2013 first year U.S News has ranked best programs for veterans

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – U.S. News & World Report has ranked the West Virginia University School of Nursing’s graduate nursing programs in the nation’s top three online nursing educational curriculums for veterans. Now in its inaugural year, the Best Online Programs for Veterans list is designed to help veterans and people serving in the armed forces find programs that best suit their needs.

“We are delighted to receive this important recognition.  As a former Army nurse myself, I understand the great sacrifices that veterans and their families make in service to our country,” Elisabeth Shelton, Ph.D., R.N., interim dean of the WVU School of Nursing, said. “We are honored to be able to support veterans in an outstanding program that is accessible to primary care practitioners throughout the state and region. This accessibility is a key factor in providing student-centered programs that directly impact the quality of life and healthcare for the people of West Virginia.”

To be ranked, an online degree program must participate in four key programs that offer many educational benefits to people with military service, including certification for the G.I .Bill, participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program, be a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium and offer at least one credit-granting bachelor’s-level course listed in the Defense Activities for Non-Traditional Education Support Catalog of Nationally Accredited Distance Learning Programs. Finally, all schools evaluated in this ranking must have been awarded a numerical rank in the overall 2013 U.S. News Best Online Education Programs rankings, which were released earlier this year. The WVU School of Nursing ranked No. 21 on that list.

WVU clinical assistant professor Sandra Cotton, D.N.P., R.N., a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel with more than 34 years of service, completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice at WVU in 2012. Though the recent U.S. News ranking evaluated online master’s programs, the School of Nursing’s online programs gave Dr. Cotton a leg up while deployed overseas.

“The responsiveness of WVU faculty and staff to veterans was prime in helping me begin doctoral work in Iraq, and then to pick up study once home,” Cotton said. “In addition, faculty, staff and several student organizations sent friendly cards, notes, toiletries and snacks while I was deployed. This connection to home really boosted morale. The support while deployed was phenomenal and was shared with fellow troops. This national recognition reaffirms what those of us who are vets already know about the WVU School of Nursing, it’s simply the greatest.”

Online graduate programs at WVU’s College of Business and Economics and College of Education and Human Services also received similarly high rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

For more information, see the complete lists at www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2013/05/07/us-news-ranks-best-online-programs-for-veterans.
For more information: Leigh Limerick, Communications Specialist, 304-293-7087