AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Students part of AU’s online Pediatric Nursing program can call themselves number one after being ranked the top program by Nurse Practitioner Online.

Five institutions from across the country are being recognized for their online Pediatric Nurse Practitioner programs.  On top of all of them, is Augusta University.

“I think it’s wonderful– again– with the small cohorts, we’ve been able to develop and keep a strong program,” Chair of DNP Dept. Michelle Cox-Henley said.

Nurse Practitioner students use their didactic courses for “textbook” learning. 

“The advantage of having the didactic component– online– is that the students can do the course material from home, they can work at their own pace, they can reach out to other classmates, within the learning center; within what we call ‘My Learning Platform,’” Cox-Henley said.

The selection was made based on a series of requirements like the size of the university’s nursing program, graduation and completion rate, and more. 

“They were looking at schools that, number one, were academically strong programs, that had been established for a very long period of time, that were a synchronous material– at least part of the program because that’s really important to the new generation of nurses,” Cox-Henley said. 

But Chair of the Doctor of Nursing Practitioner Department, Michelle Cox-Henley tells us the students’ learning extends beyond an online course.

“Then we have two other components which is simulation. We have a wonderful simulation lab here that we share with the dental and medical students across campus– and in the simulation lab, students actually get to develop their clinical skills using mannequins.”

Cox-Henley says the need for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners is important.

“Raising up strong nurses that can provide care, not only in the hospital setting, but in the community setting where these children are gonna be discharged to, right? The children are our future, and we want strong, healthy minds; strong, healthy children. So, we’re just very excited to be a part of that.” 

Program directors say they’re thankful for the rating and that from this, the program will only continue to grow.