Indiana State University Newsroom

U.S. News rankings recognize online graduate nursing program

January 10, 2012

U.S.News & World Report has recognized Indiana State University for its online graduate program in nursing in the magazine's first national rankings of top online education programs.

The Indiana State program earned the 20th position in the category of faculty credentials and training and appears in the 39th spot for student services and technology. ISU's online graduate program includes master's degrees in family nurse practitioner, nursing administration and nursing education and a doctor of nursing practice degree.

"We are pleased U.S. News & World Report has recognized ISU's online graduate nursing program in its inaugural ratings of online education and are especially gratified that the ratings recognize the experience and expertise of our faculty," said Richard "Biff" Williams, dean of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services. "Our faculty work diligently to deliver the same high quality education to distance students that they would receive in the classroom."

Lea Hall, chair of the department of advanced practice nursing, said it is an honor for the department to be recognized for the hard work and expertise of its faculty and student services.

"Both play a vital role in achieving successful student outcomes. We are very proud of our quality programs and the services we provide our students as we continue to maintain excellence in online education," Hall said.

The department has also developed new online offerings, including a recently launched doctor of nursing practice degree, as part of an ongoing effort to address the nationwide shortage of health care providers, added Williams.

Recognizing the growing popularity of online programs, U.S. News said it created the rankings in response to today's high demand for education provided in a flexible manner. The magazine ranked online bachelor's degree programs as well as graduate online degree programs in business, engineering, nursing, education, and computer information technology.

While U.S. News has applied some of its rankings standards used for traditional schools, the magazine said it developed many new measures to evaluate online programs. In order to be considered for the rankings, online degree programs needed to have at least 80 percent of their course content available online.

For the faculty credentials and training ranking, the publication considered the percentage of faculty with Ph.D.'s or other terminal degree as well as experience, training and continuing education in online instruction for faculty and a formal peer review system.

Rankings in the category of student services and technology are based heavily on the level of online access to student services; whether classes are delivered via live streaming audio and video, recorded audio and video, software based readers and visual software; whether courses are organized into one student information system; the availability of online chatrooms; and whether classes area available in a variety of formats, including tablet computers and smartphones.

U.S. News collected data from both for-profit and not-for-profit schools. More information about the rankings is available at or by finding "U.S. News" on Facebook or Twitter.

Information about ISU's online offerings, including the nursing graduate program, is available at

Contact: Richard "Biff" Williams, dean, College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services, Indiana State University, 812-237-3683 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or