Dean Frazier's Message on Nursing School Rankings

January 23, 2023

Dear Columbia Nursing community,

I am writing to inform you that the Columbia University School of Nursing, in alignment with the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S), will no longer submit data to U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) for their annual ranking of nursing schools. This decision makes Columbia Nursing the first U.S. school of nursing to join the growing list of prestigious graduate schools choosing not to participate in the USNWR rankings. We are taking this step for reasons very similar to those articulated by Dean Katrina Armstrong in her letter explaining VP&S’s decision.

At Columbia Nursing, we have a longstanding history of educational excellence and innovation in educating highly qualified nurses and advanced practice nurses. Our goal is to populate the nursing workforce with diverse and well-educated nurses who will absolutely have an impact on reducing and eliminating health inequities. That is, in large measure, how we define our success.

As Dean Armstrong said about the medical school rankings, the USNWR nursing school rankings similarly reinforce a focus on a school’s reputation rather than assessing an institution’s success in educating a diverse group of individuals committed to caring for all patients and communities. Given the health inequities that exist in society today, preparing nurses and nurse leaders who can address health disparities is paramount. Helping our nation and world find ways to expand access to and improve care for under-resourced communities should be one of nursing education’s highest priorities. Indicators around diversity and equity—if identified and measured appropriately—would drive nursing education to fully commit to this most critical mission.

In the spirit of transparency and open dialogue in sharing valid and meaningful data, I look forward to finding ways to thoughtfully measure quality nursing education. I welcome your engagement and involvement in that process as we move forward.

Dean Frazier

Lorraine Frazier, RN, PhD, FAAN
Dean and Mary O’Neil Mundinger Professor
Senior Vice President, Columbia University Irving Medical Center