Medicine, Nursing programs earn top spots in national rankings

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Medicine, Nursing programs earn top spots in national rankings

UW again is best primary-care med school and tops in family-medicine and rural-health training; Nursing’s practice doctorate is No. 1 on first such list
Kim Blakeley

For the 25th consecutive year, the University of Washington’s School of Medicine maintained the No. 1 ranking in family-medicine and rural-medicine training in U.S. News & World Report’s lists of the nation's top graduate and professional-school programs. Moreover, for the 22nd time in 23 years, the school was ranked No. 1 for primary-care training. 

The publication posted its rankings late today.

The UW's School of Nursing achieved a No. 1 ranking, as well, for its Doctor of Nursing Practice program in that category’s inaugural year; the school’s master’s program was ranked No. 4 nationally.  The School of Social Work (master’s) was ranked No. 3 and the School of Pharmacy earned a No. 9 ranking.  

Clare McLean
Dr. Nan Smith teaches first-year medical students how to perform vitals on their first day of instruction in Spokane-WWAMI.
picture of Dr. Nan Smith teaching first-year medical students how to perform vitals on their first day of instruction in Spokane-WWAMI.

School of Medicine
“We share this honor with our partner universities with whom we have worked for decades to bring the best medical education to our students,” said Dr. Paul Ramsey, CEO, UW Medicine, and dean of the School of Medicine. “This honor speaks to the quality and dedication of the faculty, staff and students across the five-state WWAMI region, the legislators who have supported our program and helped us grow, and our many alumni and friends who support our students.” 

"Our faculty are internationally recognized for the depth, breadth and impact of their scientific research. We work together to integrate excellence in education, research and healthcare to improve the health of the public," Ramsey said.

The School of Medicine also remains No. 2 in the nation (and No. 1 among public medical schools) in research grant funding from the National Institutes of Health. In clinical areas, the school was ranked No. 5 in pediatrics, No. 7 in internal medicine, and No. 8 in women's health, geriatrics, and drug and alcohol abuse. The bioengineering program, run jointly with the College of Engineering, was ranked No. 9. The master’s program in occupational therapy / rehabilitation medicine was ranked No. 14.

Through its WWAMI program, the UW School of Medicine serves as the only public allopathic medical school in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. The program is key to the school’s success in teaching rural medicine, family medicine and primary care. 

Stephen Brashear
UW Medical Center nurse practitioner Jennifer Peterson trained at the UW.
picture of nurse practitioner Jennifer Peterson checking a patient at UW Medical Center

School of  Nursing
With a perfect score of 100, the UW School of Nursing earned first place in a new category, Top Schools – Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

“We are so pleased to have achieved the No. 1 place,” said Azita Emami, the school’s executive dean. “As leaders and early adopters of this program, we continue to believe that the DNP will play an increasingly critical role in shaping the future of nursing and the health of the communities our graduates serve,” she said. “We are committed to excellence in nursing education, research and service; our rankings are but one reflection of the incredible talent and dedication of our students, faculty and staff.”

Nursing remains fourth-ranked nationally for the master’s program. Its nurse-practitioner programs were ranked No. 1 in family care, No. 5 in adult/gerontology primary care, and No. 5 in in psychiatric/mental health care across the lifespan. 

Mel Curtis
Grad students study in the UW School of Social Work.
picture of grad students studying in the UW School of Social Work.

School of Social Work
The School of Social Work’s master program tied for No. 3 in the nation among 206 social work schools and programs. This high standing is unchanged from 2012, the most recent such listing. The school shared its No. 3 ranking with the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley. 

“We are thrilled to see that we are once again ranked one of the top schools in this prestigious national survey,” said Edwina Uehara, dean of social work at the UW. “This recognition from more than 200 peer institutions reflects the high level of social innovation and impact that our faculty, students and alumni achieve every day through research breakthroughs, classroom engagement and community partnerships.”

School of Pharmacy
One of the smallest schools at the UW, Pharmacy is well-known for providing transformative training to practitioners and researchers since its founding as one of the first three colleges on campus. 

For at least two decades, women have outnumbered men at the UW's School of Pharmacy.
picture of a roomful of mostly female pharmacy students

“I am so pleased that our peers have recognized our continued excellence in pharmacy education,” said Sean D. Sullivan, professor and dean of the school. “This ranking validates that we are on the right track in our vision to be the global leader in pharmacy education and our mission to develop exceptional, innovative and diverse pharmacy leaders and scientists. I am proud and honored to be a part of this terrific team of faculty, staff, students, and alumni.”
In 2013, the last year that U.S. News reviewed pharmacy programs, UW was ranked No. 10 among 125 schools. This year, in a larger field of 135 schools, UW tied for No. 9 with six other schools that all earned 4.1 (out of 5.0) score. 
“There has been enormous growth in the past 15 years in the number of schools of pharmacy, but very few have the advantage of being co-located with their collaborative sister health sciences schools,” Sullivan said. “This showcases the unique and transformative opportunities of an interprofessional health sciences education from the UW.”

Other health sciences
Public Health schools were not ranked this year. In the most recent list, from 2015, UW’s School of Public Health was ranked No. 6 in the nation; its biostatistics program was No. 1. U.S. News & World Report does not rank schools of dentistry.