, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Educator—each with a unique curriculum designed for success in a rewarding career. The DNP Program includes a Post-Baccalaureate and Post-Master track, with Post-Baccalaureate specifically targeting development of family nurse practitioners. In addition to online courses, each MSN concentration features a robust practicum component where students are able to put ideas and skills into action in one or more professional health care settings.

“We draw nurses from around the nation to our online master’s degree in nursing program,” said Dr. Patricia Pearce, interim dean, College of Graduate and Professional Studies. “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.

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.