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Hopkins Nursing PhD Program Highly Rated in National Survey

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Posted: 9/29/2010

The PhD program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) is rated among the top nursing PhD programs in the nation according to a comprehensive study of research doctoral programs released this week by the National Research Council (NRC).

Doctoral programs from 55 nursing schools participated in the study, the largest quantitative analysis of its kind ever conducted in the United States.

The study is designed to help universities evaluate and improve the quality of their doctoral programs and to equip prospective students with a means to identify the programs best-suited to their needs.

"We are very pleased with the findings of this analysis and are honored to be included among the top nursing schools at research intensive universities," said JHUSON Dean Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN. "It's a reflection of our wonderful leadership in research and the commitment of our faculty to doctoral education for future investigators."

The survey did not assign a single rank to any program; rather, programs were evaluated using two different methods, with each producing a distinct range of rankings. This approach was chosen, the NRC said, because of the uncertainty and variability inherent in any effort to rank diverse programs.

Programs were assessed based on 20 characteristics, including faculty funded research, publications, and citations; program resources; and student outcomes.

Data for the study were collected during the 2006-07 academic year. Associate Professor Marie Nolan, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, Chair of the Department of Acute and Chronic Care and former director of the PhD program, oversaw the JHUSON's contributions to the survey.

"We are very pleased to see how highly our PhD program was ranked but even more pleased that since these data were submitted, our program has grown even stronger in many ways," Nolan said. 

"I feel humbled and honored by the results, as they certainly speak volumes about what we do here in the doctoral program," added Associate Professor Hae-Ra Han, PhD, RN, director of the PhD program. "Even though we are a small program, all of our doctoral faculty are top-notch scientists with strong programs of research and are committed to nurturing the next generation of young scholars."

The survey is the third by the council -- the NRC previously conducted surveys of graduate and doctoral programs in 1982 and 1995 -- but this is the first survey to include nursing PhD programs. The current survey analyzed more than 5,000 doctoral programs in 62 areas of study at 212 U.S. universities.

Johns Hopkins had 52 programs ranked as part of the NRC analysis. University leaders welcome the study as a useful tool in the dialogue on the critical importance of graduate education and say they will review the results as part of their ongoing effort to strengthen doctoral education at Johns Hopkins.

The NRC urged users to consider which characteristics are most important to them and to use the data in the report to compare programs accordingly. Tutorials with examples of how students, faculty, and administrators can use the report, along with a guide to the study methodology, are available online at http://www.nap.edu/rdp.