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UTHSC College of Nursing’s Doctoral Program Ranked 23rd by U.S. News & World Report

Students in the pediatric acute care nurse practitioner concentration, one of eight DNP concentrations the UTHSC College of Nursing offers, train in a simulated hospital setting.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing has been ranked No. 23 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program on the magazine’s Best Graduate Schools list for 2023–2024. This is the DNP program’s highest ranking ever on the Best Graduate Schools list.

The ranking places the college in the top 6% of all DNP programs nationwide, ranked and unranked, and in the top 14% of DNP programs that made the list. Designed for prospective students looking to further their education beyond college, the Best Graduate Schools rankings evaluate programs in a variety of disciplines, including business, education, medicine, law, and nursing.

Dean Wendy Likes

The college moved up the ranking list this year from the No. 27 position last year. UTHSC has the most highly ranked DNP program of any public university in Tennessee. “We are so proud of increasing our rank on this prestigious list, rising four positions from the previous year, while offering eight different concentrations in our DNP program,” said Dean Wendy Likes, PhD, DNSc, APRN-BC, FAANP.  “This is the result of the intentional work of the College of Nursing faculty, staff, and students to ensure we have a high-quality program with a national reputation for excellence. We are all very proud and celebrate this success and recognition.”

In addition to having the most highly ranked DNP program at a public university in Tennessee, UTHSC has the distinction of offering the most DNP pathways among Tennessee schools. The UTHSC College of Nursing offers eight DNP concentrations, and all are accessible to a nurse who has earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). DNP programs at some other colleges require the applicant to hold a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to gain admission. The college’s DNP programs are accepting applications through May 1. More information about admissions can be found on the college’s website.

Dr. Bobby Bellflower

Professor Bobby Bellflower, DNSc, NNP-BC, FAANP, director of the DNP Program, said, “Our graduates have a great impact in our community, state, and nation. We believe that we will change our communities, one graduate and one patient at a time.”

The ranking of 169 DNP programs was based on 14 indicators including the following: peer assessment, nursing practice participation, DNP degree output productivity, faculty credentials, student-faculty ratio, DNP student selectivity, DNP enrollment, DNP student grade point average, research activity, and total grants.

Other Tennessee colleges whose DNP programs made the list include the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, which was ranked 13th; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, which was ranked No. 39; East Tennessee State University, which was ranked No. 122; Belmont University, which was ranked at No. 133; and Union University, which was ranked 137th. In the Mid-South, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock was ranked No. 66 on the list of DNP programs, and Arkansas State University in Jonesboro ranked 143rd.

The UTHSC College of Nursing was tied for the No. 23 spot with the following schools: the Medical University of South Carolina, the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, and the University of Texas at Austin.

The UTHSC College of Nursing offers eight DNP concentrations including Nurse-Midwifery, Nurse-Anesthesiology, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care, Pediatric Primary Care, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care. There are also three dual DNP program offerings: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care/Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care/Pediatric Acute Care, and Psychiatric Mental Health/Family Nurse Practitioner.