Tech nursing school tops in rankings

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing is in some elite company.

They were recently ranked No. 1 in the Nursing School Rankings Almanac among 80 others in Texas. It was also No. 1 among 90 nursing schools in the Southwest topping the UT Health Science Center in Houston.

Texas Tech ranked No. 10 among all public U.S. nursing schools, and among the top 100 schools in the nation, Texas Tech was ranked No. 18, according to the Almanac.

That includes institutions like Duke and Johns Hopkins.

Sharon Cannon, regional dean and professor at the School of Nursing, said when students are looking for schools of nursing, they typically look for rankings to be able to choose.

“We have high respect for this particular ranking for nursing schools,” Cannon said. “A lot of the others that do rankings many times the schools do self-reporting. What’s unique about this reporting is that they go from public data, not just something that a school puts forward in an individual survey kind of thing. They do a lot of investigation before they do their rankings.”

“It’s used on nearly 3,000 nursing schools and campuses nationwide. They talk about all the different criteria that they use, the prestige of the institution, student success, breadth and depth, success on the licensure exam,” she added.

In the past, Cannon said, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing has been behind UT Health Science Center in Houston, which is No. 2 this year.

“Many prospective nursing students really depend on these rankings. It certainly is good for the general public to know and understand that we have a quality school and that we’re recognized for a national ranking,” Cannon said.

She added that they have excellent programs and faculty.

“For instance, one of the things they look for is nursing centers of excellence by the National League for Nursing,” Cannon said.

Texas Tech has been a nursing center of excellence for a number of years.

“Our students do very well on the licensure exam. I will tell you overall the school of nursing has been somewhere between 90-96 percent. The state requires 85 percent and we’re well above that. Things like that are extremely important because they talk about how well we do,” Cannon said.

“We also have nurse practitioners that have to be certified. We have a high ranking among those, as well. Those are things that are important when it comes to evaluating a school,” she added.

The cost is competitive and Tech has good student outcomes, she said.

“… We want our students to be successful, so we put as much in place as we can to make that possible,” Cannon noted.

“We are thrilled with this ranking and we will strive to do even better, especially in national rankings, but when you can say we’re No. 18 we have to be doing something right,” she added.

Tech has nursing campuses in Amarillo, Mansfield/Dallas, the Permian Basin and Abilene.

“These programs are good regardless of where the school of nursing is located, so that says a lot as well. Sometimes we take for granted the institutions that we have and don’t realize what we have in our own back yard. For that, we’re extremely proud of the fact that we’ve achieved (that). We’re not done yet. We’re hoping to improve that score even more,” Cannon said.