U.S. News & World Report Ranks SHU

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Sacred Heart University’s online programs for bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing are the best in the state, according to a statement U.S. News & World Report released Jan. 9. Sacred Heart’s programs were ranked against those from hundreds of colleges and universities across the country in the 2018 U.S.News Best Online Programs rankings.

The publisher based its ratings on student engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, admission selectivity and student services. Asserting that completing a four-year degree online may be the most practical way for working adults to obtain the knowledge and credentials to boost their careers, U.S.News offers its findings to help prospective students select the right schools for them.

“Taking classes online is the best option for many working adults. Because of that, we made the decision to offer many of our nursing programs online,” said Mary Alice Donius, dean of SHU’s College of Nursing. “We are honored to be the best school in the state to offer these online programs. I believe what sets Sacred Heart apart is that all our online programs provide students with individual attention from dedicated full-time faculty members who are committed to student success.”

The University’s online program for students seeking to proceed from registered nurse (RN) to bachelor of science in nursing aims to help RNs who have a diploma or associate degree in nursing develop their professional skills in health assessment, information technology, evidence-based practice and more. The curriculum also covers topics such as concepts of health care and wellness across cultures, clinical leadership development and methods of measuring care outcomes.

“One thing that really differentiates our program is the way we link our RN to BSN program to the core concepts of all of the University’s undergraduate programs,” Donius added. “The Human Journey arts & sciences courses that our students must complete teach them to understand their own humanity and dovetail with the concepts of nursing—caring for and healing of others and the obligation to promote the common good.”

Ambitious students can continue on after the bachelor’s degree to obtain a master of science degree in nursing (MSN). This rigorous course of online study meets the needs of working nurses who seek advance clinical, managerial and educational skills. The program offers four specializations: clinical nurse leader, nursing management and executive leadership, nursing education and family nurse practitioner, which is new to SHU this year.

“The family nurse practitioner program is a high-demand and challenging program that we are thrilled to offer. It is a great complement to the programs already in our nursing portfolio,” said Donna McHaney, director of the program.

Sacred Heart also offers an online doctor of nursing practice program that builds upon students’ masters-level training to prepare for leadership roles within health-care delivery systems.

For more information on SHU’s online programs, visit

PHOTO CAPTION: Sacred Heart University nursing students at the new Center for Healthcare Education (Photo by Don Hamerman 2017)

About Sacred Heart University
Sacred Heart University, the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its main campus in Fairfield, Conn., and satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland. More than 8,500 students attend the University’s five colleges: Arts & Sciences; Health Professions; Nursing; the Jack Welch College of Business; and the Isabelle Farrington College of Education. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its guides, Best 382 Colleges–2018 Edition, “Best in the Northeast” and Best 267 Business Schools–2018 Edition. It also placed SHU on its lists for “Best College Theater” and “Most Engaged in Community Service,” each of which comprises only 20 U.S. schools. U.S.News & World Report ranks SHU in its Best Colleges 2018 guidebook and calls SHU the fourth “Most Innovative School” in the North. The Chronicle of Higher Education also names SHU one of the fastest-growing Roman Catholic universities in its 2016 almanac. Sacred Heart fields 32 Division I athletic teams and has an award-winning program of community service.
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