January 3, 2013 | | Leave a comment Like people in so many other careers, nurses are busy. When it comes time for nurses to get graduate degrees to improve their careers, many turn to online nursing degrees, as opposed to traditional ones. To help these busy bees choose the best online nursing degrees for graduate-level nurses, U.S. News has released their list of the top ten online nursing graduate programs in the nation, based on student engagement and accreditation: 1. University of Northern Colorado UNC grabs the coveted spot in U.S. News’ list with its solid online master’s and doctorate programs in nursing. Whether you’re looking practice nursing or teach other nurses how to do their job better, this school has an online program for you. For instance, if you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree, in 72 credit hours, you can enter their Master’s in Family Nurse Practitioner degree program to get qualify to take the FNP certification exam and earn your licensure. Or you can put in 95 credit hours to earn a PhD in Nursing Education. 2. Drexel University Not far behind the number one spot, Drexel boasts quick faculty response times (less than 24 hours) to student questions. With this university, you can choose from a variety of online master’s degree programs in 12 different areas of concentration, from clinical trials research to health systems management. Their online nursing degree program for doctoral students focuses on advanced clinical and research methods. 3. University of Texas – Tyler Decent faculty response time and hours of availability put this one in the third spot. At this school, online master’s degree programs focus on nursing practitioner, nursing administration, and nursing education. A hybrid program even combines a master’s in nursing with a MBA. Most impressive of all, however, is these program’s 100-percent pass rate on the national certification examinations. 4. Excelsior College Despite a 48-hour faculty response time, this online school has much to offer would-be nursing students. For RNs, this school offers a program to help them earn their master’s degrees in specializations such as clinical systems management, nursing informatics, and nursing education. 5. Troy University This school, which offers programs both online and at their campuses, offers above-average faculty availability to students and a host of online nursing degree options to choose from. Those interested in earning a master of science in nursing can choose to specialize in clinical nursing, nursing informatics, or family nurse practitioner. A doctor of nursing program is also available, but only on campus. 6. George Washington University This well-know university offers a robust online degree program for nursing graduate students. Designed specifically “for professionals holding a Bachelor’s degree who wish to further expand their skills within the field of nursing,” the master’s degree program will let students dig into a broad offering of specializations, from midwifery to healthcare quality to leadership and management. Doctorate degree programs are also offered. 7. Loyola University – New Orleans Building up to professional certification, this online nursing degree program is made to allow students to earn their master of science in nursing completely from their computer. It also offers a personal support center and a 24/7 help desk to get students through any problems they may encounter. 8. Grand Canyon University Available online or via evening classes at GCU‘s Phoenix, Arizona, campus, their online nursing degree programs cover such specializations as public health, healthcare informatics, and nursing education. In as little as 40 credit hours, students can earn and take advantage of the benefits of a master’s degree in nursing. Best of all, this school has instructors available to help students 40 hours per week. To learn more about the online degree programs GCU has to offer, visit our Grand Canyon University page. 9. Walden University Whether you’re looking to earn a master’s, doctorate, or certificate in nursing, Walden U has what you’re looking for in an online nursing degree program. This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education so you know your education will be solid. 10. University of Colorado – Denver Despite its relatively low ranking on the list (I mean, it’s still number ten out of dozens), this school is packed with online nursing degrees options for graduate students. Their master’s degree program features 11 different specialization options to choose from. Their MS-DNP program is designed to give nurses a practice-focused doctorate and become leaders in the nursing field. Finally, the MS-PhD program is for the nurses who are more interested in developing the thought and theory that continue to improve nursing practice.