Samuel Merritt University Ranks as Best in the U.S.

Ashley Rappa

Samuel Merritt University has been ranked as one of the top institutions in the United States for 2023. The College of Nursing took home high honors in the Best Online Nurse Practitioner Degree Programs, Best Master of Science in Nursing Degree Programs, and Best Online Master of Science in Nursing Degree categories. ranks the top colleges across the country to provide students and prospective students with an unbiased look at how the best programs stack up. Schools are evaluated based on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, reputation, and resources provided for online students.

SMU was ranked 16 in Online Nurse Practitioner Degree Programs, 29 in Master of Science in Nursing Degree Programs, and 39 in Online Master of Science in Nursing Degree Programs.

“In light of the current changes in healthcare and nursing higher education, we are overjoyed by the recognition of our dedication to educating nursing students. We pride ourselves in preparing nurses for a future in nursing we can’t yet imagine. Our innovative curriculum is constantly being reimagined to meet the needs of our changing world,” said Lorna Kendrick, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, Dean of SMU’s College of Nursing.

Studies show that obtaining a degree increases income substantially, with graduates earning 84% more than those with only high school diplomas or those without a completed GED. The percentage difference in earnings continues to grow with higher learning degrees such as master’s, doctoral or professional degrees, with the unemployment rate decreasing as much as 1.6% for those with a doctorate.

These rankings build on SMU’s already strong history of recognition and stellar reputation. In 2021, SMU was named the best college in California for getting a job by career research website Zippia, and in November 2022 received a $10 million gift to fund podiatric medicine and nursing programs, the largest gift in the University’s 113-year history.

SMU recently debuted a plan to double enrollment in the next 10 years and quadruple it by 2050, a vision supported by a new flagship campus in downtown Oakland, scheduled to open in January 2026. The cutting-edge urban campus will serve as a hub for the hands-on teaching and learning SMU is known for.

“The COVID-19 pandemic showed us the hospital can no longer remain our primary classroom, and SMU’s bold plan helps support that need. This is the vision we are hoping to instill in each one of our graduates,” said Kendrick. “Nurses are in demand across the nation, but our graduates tend to stay and work locally. Because of that, our graduates directly impact the current and future of health of the Bay Area. We, and our community partners, are extremely proud of this fact, and grateful our collective hard work is being recognized.”


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