APU Named among 10 Best Colleges for Nursing

by Cynndie Hoff

The School of Nursing’s reputation for equipping the most skilled and proficient nurses earned national recognition on January 29, 2016, when USA Today named Azusa Pacific University among the 10 best U.S. colleges to earn a nursing degree for 2015-16. APU ranks No. 8, joining other prominent schools such as University of Pennsylvania and New York University and placing above Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with nursing degrees will be in high demand throughout the next decade, as the organization expects the profession to grow 16 percent by 2024, opening up 439,300 new jobs. However, those entering this field must anticipate the fast-paced environment and the ever-evolving nature of the profession of nursing. The demanding career requires sharp critical thinking and the ability to apply classroom learning in real-world settings.

Students seeking the best place to prepare for this challenging and growing field increasingly view APU as a top choice. When comparing potential institutions, they consider a wide range of criteria, including information supplied by impartial, reputable organizations such as USA Today. The publication recognized APU’s School of Nursing for its overall quality and proven track record of preparing nursing students for a successful and rewarding career, citing the average early career salary for APU nursing graduates as $67,000. The methodology used to determine APU’s ranking included graduate earnings, degree market share, related major concentration, and accreditation.

The assessment affirms the School of Nursing’s vision to prepare nursing scholars for a lifetime of intellectual inquiry and equip them with a solid foundation in research theory, clinical skills, and hands-on community service. “This ranking underscores the School of Nursing’s reputation for excellence in clinical training, scholarship, and Christian higher education, and positions APU as one of the premier nursing schools in the nation,” said Aja Tulleners Lesh, Ph.D., dean.

This honor coincides with the School of Nursing’s 40,th anniversary of delivering exceptional nursing education. What began as a fledgling baccalaureate program, now offers 4 undergraduate programs with 2 minors, 8 master’s programs, 2 doctoral degrees, multiple community service programs, strategic partnerships with hospitals and clinics, accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and approval from the California Board of Registered Nursing. The School of Nursing graduated nearly 600 last year, its largest class ever.

Cynndie Hoff is a freelance writer living in Walnut, California. ceh.hoff@verizon.net