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U.S. News ranks online programs

Graduate nursing program offered by Clarion and Edinboro universities named among nation’s best


The Clarion and Edinboro Universities’ Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program was named one of the country’s best online graduate nursing programs by U.S. News & World Report.

The program, taught by Edinboro and Clarion faculty and administered through Clarion, ranked 19th of 101 programs in the 2013 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs survey. Programs were ranked based on statistical information about admissions selectivity, student engagement, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology.

Dr. Amy McClune, Edinboro University’s Graduate Program Head for Nursing, said the U.S. News survey puts the Edinboro-Clarion consortium in impressive company and gives it an edge as the choice of nurses in the region who are enrolling in graduate programs. “When you consider that our MSN program is 19th of 101 programs, and when you consider that it’s a ranking of programs across the country, that’s pretty impressive,” she said.

The two universities have offered the Master of Science in Nursing degree in a regional consortium, which formerly also included Slippery Rock University, since 2001. The program includes Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator tracks and began to be offered online in 2007.

Edinboro and Clarion, two of the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, offer entry-level nursing degree programs independently but collaborate to offer the MSN degree. McClune said offering the degree as a joint effort maximizes the use of faculty and broadens the geographic reach of the program.

The nursing program’s exemplary ranking was one of two that Edinboro University received in U.S. News’ annual online education survey. The magazine’s 2013 Best Online Graduate Education Programs ranked Edinboro’s online master’s degree programs in education 32nd of 208 programs reviewed.

Dr. Alan Biel, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, said Edinboro’s rankings among the top online degree programs “really speaks to the commitment of the University to online learning in its dedication of both staff and technology. It also speaks to the commitment of our faculty to investing the extra effort in making these excellent programs available.”

In a little more than a decade, Dr. Biel said, online offerings have grown to play a significant role among the University’s graduate programs, accounting for about 60 percent of graduate enrollment in fall 2012. In addition to the Master of Science in Nursing and the seven master’s degree programs in Education that were honored by U.S. News & World Report, Edinboro offers Master of Arts in Communication Studies and Master of Social Work degrees online.

The U.S. News rankings and accompanying program profiles are available online at

For more information on Edinboro University’s online graduate programs, visit, or call the School of Graduate Studies and Research at (814) 732-2856.