Online nursing gerontology programs were ranked by accreditation, cost and length of program. Schools that were ranked met educational standards set by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
"It is our great pleasure to receive this recognition," said Lynne Buchanan, Ph.D., associate professor, UNMC College of Nursing and coordinator of the Adult Gerontology Specialty Graduate Program. "We know there will continue to be increasing numbers of older adults managed by specialized care that advanced practice registered nurses provide.
"We want our students to be the very best. This is such a rewarding and satisfying career pathway for advanced practice nurses, and we need more of them," said Dr. Buchanan, who is a nurse practitioner.
The college offers three specialty tracks within its master's degree program that focuses on gerontology: adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist, adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, or adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner. The tracks require 47 credit hours for graduation. Since 2005 when the gerontology advanced practice graduate program started, 80 students have graduated.
The profession is especially important because the growth in the number and proportion of older adults is unprecedented in the history of the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two factors -- longer life spans and aging baby boomers -- will combine to double the population of Americans aged 65 years or older during the next 25 years to about 72 million. By 2030, older adults will account for roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population.
Some of the top 30 include Duke University, Durham, N.C.; George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa.; University of Texas-Arlington, Arlington, Texas; Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, Tenn. and Loyola University of Chicago.
Full rankings are available here.
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For more information about the College of Nursing's gerontology programs, click here.