nursing students standing next to each other

UC Davis nursing school remains a top 25 graduate nursing program in new U.S. News & World Report rankings

Nurse practitioner program also ranked for the first time


For the second year in a row, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis ranks among the top 25 best master’s-degree nursing programs, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2023 Best Graduate Schools.

The publication ranks the UC Davis School of Nursing’s master’s-degree programs as 23rd, up one spot from last year’s rankings and tied with two other schools. The rankings rank all master’s degree programs that graduated students in 2021, including the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing, now sunsetted master’s-degree leadership program and the master’s degree family nurse practitioner program. The family nurse practitioner program is ranked No. 7, also tied with two other programs. 

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic and a health care system that is constantly evolving, the School of Nursing remains committed to preparing change agents in health care that reflect the diversity of the populations we serve,” said Dean Stephen J. Cavanagh. “Moving forward, we are guided by a strategic plan that leverages our unique strengths to advance each mission area for measurable impact to our collective communities.”

This summer, the school welcomes its first class in the new Doctor of Nursing Practice — Family Nurse Practitioner (D.N.P.-F.N.P.) Degree Program. The post-baccalaureate, three-year hybrid program combines distance-based education with on-campus immersions to prepare advanced practice providers who engage in patient- and family-centered, evidence-based primary care.

students wearing masks and face shields simulating care for manikin in hospital bed

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and health care providers shifted to telehealth visits, School of Nursing faculty developed an innovative simulation exercise to prepare future providers for the new reality.

The school also innovates to prepare mental health practitioners in the UC Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Certificate Program. The online program plans to train 300 nurse practitioners and advanced practice registered nurses across California to become psychiatric mental health specialists by 2025.

In addition, School of Nursing students, faculty and researchers continue to contribute to the mission and services of UC Davis Health. That includes faculty preceptors and future nurse practitioners and physician assistants who experience clinical rotations in community clinics, the new Healthy Aging Clinic and throughout the UC Davis Medical Center.

All of the current graduate degrees offered at the School of Nursing emphasize problem solving, independent thinking and individual accountability. They aim to empower students to fulfill their learning needs and prepare them as leaders in health care.

Faculty and students work together to create environments that promote health equity and high-quality health care through innovative research, education, clinical practice and health policy. The school’s core values are:

  • Community connection
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Leadership
  • Innovative solutions
  • Collaboration
Stephen Cavanagh headshot
Despite the challenges of the pandemic and a health care system that is constantly evolving, the School of Nursing remains committed to preparing change agents in health care that reflect the diversity of the populations we serve.Dean Stephen Cavanagh

For the Best Nursing Schools rankings, U.S. News surveyed the 601 nursing schools with master's-degree or doctoral programs accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Of those who participated, 199 provided enough data to be included in the rankings.

The master’s-degree rankings are based on a weighted average of 15 indicators, including peer assessment, health care professionals’ assessment, faculty achievements and number of faculty in clinical practice, student-faculty ratio and research activity.

The complete Best Graduate Schools rankings are available on the U.S. News & World Report website.

To learn more, visit the School of Nursing website.

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