Gonzaga Online Nursing Master’s Programs Climb US News Rankings

A graduate school nurse practicing sutures on synthetic skin.
Gonzaga's online nursing programs include immersive hands-on experiences

February 12, 2024
Gonzaga University News Service

Gonzaga University’s online nursing programs, already among the best in the nation, saw a significant rise in U.S. News and World Report rankings over the past year, a reflection of the University’s commitment to health science excellence.

In the new U.S. News and World Report 2024 Best Online Programs rankings, Gonzaga’s online master’s program for veteran students rose from No. 22 to No. 19, and the online master’s in nursing program gained 14 ranking spots, from No. 68 to No. 54.

The U.S. News rankings, considered by many the most in-depth evaluation of online-focused degree-granting programs, are culled from a survey of more than 1,800 U.S.-based institutions.

Julie Wolter, dean of Gonzaga’s School of Health Sciences, says the online master’s in nursing ranking is a credit to the school’s faculty and staff, and the students.

“This reflects the high quality of our accredited distance programming, which we have continued to refine for decades, and our deep commitment to the development of the whole student by our expert and caring faculty and staff,” Wolter says. “Our impressive students are often accomplished nurses who have established themselves as leaders in their respective organizations and choose to return to school to advance their careers as health leaders.”

GU’s ranking in online master’s in nursing programs for veterans reflects the university’s commitment to students who have served in the military through investments in programs and support services. That work has led to Gonzaga being ranked as a Silver Military-Friendly School for several years.

“Our veterans bring such valuable and diverse experiences to the nursing profession, and we at Gonzaga are committed to creating educational opportunities that recognize these unique and important interests, insights and needs,” Wolter says. “Moreover, our programs include nursing faculty and staff who have served in the military and can provide the important perspective needed to understand and fully support related educational needs.”

Gonzaga has been delivering nursing distance education for decades, an alignment with the school’s Jesuit mission to support underserved populations.

Rural communities throughout the West have severe shortages in health professionals such as nursing, and Gonzaga continues to find new ways to serve those communities while providing unparalleled professional development to its students.

“Our long history of experience allows us provide the best possible high-quality distance education that includes innovative, immersive clinical experiences and simulations,” Wolter says, noting that, unlike more recent online-education startups, Gonzaga highly values experiential learning and community connections. “Thus, in-person immersions at our home Gonzaga campus are integrated into our online curriculum while we also enable students to work and serve where they live, and clinically place students in their home communities.”

While the U.S. News rankings are evidence of Gonzaga’s approach to online learning in the health space, the School of Health Sciences, formerly known as the School of Nursing and Human Physiology, is always incorporating new ways to improve students’ education with the latest technological innovations.

“We recently received grant funding to continue to update our technology that allows students to apply their new nursing knowledge in simulated situations and helps prepare them to serve with competence and confidence in real-world community settings,” Wolter says.

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