UIC online bachelor’s programs rise to No. 2 in national rankings
UIC’s online bachelor’s degree programs are second in the nation, according to the latest rankings in U.S. News & World Report.
The online programs — in nursing and health information management — were ranked ninth last year and 18th in 2013. UIC tied for second this year with Western Kentucky University and Daytona State College in Florida.
U.S. News & World Report ranked more than 200 programs based on criteria including student engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, and student services and technology.
UIC’s RN to BSN online degree completion program is designed for licensed registered nurses. The online nursing program has graduated 225 students and another 113 are currently enrolled.
The health information management program, which began in 2012, graduated its first five students in May 2014 and has 32 students enrolled this semester. The online degree complements the campus-based program, which began in 1965. Students are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus.
Health information management professionals are responsible for keeping patient data secure, including medical histories, treatment plans, insurance information and medications. Students who graduate from the UIC program can take the Registered Health Information Administrator national certification examination.
“Our online program provides a viable option for those students who, due to work or personal life requirements, are unable to attend a traditional campus program,” said Karen Patena, program director and clinical associate professor of health information management.
In the online RN to BSN program, “our students receive the same high-quality education as students who sit in a classroom,” said Catherine Tredway, the program’s clinical instructor and academic director. “They can set their own pace to complete the degree, allowing them to successfully manage their studies, career and personal life.”
Angie Brooker, who graduated from the program in May, said she liked her work as a staff nurse in Advocate Christ Hospital’s intensive care unit, but wanted more from her career. She extensively researched several programs before selecting UIC’s online RN to BSN curriculum.
“It really worked well with my schedule,” said Brooker, who has five children.
Brooker believes her recent promotion to clinical nurse educator for Advocate Christ’s medical and cardiac intensive care unit was due in part to receiving her bachelor’s degree.
“The courses really prepared me for my new position,” she said. “The way the coursework is presented is very interesting and user-friendly. The educators are there to help you succeed. I really enjoyed the program and would highly recommend it.”