DNP program jumps 20 spots in U.S. News & World Report ranking

U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Missouri–St. Louis DNP program as No. 78 in the 2020 Best Graduate Schools rankings. (Photo by August Jennewein)

U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Missouri–St. Louis DNP program as No. 78 in the 2021 Best Graduate Schools rankings. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis College of Nursing doctorate of nursing practice program has made huge strides in a short time.

In its 2021 Best Graduate School rankings, U.S. News & World Report rated the DNP program No. 78 on the “Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice” rankings. The program, which graduated its first class in August 2018, jumped 20 spots from its 2019 ranking of No. 98.

That puts the UMSL DNP as the top public option in St. Louis and third overall in Missouri.

“I am thrilled to hear this,” DNP Program Director and Associate Teaching Professor Laura Kuensting said. “We have been steadily moving up in the rankings, which is a tribute to the faculty and staff who are working to improve the program. Moving into the top 100 DNP programs makes us very happy, but our work continues. Our goal next year would be to move into the top 50 and eventually into the top 10. There are over 300 accredited DNP programs in the country, so knowing we are in the top third is gratifying, but there is still work to do.”

To determine the rankings, U.S. News considered 14 indicators that fell into the categories of quality assessment, student selectivity and size, faculty resources and research activity.

The UMSL DNP program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, a subsidiary for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The program prepares nurses to become advanced clinicians and builds expertise in areas of health policy, organizational leadership and management, evidence-based practice and more. Students choose among six populations of focus as a nurse practitioner or on leadership in health care systems for their studies. The experience culminates with a clinical scholarship project in the final year of study.

U.S. News ranks seven UMSL programs and eight specialties across its various Best Graduate Schools lists including “Criminology,” “Social Work” and others.

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