Northwest College earned top honors for distance education in The Best Online ADN Programs in 2021 national rankings by eduMed.org. Just 8 percent of 7,700 accredited U.S. post-secondary institutions earned a ranking position, and NWC's ADN program came in at #17.
“We set out to find schools that are making online education a priority,” said Wes Ricketts, founder of EduMed.org. “Each school in our rankings has a winning combination of flexibility, affordability, academic rigor and student support. This is a tall task in a field that leans on face-to-face interaction and hands-on training.”
NWC director of nursing and allied health Marneé Crawford describes the college’s approach, “The hybrid program in Cody is intentionally designed to facilitate the full time working adult learner by offering the lecture components online and the labs and clinical experiences are on the weekends and occasional evening. This enables the full time working adult to continue to work, do coursework online when they are able, and block out time for the hands-on patient care on the weekends.”
NWC’s recognition comes at a time when students across the country are taking more of their courses either fully or partially online. According to data from the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment in online courses increased by 93 percent between Fall 2019 and Fall 2020. Nearly two-thirds of college students took at least one online course in 2020.
“COVID-19 forced many schools to rapidly expand their online program catalogs to meet increased student demand,” said Ricketts. “The colleges that offer accredited online courses in the widest variety of disciplines stand to benefit the most from the mass transition to higher education online.”
“Healthcare careers will always be in demand, whether we are in a pandemic, replacing our aging nursing workforce, or caring for an increasingly elderly population. Technology and healthcare innovations make careers in healthcare exciting, challenging, and relevant all across our world now and in the future,” said Crawford.
EduMed.org researched and analyzed more than 7,700 accredited schools using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and from the schools themselves. The website’s data science team then applied a proprietary algorithm to rank all qualifying schools for each healthcare discipline. Primary data points include: number of online programs in subject area, online program tuition and fees, access to academic counseling, access to career placement services, number of online students, and percentage of students with institutional aid.
To be eligible, a school must hold active regional accreditation and have at least one partially online program in the ranking subject. View the full list of rankings at https://www.edumed.org/online-schools/associate-nursing-programs/.