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U.S. News & World Report’s 2008 Rankings — UT School of Nursing at Houston Placed Among Top Five Percent in U.S.


The University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston now ranks among the top five percent of the nation’s nursing schools, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2008 edition of the influential “America’s Best Graduate Schools” guide. The School of Nursing moved up in the rankings to 19th from 29th among 395 master’s programs surveyed. Its gerontological/geriatric nursing program is ranked No. 8 of the top 10 in this specialty.

The school also earned the No. 2 spot in the “Nursing–Anesthesia” category for its U.S. Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing.

“These outstanding rankings for the UT School of Nursing at Houston are great news and very well deserved, reflecting the superb leadership and initiative of Dean Patricia Starck, her wonderful faculty and staff, and the outstanding students at the school,” said James T. Willerson, M.D., president of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. “The support of UT System Executive Vice Chancellor Kenneth Shine and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has been crucial for this accomplishment. We are very proud of the UT Nursing School as it continues to raise the bar in the education of the nursing profession.”

The UT School of Nursing at Houston shared the same category as such renowned universities as Columbia University, the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University and The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing.

“Our faculty members have worked hard to achieve this recognition, and without the support of our President and other officials at the university, we could not have achieved this goal this quickly,” said Patricia L. Starck, D.S.N., dean of the nursing school. “It is especially welcome that being in the top five percent comes in the year that we are celebrating our school’s 35th anniversary"

Starck added that the high rankings reflect the dedication to teaching, research, and practice shared by her nursing faculty, as well as the hard work of the school’s students, who make up one of the most diverse populations in U.S. nursing education.

In June 2004, the UT School of Nursing moved into its first home all its own, the $57-million School of Nursing and Student Community Center. Starck welcomed the new, eight-story building with its imaginative, award-winning design. “Our new facilities have the latest in audiovisual and information technologies to enable flexibility in the teaching and learning process,” she said. “It enables innovative ways to alleviate a critical shortage of educated professionals in many branches of nursing.”

The UT School of Nursing also has expanded its curriculum in significant ways. The Fall 2007 class became the first in Texas and one of only 11 in the country to work toward a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree.

“Our first class of 16 D.N.P. candidates represents a broad cross-section of nursing practices,” Starck said. “All are full-time nurse practitioners working in a variety of settings – from rural communities to focused medical disciplines such as oncology and cardiology in the Texas Medical Center here in Houston, and from pediatrics to long-term acute care. The diversity this class brings to the program is exceptional.”

This year, the school received more than 1,300 applications for just 170 spots entering the basic BSN and BSN accelerated programs. More than 750 students are currently enrolled in the school, instructed by about 75 full- and part-time faculty members.

The UT School of Nursing ranks 31st among 102 schools of nursing that receive research dollars awarded by the National Institute of Health (NIH).

New grants are funding a first-of-its-kind Pre-clinical Critical Care Laboratory (PCCL), which will prepare nursing students at all levels with superior assessment skills and the understanding of the range of patient responses to illness, injury and treatment. It will complement the UT School of Nursing’s current research laboratories and test new protocols prior to bedside clinical trials and to train interdisciplinary teams in advanced clinical care.

The school’s community support group, PARTNERS, passed an impressive milestone this past year, topping the $1 million mark in scholarship endowment, as well as establishing a $100,000 PARTNERS Endowed Professorship. Since 1994 PARTNERS has funded 64 full-tuition scholarships and 31 faculty research projects.

“I believe that we are destined to achieve even higher rankings in the years to come,” Starck said. “We will earn it with our dedication to providing the best, most comprehensive nursing education in the Texas Medical Center, the state and the country.”

More information about the “America’s Best Graduate Schools” list is available on the magazine’s Web site: Information about the UT School of Nursing at Houston can be found at:


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