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Online master’s in nursing program ranks tenth in nation

Since beginning in 2013, Boise State’s Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner program has graduated 120 students, with over 99% of them passing their nurse practitioner board exam. As it begins its tenth year, the program was ranked number ten in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

“This honor reflects the dedication of our outstanding faculty and staff in assuring that our student-centered program produces highly competent nurse practitioners who meet the health needs of those in Idaho and beyond,” said Amy Spurlock, associate divisional dean of the School of Nursing.

Two nurse practitioner students sit behind a table and practice suturing.
The online nurse practitioner program includes a hands-on session when students can connect with one another on-campus each summer.

U.S. News and World Report ranked online master’s in nursing programs based on their level of engagement, faculty credentials and training, available services and technologies, peer assessment and student excellence.

Boise State’s program earned its highest score – 97 out of 100 – in the services and technologies category, which measures the amount of “financial, technical and vocational support for distance learners.”

This distinction comes as no surprise: a hallmark of the program is its clinical placement team.

Many nurse practitioner programs don’t have dedicated staff and faculty helping students find preceptors and complete clinicals. Since nursing students need hands-on experience, this is a crucial part of their education. But it’s also a complicated one.

The School of Nursing’s team works tirelessly through a maze of paperwork to connect students with experiential opportunities in their own community. Because the online program is open to 15 states, this task often involves navigating different licensing regulations from various state boards of nursing.

Two nurse practitioner students practice injections on a manikin leg joint.
Boise State’s nurse practitioner program offers specializations in acute or primary care.

Students in the nurse practitioner program appreciate the support they receive, citing the clinical placement team as a primary reason they chose Boise State.

“Our Clinical Placement Team, supportive staff and summer intensives set Boise State apart from other online master’s in nursing nurse practitioner programs,” said program director Nicole Loos-Bartlett.

“Students at Boise State receive a world class education comparable – and often exceeding – much larger schools while retaining access to faculty and enjoying smaller cohorts,” she said. “Boise State continues to answer the call to improve access to healthcare by producing competent, well rounded and empathetic nurse practitioners.”

Learn more about the nurse practitioner program