Forbes Reports SMU Ranked No. 1 in U.S. Salaries for Graduates with Bachelor’s Degrees

Jim Muyo, SMU News

Samuel Merritt University is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for early career salary prospects for graduates with a bachelor’s degree, as reported by Forbes. SMU placed atop the rankings, ahead of MIT and Stanford, with a median salary of $93,900 within five years of graduation.

The rankings were based on data compiled by Payscale, whose analysis shows that institutions that focus on science, engineering, and health are at the top of the list—including Harvey Mudd College, MIT, CalTech, and the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.

“The high salaries that our students receive reflects the great opportunities they have after graduation,” said SMU Provost Fred Baldini. “We are honored to be listed among the excellent universities in the Forbes report and will continue to strive to provide the best possible education for our students as we address the healthcare needs of the future.”

While there are many health sciences universities that produce nurses, SMU College of Nursing Dean Lorna Kendrick, offered perspective on what distinguishes SMU’s undergraduate degree programs, all of which are for nursing (BSN, ABSN, and RN to BSN).

“Our well-designed curriculum, carefully selected clinical experiences, and the exemplar faculty, staff, and supporting departments provide a well-rounded academic experience, including leadership and professional preparation, that gives our graduates a decided edge and they are sought after by healthcare organizations,” Kendrick said.

“Recently, Stanford University administrators told me that SMU nursing graduates are better prepared professionally. They interview better, and they are better prepared to be a part of a team. Also, once our students are accepted at their clinical sites, they are most often hired by that site. One of our clinical partners actually set up a program to hire our students while they were still completing their education just so they could guarantee the hire before the students graduated.”

Critical time in history

The need for nurses at this critical time in history as the world emerges from a pandemic while developing new modes of care such as telehealth, requires that the new corps of nurses be better prepared in the face of increased demand.

“At this point in history we see Baby Boomers growing older. We see patients presenting with more acute and more serious illnesses,” Kendrick said. “When we combine these facts with the COVID pandemic, the number of people needing healthcare continues to increase while the number of providers is unable to keep up with these increasing demands.

“As patient care needs continue to add unprecedented demands on our infrastructure, along with questions of access for the underserved and those at greatest risk, nurses can and do fill needed healthcare gaps in a number of areas from the hospital bedside as nurse generalists to the community and clinics where they serve as advanced practice nurse practitioners providing for the underserved often overlooked by many others. Nurses continue to be in demand and make a difference not just for their patients but for their communities, as well.”

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