Mary Mabins, Pensacola State College
Pensacola State College’s online RN to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) Program continues to be among the best.
For the fourth consecutive year, the College’s online RN to BSN Program has moved up in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings. In the publication’s “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs 2022 Edition,” the program was ranked second among Florida College System institutions, fifth among all Florida colleges and universities and among the top 50 in the nation.
“At a time when qualified nurses and other health care workers are needed more than ever, we’re doing some great work here at Pensacola State College. This is outstanding!” Pensacola State President Ed Meadows said of the rankings.
Meadows said the acceptance of applicants year-round, transfer students and affordable tuition were some of the factors in the rankings.
The College also offers diverse online learning technologies, career guidance, support structures and learning assistance to students.
To calculate the rankings, U.S. News and World Report assessed schools based on four categories: engagement (35 percent), services and technologies (25 percent), faculty credentials and training (20 percent), and expert opinion (20 percent).
Dusti Sluder, Dean of Health Sciences, attributed the online RN to BSN Program’s success to “a remarkable community of faculty educators, students and partnered clinicians.”
“We are educating future health care practitioners and leaders, at a complex time for the profession,” she added. “It is nice to receive such recognition for the commitment and passion that we dedicate to the program.”
The College’s RN to BSN Program Coordinator Diane Jennette said she is excited about the high ranking.
“We are a military-friendly school and work closely with students as they work toward earning their BSN online,” said Jennette, a U.S. Air Force veteran.
“I am proud of the students who have graduated with their Associate of Science in Nursing (ADN) degree and returned to continue their education to earn their BSN,” she said. “Nurses are lifelong learners. This program will provide ADN nurses with advanced skills that will allow for new opportunities as a bachelor-prepared nurse.”
In summer 2021, the College’s online RN to BSN Program also was recognized by University Headquarters (HQ) – an independent educational organization that compiles a comprehensive set of information for students who wish to pursue higher education. Pensacola State College was ranked No. 2 for the Best Affordable RN to BSN Degree by the organization.
The ranking was based on several factors, including the program’s costs, retention rates, the number of first-time, full-time students who return for a second year, graduation rates and more.
Since its inception, the program has received accolades. In its 2019 Best Online RN to BSN Programs rankings, Pensacola State was listed at No. 4 in Florida by RegisteredNursing.org, a nursing advocacy organization. In 2015, the BSN program was ranked third in the U.S. by Affordable Colleges Online for offering academic rigor, student support and affordability for online learning.
Launched in 2011, the College’s online RN to BSN Program accommodates students who already work in the health care field. The program also was the first in the region to earn accreditations from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The commissions are two of only three national accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
U.S. News and World Report also ranked the College 32nd in the 2022 Best Online Bachelor’s Program for Veterans category.
This is the second year that the program was ranked. In 2021, the College was 37th in the category by the publication.
Rob Gregg, director of PSC’s Veterans Upward Bound and past president of the national VUB, said he believes the College’s commitment to veterans and their family members is key to U.S. News ranking.
“The collaborative efforts in meeting the needs of military and veterans continue to be the foundation of the institution’s commitment to the success of the military-connected students who are educated here,” Gregg said.
“As a College that advocates for the military-veteran community, Pensacola State continues to tailor programs and services to meet the professional and personal needs of local military-connected personnel.”
Factors in the ranking include institutions must:
● Be among the top half of schools in U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 Best Online Programs rankings.
● Offer internet-based distance education programs and coursework and performed well enough on many factors – including program reputation, faculty credentials, retention rates and graduate debt loads.
● Be certified for the GI Bill, and either participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program or be a public institution that charges in-state tuition that is fully covered by the GI Bill for all veterans.
● Have enrolled a critical mass of students with military backgrounds.
Published annually, the U.S. News and World Report listing ranks more than 1,400 private and public colleges and universities and helps parents and students select schools.
The complete “Best Colleges 2022 Edition” report was released Tuesday, Jan. 25, and is available at www.usnews.com/bestcolleges.
PHOTO: Emma Hamrick, a Pensacola State nursing student, completes an assignment on her laptop. In the “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs 2022 Edition” listing, Pensacola State’s online RN to BSN Program was ranked second among Florida College System institutions, fifth among all Florida colleges and universities and among the top 50 in the nation.